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The Alchemist: A Graphic Novel by Paulo Coelho

Published by HarperOne (An imprint of HarperCollins)

Pages: 208

Ages: 18 and up.

Publishers Summary: Andalusian shepherd boy Santiago travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within.

Since its first printing The Alchemist has been translated into seventy-one languages and sold forty million copies worldwide, establishing itself as a modern classic that will enchant and inspire readers for generations to come. Beautifully rendered, The Alchemist: A Graphic Novel is a must have for any collector’s library.

What would you do to accomplish your dreams, especially if you knew they were attainable? This is exactly the delima facing a young shepherd boy named Santiago. His life started out as well taken care of member of a small family with good parents who wanted only the best for him. Even after his decision to become a lowly sheepherder over a more lucrative career is announced, his father still supports him completely. After an early morning dream one day leaves him questioning his choice he’s led to a Gypsy women who shows him the place to accomplish his own path and attain his own “treasure”. Should he stay and marry the simple shop keeper’s daughter or risk everything to seek after treasure? Thus begins Santiago’s journey to accomplish his own Personal Legend.

The Alchemist is a book I’d only heard about in passing and prior to picking it up I had close to no idea what it was about. Many whom have read the “standard” full-length edition have commented on the power of the story and it’s inspirational message. I’d have to say that in many ways, after my reading of this graphic version of the novel, I was pleasantly surprised and in many ways inspired. In addition to this, the graphic novel version is packed full of beautiful illustration after beautiful illustration. Just take a look:

As for the story of Santiago and his journey, it’s definitely unique. What I felt most strongly about him and his journey was his drive and his belief that he could accomplish the task set before him. In many ways the story is quite religious in it’s context, but not so much so that someone who isn’t religious would be put off by it. Being someone who is very faith driven I found his message of seeking after truth and listening to your heart very inspirational. And as Santiago makes his journey all the way to the pyramids you can see where another force outside of himself is constantly guiding him, who or what that is is entirely based on the perception of the reader.

Having said these things I do need to mention that there were a few things about the book that were troubling to me. First of all, though I truly loved the artwork throughout the story I didn’t see the need to have the female characters constantly portrayed in a rather scantily clad attire. I understand that many of them were “other-worldly”, but I also believe the author had a “higher” purpose with this book and it seemed a bit out of place to me. The other issue I had, though I felt inspired at points by Santiago’s journey, was that I didn’t always agree with what he was seeking after…treasure (real treasure). This is entirely a personal thing and I know many readers won’t be at all put off by that. Perhaps it was my faith, but I constantly hoped he would come to the realization that “treasure” or gold in this case isn’t as important as the experiences and lives we touch. Now, I may well have missed this since much of the original text isn’t available by reading the graphic novel version of the story and it makes me curious to read the full version, even the last few chapters.

Overall this was a beautifully done story with gorgeous illustrations. Because of the reasons listed in my above paragraph I don’t feel the story would be appropriate for younger readers, but would definitely be a great “read-together”. What’s truly important about the story comes shining through in the dialogue as well as the images; the most important thing is to strive to accomplish your dreams. This is something I hope to teach my own children and is a valuable lesson to us all. Never cease to seek after those seemingly unattainable goals because you never know just what you may miss by letting them go. A beautiful story, well worth the time to read.

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 16 and up. Due to the graphic nature of the women in the story I wouldn’t recommend this for younger readers. Although, this would make an excellent read-together and a very inspirational discussion book.

Click here to read an excerpt from the book at the HarperOne site!

The Original Version of The Alchemist:

Find Paulo Coelho:
On his website
On his blog
On Twitter: @paulcoelho
On Facebook

“It was an old dream of mine to have The Alchemist as a graphic novel. This version exceeds my expectations and is a beautiful manifestation of what I originally imagined while crafting this story.”  —Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho’s classic novel of self-discovery transcends the written word in this stunning new graphic novel adaptation. Artist Daniel Sampere’s evocative illustration brings readers alongside Andalusian shepherd Santiago as he journeys from country to country learning the truths of life and experience. The Alchemist: A Graphic Novel is perfect for everyone who has found inspiration in Coelho’s many allegorical novels, such as The Pilgrimage, The Valkyries, By the River Pedra, and others, and is an ideal introduction for readers new to the magic of Coelho’s powerful vision.

This book was provided for review as part of a book tour with TLC Book Tours in conjunction with the publisher HarperOne (find them on Twitter here). Thank you so much!
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12 Responses to Book Review: The Alchemist – A Graphic Novel by Paulo Coelho

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Amanda-Lee, A Books Blog, A Books Blog, Danielle Smith, Danielle Smith and others. Danielle Smith said: Book Review: The Alchemist – A Graphic Novel by Paulo Coelho […]

  2. Shy says:

    Oh, I didn’t know that there is a graphic novel for this title! The first time I read the book, I totally did not understand what it was all about but after the second read, I began to get the point. A remarkable read indeed, and surely is one that left a big impression to readers.

  3. I have alllllwayyyyss wanted to read this. How cool that there is a graphic novel. I had no idea. I think I need this now!

  4. trish says:

    This is fascinating! I’ve heard so much about the novel itself that to see it translated into a graphic novel is really cool. You obviously got just as much out of the graphic novel as you could have out of the novel.

  5. Raquel says:

    I’ve been struggling with the original. I picked it up for the 25 Books Latinas Should Read challenge and promptly put it down. I just couldn’t get into it. Maybe the graphic novel will help me!

    I <3 HarperOne

  6. Gina says:

    Sounds like the myth didn’t quite live up to the legend in this case but it made an impression none the less. On the artwork…yeah, it seems to be the main trend in graphic novels…not certain why its assumed “other worldly” women would dress that way in almost all cases… *shakes head* I myself haven’t read this one in any form, and while I’m not certain it’s one for me, I certainly enjoyed your honest opinion on the book. Happy reading!

  7. Doreen Riopel says:

    Yes, a very deep read. I loved it and now, have to get the graphic versiion.

  8. I have never ead the Alchemist although it waits for me on my shelf.

  9. Pam T~ says:

    You know… I keep trying graphic novels — for various reasons –not the least of which is that I’m always on the look out for books boys will love — but they are never quite as satisfying to me as the-book-itself.

    For example, just finished ‘Enders Game’ and ‘The Amulet of Samarkand’. Now one of these books I’d read before and one I hadn’t. And what I found was that in both cases the end result was that I was left with an overwhelming urge to read, and re-read, the original books.

    So what’s with that? Is it because I’m a mom now and old? Does anyone else experience the same thing?

  10. […] Reviews: One Book Shy | The Zen Leaf | There’s a Book | The Brain Lair | Colloquium | Wise Owl Book Review […]

  11. Dosent matter says:

    Don’t reccommend this book at all! Haven’t read the original but this is an odd storyline with bad spelling and sexist pictures!

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