I write, read and review, I blog frequently and love anything to do with books and writing, including editing. I am a Book Nerd and I wear that badge with pride. http://coffee2words.wordpress.com
The alchemist seems to be a favourite of a lot of people. It seems to draw fans who like a huge array of genres too.
For me, it fell very flat. It read as a fable, but also as if it was trying to preach. I hated that.
While the sense of adventure was there, the story seemed to move at a glacial pace. Focusing on the most inane detail.
I didn't feel any sort of connection with Santiago, or The Alchemist, the Englishman or Fatima. It was like being kept outside and watching a story unfold through glass. Unable to participate.
Some reviews discuss the philosophical awareness that this book supposedly has, the push to make its readers focus on their own journey. But I feel it was nothing but a quest story being tarnished with a religious brush and dressed up as something it's not.
I doubt I'll read more of Paulo's work. It just didn't fit right with me.