Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Alchemist

It's been a while that I didn't go to a local bookstore to buy a book. I haven't been to Gramedia Matraman either, ever since it's been renovated and dubbed as the biggest bookstore in Southeast Asia, with an opening ceremony that clogged the street and attended by President SBY last month.

I did pay visits to bookstores in Changi airport when I went to Singapore a couple of times for meetings, and in Hong Kong when I was in transit to Beijing and on the way back to Jakarta few days ago, but no books caught my interests. Sometimes, we are not the one who choose the book, it's the book "who" chooses us.

The last time I bought books when I was at TIM, one from a hawker at the food court, and another two books from Putu Wijaya at his booth at Teater Kecil with his signature on them. But buying books and reading them are two different things, and whether we can get something out of them is also an uncertainty.

It was last night when I was on the way out from Plaza Senayan shopping mall that this book made a call again on my head and drove me to a bookstore just to get it on my hand for Rp. 70,000, a paper back of the English version. I've heard people talking about the book, and the famous author, Paulo Coelho, but the calls were not loud yet, until last night.

The book was first published in Brazil in 1988 and is the most famous work of the author, according to Wikipedia. It took 19 years to get the message delivered to my hand.

I've read the few first pages of the book, and so far so good. Normally, the first and sometimes the last 10 - 20 pages, regardless the book's thickness, are the most important parts of a book.

Hence, you may want to get a copy of the book today if you haven't got a chance to buy one. If you have read it, appreciate if you can just think for a few seconds and then be so kind to hit the comment button to share your thoughts.


  1. buku bagus!!! buku pertama yang mengenalkanku pada karya-karya Coelho

  2. just finished reading it nduk, it contains precious ancient wisdoms that resides in everyone's heart but continue to lay dormant for so many years...

  3. Dah mbaca dulu banget, dioleh2in suamiku.
    Jadi pengin nunggu wangsit dari langit sambil angon mbek.

    FYI, tuh buku udah diterjemahin scr legal oleh GPU, tapi sempet dibajak duluan sama penerbit 4lv4bet. :D

  4. ah, tentang bahasa buana dan bagaimana alam semesta akan membantumu mengarahkan jalan untuk menggapai apa yang sunguh-sungguh kau inginkan. such a great book. u should try reading 'Veronica Decides to Die' and 'By the River Piedra I Sat and Weep'. jackpot: 'The Devil and Miss Prym'.

  5. @Mau Angon Komodo: mbaca terjemahan ada enak gaknya nduk. warna pilihan bahasa penterjemahnya bisa sangat kental, padahal yg versi enggres juga sudah terjemahan... beli kambing ya nduk buat kasih makan si komodo dragon, nah trus blajar kehidupan deh dengan angon komodo...

    @someone who's being written: yeah, "when u want something, all the universe conspires in helping u to achieve it".
    it's "maktub" that u were here as well :D.
    will see how long will it take for the other books to be in my hand..

  6. Halo Pak Bambang,

    So, finally read the alchemist :)
    Very very essential book everyone should read (don't read translations though, will ruin some parts), way before 'the secret' was launched.'ll gonna love his other books :) read Fifth Mountain and Zahir. You'll be forced to look deep within.


  7. Mas, this is one of my fave book, i mean it must be everyone fave's:)
    ummmm...please read The Witch of Portobello juga ya...

  8. @yulidarmawan: hi nduk, apa kabare, lagi ngerjain proyek di mana kah?
    yeah, glad that finally the book made the call.... I did read the English version.
    I went to Gramed Matraman to find another books last Sunday, but I could only get the translated versions...
    awaiting for your invitation nduk...

    @TASH: will try to find it at Kinokuniya nduk, maybe I can find it there...

  9. duh, belum baca, Pak...
    Tapi jadi tertarik baca nih setelah baca postingannya, plus komen2 yang lain..
    Review dong Pak... :D

  10. @Dini: memang buku yang bagus koq nduk. wis pokoke tuku wae, dinikmati dan dicermati ketika membaca, dikunyah yg cukup, jangan buru2 disantap habis ya....

  11. ya... ini memang buku bagus.
    membuat saya jadi baca buku ini berulang kali supaya bisa mendalami maknanya..
    kebetulan saya baca yang sudah diterjemahkan oleh gramedia... dan menurut saya terjemahan yang the alchemist ini cukup bagus...
    kemudian... saya coba baca buku paul coelho lainnya..
    namun, kok ndak sebagus yang the alchemist ini ya... ini menurut saya lho ya...
    tp yang suka paul coelho mah mesti bilang semuanya bagus..
    ada the zahir... ada lagi lainnya saya lupa..
    tp... tidak begitu bikin nafsu.. sebagaimana jika kita baca buku the alchemist...
    yang the alchemist ini.. memang sederhana namun maknanya dalem banget..
    yang lainnya... begitu penuh makna.. tp saya bingung... jadi.. kali memang saya yang lemot kali ya..
    but... the alchemist memang bagus banget isinya...membuat kita jadi semakin mencintai hidup yang penuh teka teki ini...

  12. buku ini saya baca 5 kali, baca awalnya cuma baca, terusnya mendalami.
    tapi masih ada aja bagian2 yang belum dimengerti :)

  13. @retnanda: zahir baru aku baca sebagian nduk, namun "veronika memutuskan mati" bagus juga menurutku, provokatif...

    @bodrox: lha wong pengarangnya sendiri kalau ditanya juga mungkin gak tahu smuanya koq bung ... :D

  14. bangjo9:37 AM

    Sebelumnya salam kenal

    Buku ini sering kali aku baca ulang ketika aku merasa "mimpiku" sulit untuk dicapai. Membimbingku untuk mempertanyakan ulang pula mimpi-mimpiku.
    Buku terakhir yang kubaca dari pengarang yang sama seminggu yang lalu adalah Eleven Minutes, mencengangkan dan provokatif.

  15. @bangjo: lem kenal juga bung... kepercayaan itu ada batasnya juga, tidak semua mimpi akan terwujud dalam kehidupan ini, lantaran pilihan2 yang kita ambil sepanjang perjalanan hidup yg singkat ini.
    Eleven Minutes belum beli bung, terima kasih infonya.

  16. sachin7:33 PM

    hey r u intersted in link exchange ??
    if u r.
    then write me a comment on my blog..


  17. The Alchemist is one of my favorite books...I agree with Paulo Coehlo's philosophy about life, love and dreams..."Wherever your heart is, there you'll find your treasure" is just one of my favorite lines in the book...I have to admit..I live my life according to this lines.