Other reviews at The Book Babe's Reads.
My experience with The Alchemist can only be described as enlightening. It really was an enlightening read. I liked the kind of mindless cadence that I could read it with - a lot of it sunk in. And it was so short that I covered it in just a few hours.
The writing was beautiful, even if it tended to be very repetitive in themes. A lot of "finding your personal legend" and "listening to the Soul of the World". Thankfully, they didn't take away from my overall enjoyment level - they were good messages, honestly.
I enjoyed the point of view that was used - I can rarely get into third person, but this one was just easy to slip into. Like an ancient myth or a legend. Santiago is only named one time, ever, and he's our main character. Throughout most of the book, he's referred to as "the boy", and other characters are referred to as "the old king", "the alchemist", and "the englishman" (along with a few others). The only characters that are truly named are the women... which I actually find to be an interesting statement. Is it a metaphor, or is it just a weird quirk? Whatever it was, it made things pretty interesting.
The only thing that was a bit of a disappointment was the character development - it was thrown to the side in favor of Santiago's story. His finding himself, and finding his personal legend took the spotlight from his development, which I didn't really mind, even though I love development. So, all in all, The Alchemist was a really interesting read. I'd definitely recommend giving it a shot - for some reason, I thought it would be boring. But it wasn't. It wasn't at all.