The Alchemist is a very quick and simple read with a lot of bits of meaning and advice laden throughout the quest of a young Shepard who goes in search of his own personal legend (destiny). The story itself was pretty good and I actually felt a connection with "the boy" and I internally cheered him along on his mission.My main problem with the book was the introduction written by Paulo Coelho himself. It's sort of a 3 page recap of the story you're about to read. Thus, I'd suggest you read the story and then go back and read the intro.I'm not a spritual person at all and this book had the unique ability to get me to consider my view of God and the universe. Granted, it didn't change my general opinion - but it did help me verbalize exactly what it is I think which, I believe, is pretty damn cool.The book also left me thinking about where I am in life and where I always dreamed of being - to consider what my own Personal Legend was, or still is.It's a quick and easy read that plants some not so easy questions in your mind. Read and enjoy.