Written as a fable, The Alchemist is the philosophical and adventurous tale of Santiago, a simple Andulasian shepherd boy. Urged by a recurring dream to follow his true calling, Santiago starts off on a magical journey, drawing the readers along with him. The book has a simple and powerful message that is summed up in its central theme – 'When you want something, the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.'
Santiago sets out to travel the world in search of an invaluable treasure, and the story of all the treasures that Santiago finds along his way enlightens us about the wisdom of listening to our hearts and recognizing the omens that are strewn along life's path and more than that, our dreams.
The main theme of the book is about finding one's destiny and is more of a self-help book rather than just literature. The Alchemist is a book that has changed the lives of many forever. The book established itself as a modern classic when its sales surpassed more than 1.5 million around the world.
The Alchemist sold 65 million books, as per a report released by the publisher, Harper Collins. It was originally written in Portuguese in the year 1988. It has been reproduced in around 67 different languages and made Coelho the world's most translated author among the ones who are alive. The book has been highly praised by critics and has made it to the bestsellers list in a total of 74 countries.