The Alchemist is a novel written by Paulo Coelho. It was first published in Portuguese in 1988 and was then translated in 1993 where it gained some international success.
The story centers on an Andalusian shepherd named Santiago who embarks on a journey from Spain to Egypt after he has a recurring dream interpreted as a prophecy concerning a buried treasure. He has all kinds of setbacks and meets all sort of people on his journey. Of course, one of those people is an alchemist who teaches of finding one’s true self. Santiago learns of the Personal Legend and how he fits uniquely into the world.
This actually turns into one of the more charming and interesting novels I have read in some time. There are not many names belonging to the various characters. In fact, Santiago’s name is mentioned very sparsely. The prose style is pretty simple, but the imagery it invokes in the imagination is quite profound. The particular novel is a bit of a departure from my usual reading preferences, but it turns out this was a pretty rewarding path to explore.
Next up will be the first novel to introduce Ace Atkins’ tough guy Quinn Colson, which is simply entitled The Ranger.