Publisher: Harper Collins
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“Evil had to manifest itself and fulfil its role, so that ultimately Good could prevail.”
“The Alchemist” of the pioneer of philosophy has driven me to take up this book which mirrors many thoughts that we think of analysing everytime they flit across our mind but never dare to. Paulo,in this seemingly slow book depicts the war between evil and good that takes place in one's mind through an interesting story. The story may be fictional but every thought in this book reflects the reality of one's life.
A stranger,who is once a business man renounces everything after his family gets killed mercilessly in a nightmarish incident. He then searches the world whether there is any goodness still existing. For knowing the truth he goes to a sleepy village where he meets a young lady working as a barmaid. The author in her face justifies the quote “grass on the other side is always greener” by characterising her as a person who wants to lead a luxurious life leaving the gloomy village to some city on the other side. The stranger sets a deal with her asking her to convey his offer to all the villager. He offers ten bars of gold to the village if they kill one person among them. He promises one gold bar to the lady as a payoff for her job. It is here the author starts showing the conflict between her greed and the goodness that is rooted in her as a human. He often puts forward her conversation with her angel and her evil. She some how informs the offer to the villagers and the rest of the story is all about who wins the war whether it is evil that evolves out of desire for riches or good.
Paulo ,in this book elucidates how people (their evil) do convince themselves for their acts of greed and violence. In this book also he doesn't leave his favourite concepts of omens and souls. The author conveys the omens through an old woman in the village who communicates with her husband's soul. He uses this character in weaving the many important aspects he want to induce into his readers.
Paulo also jots down his pilosophy regarding cowardice and staying calm which I felt as an anti Gandhian one. Ofcourse, it is not that easy to read the master's mind which is an encyclopedia of fulgurant thoughts.
"Playing the part of a charitable soul was only for those who were afraid of taking a stand in life."