The Alchemist

  • Posted by Shilly Riser
  • October 26, 2017 8:17 PM PDT

Coelho wrote The Alchemist in only two weeks in 1987. He explained he was able to write at this pace because the story was "already written in [his] soul."[4]

The book's main theme is about finding one's destiny. According to The New York TimesThe Alchemist is "more self-help than literature."[5] An old king tells Santiago that, "when you really want something to happen, the whole universe will conspire so that your wish comes true." This is the core of the novel's philosophy and a motif that plays all throughout Coelho's writing in The Alchemist.[6]

The Alchemist was first released by an obscure Brazilian publishing house. Albeit having sold "well", the publisher of the book told Coelho that it was never going to sell, and that "he could make more money in the stock exchange."[7]

Needing to "heal" himself from this setback, Coelho set out to leave Rio de Janeiro with his wife and spent 40 days in the Mojave Desert. Returning from the excursion, Coelho decided he had to keep on struggling.[7] Coelho was "so convinced it was a great book that [he] started knocking on doors."[4]

  Choose to Share
1 comment
  • James Hennis
    James Hennis I would like to get a copy of this book also in Portuguese, has anyone in the book read the book and would like to talk about it with me?
    January 15