Tuesday, May 15, 2018

I finally read The Alchemist

The Alchemist, Paul Coellho
I finally read this -- months ago -- but I neglected to post!  I've been meaning to read The Alchemist for years.  When I was a high school English teacher, one of my colleagues used it for a novel study (while I was using Ender's Game), and while she would gush, 90% of her students groaned about it during form-time.  I think only one or two of the boys had positive things to say about it (it was an all-boys private school).  This didn't put me off -- I was curious -- but as a young teacher, I hadn't yet rediscovered reading for pleasure; I was doing my best to stay ahead with all the texts I was teaching.  Because someone I care about was reading it, it brought it back to my attention, and promoted it on my "To Read" list.  I enjoyed the parts that reminded me of A Monster Calls (it did this in its mentor tone, in parts), and where its allegory resembled Life of Pi.  Sadly, too often the mentoring and allegory devolved into heavy-handed philosophy.  The tangents, too, could go overboard.  It's a shame, because I think there's redeeming content here.  Overall: I'm glad I know what people are talking about, this is a much-discussed book.  It's not one of my favourites.

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