"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Alchemist: a Graphic Novel by Paulo Coelho

Back in the early 1990s I accidentally read The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho mistaking it for The Archivist by Martha Cooley, which was that month's book club selection. I remember thinking that it was a wonderful, allegorical tale and I looked forward to discussing it with others. That didn't happen, thanks to my mistake. Since that time both of my daughters have read the book for an English class assignment, most of my friends have read and enjoyed it, and it is the summer reading assignment for the in-coming senior class at my school. In all that time this is my first rereading of the book. I chose to read the Graphic Novel version, published in 2010, as I just purchased it for the library and wanted to know how true it was to the original story. Coelho said that he had long wanted a graphic adaptation for his tale but until he now he did not find a publisher or a design team that met his standards. This book, published by Sea Lion Books, was adapted by Derek Ruiz and illustrated by Daniel Samphere, is spot on! It catches all the main themes and adds a beautiful visual aspect to the story.

Here is the book's trailer:

Here are some interesting tidbits of information that I learned about the book from Wikipedia:
-The book was originally published in Portuguese in 1988.
-It has now been translated into over 65 languages, the most of any book with a living author.
-There has never been a big marketing campaign set up to sell the book, rather, most people select it based on a word-of-mouth recommendation from a friend.

The main theme of the book: To find your treasure you must discover and follow your own personal legend. "Those who don't understand their personal legends will fail to comprehend its teachings;" and "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."

Even though I am not a huge graphic novel fan, I enjoyed this adaptation of The Alchemist very much and can recommend it without reservation.

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