The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

the alchemist book coverDisappointing and Offensive Tripe – 1 Star

I have a disclaimer and I am going to get it out of the way right now. I am a Christian and my belief are generally in line with those you might consider evangelical. That said, I wasn’t crying foul over the DiVinci Code nor do I avoid books that involve wizards or magic.  I don’t believe that Harry Potter was written by Satan and I do not hold book burning parties for those books which “offend the moral sensitivities”. I have read many books that do no share my view on Christianity. Authors often take liberty with Biblical accounts or add elements to scriptures that are not there. It doesn’t bother me. I know what I believe.  I am not easily offended. I have read books that tried to be offensive, books that offended many others and books that people say should have offended me, yet I was not offended.

I know what does bother me and it was on full display in this novel. The Alchemist purports to tell the story in the vein of a “Christian” Parable. The main character professes to be a Christian, professes a belief in Jesus. The problem is that the author does not present Christianity but rather a form of Mysticism and Religious Plurality. In essence, God is not a being or entity but rather everywhere and everything, including in nature, Jesus, Allah and Buddha.

Before you jump down my throat, I don’t have a problem with the author writing of his belief system. I have a problem with the author cloaking his belief system within the guise of my own. I found it to be offensive and disingenuous. He has taken the framework of Christianity and subtly introduced elements of his own worldview.

In reality, this a generic “spiritual” parable and holds itself out as something else.  It get one star for the offence of personation of Christianity.

Outside of this, the story was rather dull and unimaginative. They only clever elements was at the very end. Honestly, this story could have been told in about 150 less pages. I do not understand what people have found to be so charming and compelling about this less than average tale.  If you are looking for a heartwarming and uplifting parable, look somewhere else.

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Tim Written by:

Tim is a lawyer, sports fan, parent, husband and book lover. He runs his own legal practice and is the founder of The Literary Lawyer book blog and a contributing writer for Tim loves to share his love of reading by providing reviews to entertain as well as provide information to help you make an informed reading decision.