There an excellent review by Adam Mars-Jones of the latest pile of Paulo Coelho in an old Observer.
There aren’t many authors more despicable than Jeffery Archer, who has at least written two half-decent books and is not fooling anyone. Paulo Coelho is a worse writer and a more loathesome creature, a prideful and avaricious seller of spiritual snake-oil, who believes his own hype but is anything but a role model.
There a big clue at the end of the Alchemist.. and I’m not sorry to spoil it for you if you haven’t read it.. the book drags like sludge through the story of a quest for treasure and yes the ‘treasure’ that the protagonist has been hunting all along turns out not to be where he was expecting to find it… but it was still treasure, gold and rubies and crap like that. I know this is supposed to be a metaphor for how doing the right thing will lead to reward (a wholly inaccurate idea and a very bad faithed reason for doing the right thing in the first place..) I prefer to think of it as a metaphor for Paulo Coelho. He pretends to be interested in morals and spirituality but ultimately he’s all about the money.