A Lesson In Life: The Alchemist
Who is it for: Dreamers.
What makes it special: Broad universal concepts told in a simple and timeless allegory.
Let's make some unnecessary labels: Fiction, Spiritual Growth, Ancient Times, Religious Concepts.
The premise of the book is based on the importance to follow one's truth and live the legend each of us has been given. It is about listening to the heart and learn to use it as a compass to navigate life and all its challenges.
The book does a fantastic job of describing what happens to those who ignore their heart and do not fulfill their legend. The universality of the story lays in the struggles of the human spirit and the common particle we all shared across lands, races, cultures, and generations. It is the core of our shared humanity; it allows everyone to connect with the source in a way that reminds us that we are one with the universe and the universe lays within us.
There is a harmony that is indescribable when someone is living their truth and following their legend. It parts oceans and allows for the world to fall at the feet of whoever is capable to listen to their heart and follow that voice clearly. It is a simple premise, and yet the most difficult thing anyone can ever achieve. The book is successful because the story and the values are simple yet monumental. It doesn't add anything new conceptually, but it does present the lesson in a way that is fresh and accessible to the reader.
Note: Audiobooks can be a hit or miss depending on the narrator. Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist is read by a renowned actor: Jeremy Irons. It is an absolute delight that enhances what is already an incredibly rich and layered story. The way in which Irons is able to bring to life the characters and the settings with the changes in his voice and by acting the scene as he would a script makes for a welcome gift to those who enjoy listening to literature either through live read ins or in audiobooks as a form of convenience in today's hectic world.