Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Alchemist

"Hello mister, pleased to meet ya," Big Jet Plane by Angus & Julia Stone.

So I finished reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho the other day (yeah, I is slowpoke, I know). Basically what the author intended for the reader to get out of reading the story is that one must be bold enough to pursue their dreams and be confident that the universe will conspire to make your dream a reality, as long as you keep pursuing it. A very "The Secret" kind of concept, if you will.

I found it inspirational and it was a kick in the backside for the little-old-me who is too lazy to get off bed and do anything outside my comfort zone. The story is definitely capable of being life-changing, but I guess I'm too deeply set in my recliner that its effect on me wasn't to that extent.

As mentioned in the previous post, I'm on GoodReads, so I entered this book in my "read" shelf. I made my way to the "reviews" section of the book and I was surprised to find as many negative reviews as it did. This is one example:

"I'm not sure that I can capture my utter disdain for this book in words, but I'll give it a shot. I read this book about three years ago and just had to re-read it for book club. It was a steaming pile of crap then and, guess what? it's a steaming pile of crap now."

Then a thought struck my mind. Mr Coelho, he wrote a book about pursuing your dreams and he did exactly that: he wrote lots of books. And now look at him; an incredibly successful author whose books fly off shelves worldwide.

Now we take a look at these negative reviewers. They spit out bitterness and criticize the book for not being good enough for them, and where are they now? A commenter on GoodReads. I'm sure they are the envy of the world.

What I'm getting at is it doesn't matter whether or not Mr Coelho actually does produce steaming piles of crap in written form. What matters is that he was/is audacious enough to pursue his dream and persist with it to the end. He is now one of the most successful modern authors alive. 

Those reviewers, they read the book. Sure it's definitely within their rights to dislike the book. They can dislike any book if that makes them feel better about themselves. But the thing is, they didn't get what the book was trying to say. The book asked them to get off their perch and actually start doing something. Something that would occupy their time so much it would leave them no time to post negative comments on a book-sharing social media site. 

They didn't get that. And they put in the time, thought and energy to post something so resentful and bitter that only revealed more about themselves than the book they were reviewing. I feel sorry for them. They could be so much more if they took the effort to do something about it. But Paulo Coelho is still up there being a best-selling author, last time I checked; and any credible author out there right now certainly does not post such reviews on an app called GoodReads, so they can't be very successful authors who publish books any better than the book they bashed, could they?

I'm not saying that I am successful by any measure. If anything, I am still struggling to find my own personal legend. But I try not to be bitter about people who are successful. Even if I am, I certainly don't post it online, because that would only reveal how pathetic I really am. 

Even if you do feel pathetic, you don't need to reveal to the whole world that. It serves no purpose. None at all.

Main point, you can dislike any book/music/person/thing you want. But if that thing has something beneficial, take it. Use it to propel yourself to become better and hopefully more successful. Don't, at any cost, just sit there being bitter without doing anything about it. I'm telling this to myself more than anyone else, really.

May peace be upon you.



Sara Roger said...

I can't stop reading in your voice O.o

Anonymous said...

The Alchemist!! Good choice! ;) My favourite quote from the book would be "The darkest hour of the night comes just before the dawn"

Tengkubutang said...

err.. ini anwarhadi Utube tu kan? yg buat video tentang sebutan Euwww tu kan? waa.. betul ke ni?? hee..

hai.. salam kenal,
follower no.7658
done follow sini,
jom follow teman yea..=) -->(official) -->2nd blog

HopelessKlutz said...

bak kata tere liye, "jangan mau jadi kritikus buku, tapi tidak pernah menulis buku". ;)

q.z. said...

This. Is an eye opener. Thank you.

anak pak man said...

That line has been tweeted and facebook statused like crazy. Haha

Agreed. :)

You're welcome. :)

Anonymous said...

hey Anwar Hadi..ever thought of making a book review but in d form of a song? i like ur voice