The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho OK, it is nine PM and the power is out due to a bad storm. There's not much to do except read by candle light. The Alchemist is sitting on my shelf. What the heck. It is short and I've been meaning to see what all the hubbub is about.

If there was anything else to do, I would have thrown this book across the room and forgot about it. But I read the entire pretentious thing. The Alchemist is a throw-everything-in-but-the-kitchen-sink parable that is full of condescending platitudes and dime-store spiritualism. The characters were all so one-dimensional that I wondered if I was transported to Flatland."Follow your destiny". "Home is where your treasure is", "Sheep are cute" etc. are not bad messages but using them as a hammer to beat you over the head with isn't going to get you many literary points. The only thing I can say good about this book is that I liked it more than Jonathan Livingston Seagull but not much. If you are looking for a parable about life as a spiritual journey, avoid this book and find a copy of the classic Siddartha by Herman Hesse.