The Alchemist

After reading bestseller The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, I wondered what all the fuss was about. Maybe the problem is with me, or maybe the English translation doesn’t work well (original was in Portugese), or maybe it is meant for very young children. But I would instead recommend The Emperor and the Maula, by Robert Silverberg, as a superior example of how old fables can be elegantly recycled.

Its also interesting that several titles of Coelho’s books can be put together in a single sentence:

The alchemist made a pilgrimage to the fifth mountain with the witch of Portobello, the devil, and miss Prym, met the valkyries, found his maktub in eleven minutes by the zahir and when Veronika decided to die, said, “by the river Piedra I sat down and Wept, but the winner stands alone”.

Indeed. After reading the Alchemist, I sat down and wept too.