You may have noticed that I stopped doing a ton of book reviews. Down to nearly
zero as of late, actually. At my reading pace this year, it was becoming
overwhelming and I started to feel like I was phoning the reviews in.
With that said, I recently read The Alchemist. It was originally
recommended to me by a former colleague that cited it as the most influential
piece of fiction they had ever read.
These recommendations don’t always have the same impact on me as they do the
person that recommended it, but they always open me to having a conversion with
the person that recommended it afterwards.
I went into reading The Alchemist with an open mind but early into the book I
felt like I was reading a book written for grade schoolers.
It was such an easy read (both in skill required and length of the story) that I
dismissed the book very early into the process. In fact, I had even told the
wife that I wouldn’t recommend the book.
I finished the book to little or no fanfare. I could understand why people like
the book but I didn’t think anything was all that profound or earth shattering.
A week or so later after finishing the book, and during one of my
alcohol-induced vision quests / growth spurts, the gravity of the story finally
Middle school reading level or not, the story left a profound impression on me
without even realizing it. It’s easily helped re-shape my and my family’s
future, at least in the immediate 5 year plan context.
Against my previous recommendation, the wife is reading the book as I write
this, and I just ordered a physical copy so my now decade old daughter can read
As per usual, I’m not going to go into detail about the book as to not spoil
anything for anybody. It’s just another book about a boy following his dreams.