The Book Review - Five People You Meet in Heaven & The Alchemist

Following up on our book exchange in the office last August, we had asked Sze Li and Karmahn to talk about the books that they’ve chosen - The Five People you meet in Heaven and The Alchemist. 

Five People You Meet in Heaven

Sze Li: 

“The book had an interesting start, because it began with an end - the last hour on Earth for Eddie, a maintenance man in an amusement park. Before he died, Eddie went about his routine like every other day, but something has changed. With the chain of events leading up to his death, it seemed that it was predestined. It made me think of how paradoxical death can be - so sudden yet so planned. Through the five people he met in Heaven, it further emphasised on my belief that we are all each other’s consequences, and that we are all tangled up in one big life. We should never underestimate the impact of our actions and always treat others with kindness and consideration. It also taught me how blessed all of us are, as individuals, even though we can’t see the big picture and easily wind up in self-pity. Perhaps we would only understand these when we look at our lives in retrospect, but we should always be positive and believe in our existence in this world.”

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho 


“The Alchemist is set in ancient Egypt with a simple story plot - a boy on a journey across the desert to fulfil his destiny, that is, to find a treasure hidden beneath the pyramids. Though it was simple, the lessons taught were wise and meaningful. Much like Sun Tzu’s Art of War, it can be readily applied to modern world difficulties despite its ancient setting. It taught me how I should never give up on my dreams and the setbacks I’ve faced  will only bring me closer to my end goal. Throughout the novel, the main theme recurs “When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realise his dream.” I understand that with great dreams comes great risk, and this book have given me the courage and assurance that it’s okay to take risks. After going through ups and downs, the boy finally reached his treasure, only to realise what he treasured most wasn’t the pile of gold he was sitting on. It was the people he encountered and experiences he’ve been through that was truly priceless. It gave me a new perspective in life; that while chasing my dreams, the real treasure I should always be appreciative of are the people around me who will shape me into the best I can be.”

We are glad that they enjoyed their read and they both agreed that having the books covered in brown paper definitely made for a more interesting experience. 

Stay tuned for more book reviews!