This is the first Paulo Coelho book I read. I have heard so much about The Alchemist, I thought I would read whatever Coelho has written.
Unfortunately, this book is not that great. The story is simple, a girl gets a call from a child hood friend who is now in the seminary, to attend his lecture. She meets him and the bonding gets strengthened, then she comes to know that he has the ability to create miracles and cure people. But he is torn between his love for her and his responsibility towards fellow humans. By the time she decides to support him in his role, he gives up his ability to be with her. So she runs away from him and writes the story sitting in front of the river Piedra. Belief has it that anything thrown into the river Piedra turns into stone and she thinks she can cast away her sorrow.
It would have been better if the story ended there. However he comes back in search of her and promises to be with her and cure people too.
Coelho has a way with words and even his simple sentences are lyrical. But somehow the emotional bonding with characters necessary for a great story is missing in this. May be there is an allegory in the story that is beyond me. The way I understood is, it is the story of a man torn between his responsibility and his love. And it is definitely not a great story. Hope that The Alchemist is not a let down like this.
You wouldn't miss much if you skip this book