Coelho, Paulo "The Alchemist: A Fable about Following Your Dream" (Portuguese: O Alquimista) - 1988
My first Coelho. Certainly not my last. This novel was fantastic, what a great author. He is able to use the words in a way that is just plain admirable. He is a poet, his sentences are so beautiful.
He gives us a Medieval story about mysticism and superstition, about life back then in several areas. From Andalusia, Spain to Tangiers, Northern Africa and finally to Egypt, the Alchemist takes a long journey and not only in distance. A philosophical story, what are you willing to sacrifice for your dream, what are you willing to do for it.
One of the most important quotes: "Those who don't understand their personal legends will fail to comprehend its teachings."
This is a story that will never leave you.
From the back cover:
"This is the magical story of Santiago, a shepherd boy who dreams of travelling the world to seek the most wonderful treasures known to man. From his home in Spain, he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and, from there, into the Egyptian desert, where a fateful encounter with the alchemist awaits him.
Coelho's fascinating storytelling, with its mixture of spirituality, magical realism and folklore, makes The Alchemist a story that will delight any reader and inspire us all to follow our dreams."
I also read "Brida" which didn't impress me as much, unfortunately.