After years of my best friend telling me to read The Alchemist, I finally did. Thumbs Up.
Without saying anything about the plot, knowing that the book that was originally written in Portuguese has since been translated into 56 languages, won the Guinness World Record for most translated book by a living author, and sold more then 65 million copies in more than 150 countries, becoming one of the best-selling books in history, should be convincing enough. (wikipedia)
Following The Alchemist, I wanted to read more from Paulo Coehlo and being stuck in the airport on my way home from Israel last month, decided on The Witch of Portobello. I have to say that after The Alchemist, I was not impressed. I felt like it was trying too hard to mix in a message with a story. I would say, start with the other books and end with the one that was the best seller to go out with a bang. I truly loved The Alchemist and think it is a book everyone should read at least once.
There is a brief description at the end of TWOP of Mr. Coelho's life and WOW it seemed intense. Born in Brazil, placed in mental institutions, a life of denial, hippies, being kidnapped... I'd just read about the man's life for a while! It's quite inspiring.