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I need to start this review by stating 1 I can t stand self help books and 2 I m a feminist no, I don t hate men some men are quite awesome, but I am very conscious of women and our place in the world Short summary mild spoilers A boy named Santiago follows his Personal Legend in traveling from Spain to the Pyramids in Egypt searching for treasure Along the way, he learns the Language of the World the Soul of the World and discovers that the Soul of God is his own soul If the I need to start this review by stating 1 I can t stand self help books and 2 I m a feminist no, I don t hate men some men are quite awesome, but I am very conscious of women and our place in the world Short summary mild spoilers A boy named Santiago follows his Personal Legend in traveling from Spain to the Pyramids in Egypt searching for treasure Along the way, he learns the Language of the World the Soul of the World and discovers that the Soul of God is his own soul If the statements in quotes above personal legend , etc fascinate you, then you ll enjoy this book If you think they are hokey and silly, then you ll think this is a terrible book If you think statements such as When you want something, all the universe conspires you to achieve it and All things are one are moving and life changing, you ll love this book If such statements have you rolling your eyes, then this isn t your cup of tea.Its not that I find anything wrong with these messages They are important, but must be balanced with responsibility In my experience, following your dreams or personal legend is not the only way toward wisdom and strength Is the person who struggles to put food on the table every day for his or her family, consciously realizing that he or she may not be following his or her personal legend any less heroic than some traveler who leaves everything and everyone he or she is responsible for to go on a spiritual quest Coelho comes close to labeling such people, as losers in life, which I find completely off the mark as some of these people have the most to offer in terms of wisdom.The issue of responsibility is also part of this book s sexism The main male characters in the novel have Personal Legends they are either seeking them, or have achieved them, or have failed to achieve them But Coelho never mentions Personal Legend with regard to women, other than to say that Fatima, Santiago s fiance, is a part of Santiago s Personal Legend Thats fine, but what about her own Personal Legend Instead of traveling to find her dreams, she is content to sit around, do chores, and stare everyday at the desert to wait for his return This is her fate as a desert women The fact that women don t have Personal Legends is evengalling considering the fact that according to Coelho, even minerals such as lead and copper have Personal Legends, allowing them to evolve to something better ie, gold.In the ideal world presented in THE ALCHEMIST, it seems that the job of men is to seek out their personal legends, leaving aside thoughts of family and responsibility, and its the job of women to let them, and pine for their return Of course, someone has to do the unheroic, inconvenient work of taking care of the children, the animals, the elderly, the illIf everyone simply goes off on spiritual quests, deciding they have no responsibility other than to seek their Personal Legends, no one would be taking responsibility for the unglamorous work that simply has to take place for the world to run.On the other hand, what if both men and women are allowed to struggle towards their Personal Legends, and help each other as best as they can towards them, but recognize that their responsibilities may force them to defer, compromise, or even sacrifice their dreams This may seem depressing, but it isn t necessarily Coelho seems to think that Personal Legends are fixed at childhood or at birth, or even before and are not changeable they have to be followed through to the end, no matter how silly But in my experience, many people have chosen to adjust, compromise, and even give up on their dreams, only to find that life grants them something better, or they have a new, better dream to follow, a path providing greater wisdom For me, these people have arealistic,humble,fair, and less cliched vision of the world than Paulo Coelho s vision in THE ALCHEMIST I feel like everyone LOVES this book, but I was kind of underwhelmed I know that translation affects the quality of writing, but I could not get into this writing style At all I felt like it was totally affected and contrived He was going for this fable parable style, but it seemed to fail miserably The parable like quality was totally contrived, and I thought the moral was pretty stupid Moral everything you want and need is close to home Take chances Follow your personal legacy T I feel like everyone LOVES this book, but I was kind of underwhelmed I know that translation affects the quality of writing, but I could not get into this writing style At all I felt like it was totally affected and contrived He was going for this fable parable style, but it seemed to fail miserably The parable like quality was totally contrived, and I thought the moral was pretty stupid Moral everything you want and need is close to home Take chances Follow your personal legacy Then.there was a supernatural element which was just plain dumb Granted, I am not religious I think god fearing people getout of this bc they can take that leap of faith, excuse the phrase If this was supposed to be a story of magic, I may have been into it But it was supposed to be a simple story of knowing yourself And I think, philosophically speaking, when you truly know yourself that is when you truly realize your destiny Why do you need supernatural forces to convey that message This was about realizing your destiny, or personal legacy It could have been done without the hocus pocus, and, yes, the cheese In short, the book attempted to be deep and failed Speaking with the wind and the sun and being a shepherd and getting over personal hardship all as part of a transparent higher plan read personal legacy doesn t make a plot deep A character simply called boy and short sentences doesn t make a story a fable Learning from your flocks and from nature doesn t make a character inexplicably wise I really got nothing out of this book.It is short though The book came very highly recommended Read it to judge the hype for yourself After all, a whole nation, including Bill Clinton who I m into , thought it was a touching account that personally changed them Then again, this is the same country who thought The Celestine Prophesy was worthwhile Gag I really disliked this book I dislike it in the way that I dislike a great deal of modern self help books Their basic message is that if you want something to happen, you need to want it as hard as you can, without caring about anything else, not allowing yourself to doubt it, or let criticisms will get in the way then it will happen.I disagree with this notion, not only because it is false, but because it is bad.Just because we desire something, does not make it good This idea of following I really disliked this book I dislike it in the way that I dislike a great deal of modern self help books Their basic message is that if you want something to happen, you need to want it as hard as you can, without caring about anything else, not allowing yourself to doubt it, or let criticisms will get in the way then it will happen.I disagree with this notion, not only because it is false, but because it is bad.Just because we desire something, does not make it good This idea of following your heart is often wrong Who are we to be the arbiters of truth Why should our hearts be sources of information that go beyond logic, doubt and reasoning Haven t we all desired things that have turned out to not be in our best interest, or to be harmful to others Andrew Jackson was a man known to have a lot of integrity He was always true to himself and followed his heart Andrew Jackson is the man who initiated the Trail of Tears Moving Native Americans from their homes and into reservations Next, this idea of not letting ourselves doubt or consider doubts This is a terrible and dishonest way to live If we don t consider doubts, and entertain them often, then we are deliberately blinding ourselves Deliberately making ourselves ignorant If someone doesn t give serious consideration to the idea that they may be wrong Give serious thought to why they believe what they do, and that perhaps those who doubt them may be correct, then they are behaving in a dangerous and dishonest way.Not giving heed to the concerns doubts and criticisms of others is something I believe is a major fault in modern society Often, people fail to recognize the needs of the group and the community We place so much emphasis on the needs and rights of the individual This causes people to focus so much on themselves to the detriment of others around them At times, it can be beneficial to go against the group, but one should first give serious consideration to the groups concerns.According to Ideas like the Alchemist, groups like, the Westboro Baptist Church, godhatesfags.com should be seen as American heroes These are people who take a totally irrational stance, and stick to it as hard as they can in complete defiance to the views of everyone around them A good parable like The Prodigal Son should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable The problem with this little book is that it does precisely the opposite.Coelho s message and, boy, is this a book with a message is that each of us has his own Personal Legend, and that if we recognize that legend and pursue it sincerely, everything in the Universe which is after all made up wind, stone, trees of the same stuff we are will conspire to help us achieve it Corollaries 1 peop A good parable like The Prodigal Son should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable The problem with this little book is that it does precisely the opposite.Coelho s message and, boy, is this a book with a message is that each of us has his own Personal Legend, and that if we recognize that legend and pursue it sincerely, everything in the Universe which is after all made up wind, stone, trees of the same stuff we are will conspire to help us achieve it Corollaries 1 people who don t recognize their legends are never happy, 2 people who fail to realize their legends are afraid, and 3 people who refuse to pursue their legends, even when they know what they are, are both unhappy and afraid I admit I ve left out a nuance or two here and there, but not many There aren tthan three or four nuances in the book I fear that the result of taking such a message seriously will be to make the successful evenself satisfied, the narcissisticself absorbed, and the affluentself congratulatory At the same time, those who are unfortunate will blame themselves for their bad fortune, those who lack self esteem will lose what little they have, and the poor will see no, not God, as the beatitude says, but the poor will see they have only themselves to blame.Perhaps I am being too harsh I can see how a few individual young persons, hemmed in by parental expectations and seeking their own paths, may find enough hope and courage here to help them venture forth But I am convinced the damage done by books like this like The Secret, The Celestine Prophecy, and anything ever written by the late Dr Wayne Dyer or, for that matter, anything he may ever choose to channel from beyond the grave is far greater than the little good they may achieve.If you like parables, don t read this book Go read a book of Hasidic tales collected by Martin Buber, a book of Sufi stories collected by Idries Shah, or a book of parables and sayings by Anthony de Mello instead.Or then again, you could just try Jesus Jesus is always good Utter drivel The book was badly written, righteous, condescending, preachy, and worst of all, the ending was morally questionable All the fables and stories are stolen from elsewhere, religious ideas and spirituality are badly mixed, and everything is so obvious.The book harps on about tapping into the Soul of the World, the Language of the World, about your one true path and other nonsense The basic idea is that if you really want something and listen to your heart , the whole universe will Utter drivel The book was badly written, righteous, condescending, preachy, and worst of all, the ending was morally questionable All the fables and stories are stolen from elsewhere, religious ideas and spirituality are badly mixed, and everything is so obvious.The book harps on about tapping into the Soul of the World, the Language of the World, about your one true path and other nonsense The basic idea is that if you really want something and listen to your heart , the whole universe will help you achieve it if you only look for omens A questionable idea in a world where people no longer want to work hard and achieve independently.It reads like a really bad self help book written for 8 year old children and disguised as a symbolic parable I read a lot of books and I can safely say this is the worst book I have ever read It s only saving grace was that it was mercifully short when you really want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it This book has crossed the boundaries of books, and has taken a life of its own, creating a movement all around the globe.Santiago s journey and spiritual quest, the people he meets, the dreams he has, the omens he encounters, and the nature he speaks to, are all things that we can relate to..things that we ve either forgotten about or simply dismissed as childhood fantasies It is all about finding your Pewhen you really want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it This book has crossed the boundaries of books, and has taken a life of its own, creating a movement all around the globe.Santiago s journey and spiritual quest, the people he meets, the dreams he has, the omens he encounters, and the nature he speaks to, are all things that we can relate to..things that we ve either forgotten about or simply dismissed as childhood fantasies It is all about finding your Personal Legend and pursuing your dream regardless of any hurdles, and about being spiritually connected to the universe, which is part of us, and part of God we are all one.Reading this book always sets me back on the right path towards achieving the dreams I have put on hold We always try to do what everyone expects of us like pursuing a career that you hate just because that is what everyone does Recognizing my personal legend, being able to talk to the trees, sky, ants, the core of the earth, the air particles, and to my heart, feeling a deeper spiritual connection with everything everyone that is around me, feeling God inside me, and not being afraid of failing or facing challenges are just some of the few things this book has given me.It is maktub that Coelho writes this book, shares it with the world, and affect so many lives This masterwork is a legend and a precious treasure The problem with this book is not just that it s bad, which it certainly is, but that there are so many people out there who want to corner you at parties and tell you how it s totally changed their lives In a way you might as well read it just so you can see how feeble minded they must be to get any kind of philosophical nourishment out of this inexhaustible stream of clich s The profound lessons you ll learn from this book amount to nothingthan several variations on the theme of only The problem with this book is not just that it s bad, which it certainly is, but that there are so many people out there who want to corner you at parties and tell you how it s totally changed their lives In a way you might as well read it just so you can see how feeble minded they must be to get any kind of philosophical nourishment out of this inexhaustible stream of clich s The profound lessons you ll learn from this book amount to nothingthan several variations on the theme of only the very ugly is truly beautiful, only the very stupid are really intelligent, only black is white, only up is down etc etc.The writing is too simple to be really bad, but it s the content that gets you By the end of the book you ll want to track down the philosopher s stone yourself and carefully beat Coelho to death with it *READ DOWNLOAD ✐ The Alchemist ✒ Paulo Coelho s masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure His quest will lead him to riches far different, and farsatisfying, listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life s path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams spoilers and bitterness ahead be forewarned I m not sure that I can capture my utter disdain for this book in words, but I ll give it a shot I read this book about three years ago and just had to re read it for book club It was a steaming pile of crap then and, guess what , it s a steaming pile of crap now The main reason I hate this book it s trite inspirational literature dressed up as an adventure quest You go into it thinking that it s going to be about a boy s quest for treasure spoilers and bitterness ahead be forewarned I m not sure that I can capture my utter disdain for this book in words, but I ll give it a shot I read this book about three years ago and just had to re read it for book club It was a steaming pile of crap then and, guess what , it s a steaming pile of crap now The main reason I hate this book it s trite inspirational literature dressed up as an adventure quest You go into it thinking that it s going to be about a boy s quest for treasure If you read the back, there are words like Pyramids, Gypsy, alchemist Turns out, this is just The Purpose Driven Life dressed up with a little fable It s Hallmark Hall of Fame territory set in an exotic locale Which pisses me off to no end as I normally try to dodge that sort of thing, but here it is masquerading as the type of book I normally like It s cliche, didactic, and poorly written Just as with Aesop s Fables, there s a moral to the story And Coelho keeps backing up and running over it just to make sure that we get it and he capitalizes important key words necessary to understanding it, lest we overlook their significance If there s one thing Paulo Coelho can do, it s flog a dead horse Essentially, boy thinks he s happy in life He s a shepherd who gets to travel the world, has all of his needs met, and owns a book which he can always trade for another book when he goes to market Whatcan a boy need Boy is then told by a mysterious stranger that he s not happy at all Why not He has failed to recognize his Personal Legend Everyone has a Personal Legend, which is life s plan for you However, most of us give up on our Personal Legend in childhood If you are fortunate enough to hang onto and pursue your Personal Legend, then The Soul of the World will help you obtain it All of nature conspires to bring you luck and good fortune so that you can fulfill your destiny, whether it s to be a shepherd on a quest for treasure at the pyramids, a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker, or, one would assume, a prostitute, drug dealer, or porn star Hey, we re all fate s bitch in The Alchemist But I digress Boy seeks out his Personal Legend and finds it s a long, hard road to obtaining what you want in life But with faith, perseverance, and just a little goshdarnit good luck, the boy learns to speak the Language of the World and tap into The Soul of the World and fulfills his Personal Legend And what does he learn That what he sought was back home, the place he started from Oh, silly boy So, in summation, here is what you should learn from The Alchemist 1 Dream And, while you re at it, dream BIG2 Follow your bliss3 Don t be surprised if you find obstacles in your way, but you will overcome4 It s good to travel and encounter people from other cultures5 What we most often seek is right in front of us, but sometimes we have to leave home to realize itTo all of these important life lessons, I can only say, Well, no shit, Sherlock If Coelho knew anything about alchemy, he would have been able to transform this crap into gold Alas, it s still crap Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder B 78% Good NotesComposed simply and scripture like, it reads at times too much like a children s fable, but picks up steam by the end.