Humble Book Review: The Alchemist

The Alchemist is a simple allegory which centres on a shepherd boy from Spain, as he embarks on a journey to the Egyptian Pyramids, in what is described to him as his Personal Legend – that which he was born to do, his ultimate purpose that which he should always be directing his efforts to. Along the way, he meets interesting characters such as a Gypsy woman, a King, and an Alchemist; all of which guide the boy to his goal.

Really, this is a thinly veiled story about fulfilling life’s purpose. It is a reminder that everyone has their Personal Legend they either move toward, or cast aside due to difficulty and the sacrifices that need to be made. My overall issue with the metaphor it represents is that we ourselves don’t really know what our Personal Legends are; if we even have one at all, if we have multiple competing goals, or if we are wrong about our goals.

That’s just the thing – each of us individuals are multitudes more complex than having one clearly defined goal – they are subjective things that can change at the will.

So my advice is to go into this for a fun, quick story, and don’t read too much into the overall analogy behind it all. You might question your own Personal Legend – and we are far too complex to just reduce our existences to just that.