Royal Wedding : A Meg Cabot’s Book Review

No one, at least those with continuos access to the Internet, will have never heard of Anne Hathaway and the many many amazing movies she’s starred in. My personal favorite is the Princess Diaries (probably because my helpless tendency to love fairytale-ish stuffs) – so I was notably upset when I found out that the book from which the movie is based is actually the first of (currently) nine books of the series.

Which I found out accidentally, by the way. Apparently the copy of the eleventh book, The Royal Wedding, was lying around in my bookshelves.

I love the way Meg Cabot writes the book : the occassional sarcasm, the way she develops Princess Mia’s personality (I was shocked that she’s 26 yo in this book, the princess was so small in the movie!), and the way everything about the book fulfills one’s fairytale-ish fantasy. Mia’s not so occassional sarcasm and insecurity really bring to light that no matter what your position in life, there are gonna be things that make you uncomfortable, and that’s fine : All of us have our own problems and our own unusual ways of solving things. All of us make mistakes and learn from them, and the sun rise and once again we will try to do our best.

Okay wise rant end here. Back to the book.

Doesn’t the cover just look amazing? Pict credit to

The story takes place in New York, and starts with the scandal caused by Mia’s father’s overspeeding in the highway of NYC with his newly acquired F1 car (apparently in an attempt to steal Mia’s mother’s attention, whom he apparently still in love with). Of course this only result in his arrest by the NYPD, and all the press just have  to put the news as their headline, potentially crushing Mia’s dad’s (later I learned his name is Prince Artur Philippe) chance at winning the Genovia’s PM election. Mia and her Grandmere (currently the dowager princess of Genovia) were also busy handling some other stuffs like refugee crisis, demonstration, and (for Mia) the new community centre opened in behalf on her late stepfather Mr. Gianini.

Mia’s long time boyfriend Michael Moscovitz proposed during their weekend getaway in an exotic Exumas island, right on her 26th birthday. Which is soooo cute. But also a little disastrous since apparently press always knows in advance of things like this and the date of the wedding as well as several details were out before either Mia or Michael get the chance to tell their families and friends personally.

And another drama : Mia has a half-sister. Apparently her father fell in love with a jet flyer Elizabeth Harrison and had a daughter with her, Olivia Grace. My first thought : Meg Cabot just goes all Grey’s Anatomy on us! (Really though, Shonda, Meredith having two half-sisters and not knowing about it until adulthood is a little too much). And her father has been paying child support too, as well as corresponding with letter to her. Hmm. Mia’s first impulse was to run to the girl and embrace her little sister, an impulse that just got magnified when she found out the girl’s family (Olivia is living with her uncle’s since her mother died when she was two) was about to move to Qalif. Although I appreciate Mia’s heroic action of going to New Jersey and save her sister from a school bully just in time, my logical side can’t help but frown at this : more scandal, really? As if the Dad-in-the-court and soon-to-happen-wedding is not enough to overwhelm oneself.

The book closed with a chain of joyous news : Mia turned out be 8 weeks pregnant with twins, Mia’s parents get back together (although this means her father abdicating the throne, thus putting Mia immediately next in line as Genovia’s ruler), Olivia and Rocky (Mia’s half brother) are going with them to Genovia, and of course, they’re married. Our beloved Mia Thermopolis and Michael Moscovitz, married!

Oh, and for the record, I would love for the twins to be named Luke and Leia (if they’re girl and boy). I mean sure naming the twins Arthur or Helen or Elizabeth or Phillip is good, but naming them after world famous twins is just epic. That’s what I will – or would – do if I were a princess giving birth to twin anyway 😀


The Enemy : A Desmond Bagley’s Novel Review

So, for my (literally) last English reading assignment in my 12 years of school, I got this Oxford book entitled “The Enemy”. It was originally written by Desmond Bagley. Happy reading my summary! And yes, if you’re wondering,it has spoilers.

Not being in the mood to really study that night, I made a cup of coffee and took my The Enemy copy with me to the study room. If the characters of this book turned out to be depressed and misunderstood sort of people like in my previous reading, I thought to myself, I would close it and spend the hours sipping the coffee. Or chatting.

Which was, thankfully, the exact opposite of what I’d done that night. But how could you stop reading such a fast-moving, intelligently-arranged, unpredictable novel even if it has been abridged? When science met politic and the long buried secret was in danger of being exposed? When professionality was tested by love and idealism? To keep you from not wondering a second longer, here’s a short synopsis.

Malcolm Jaggard introduced himself as an economist to most people, including his hopefully father-in-law to-be George Ashton. He had been dating his lovely daughter, Penelope Ashton, for several weeks then and definitely found the biologist/geneticist attractive. He was spending a Sunday with the Ashtons when the first tragedy marking the beginning of this novel occured. Penelope’s own sister, Gillian, was thrown acid on the face by a stranger.

Penny was sad, and Malcolm can’t think of any explanation of the stranger’s behaviour. But Mr. Ashton reaction was the most confusing of all. He suggested –almost insisted- on Malcolm proposing Penny and taking a job in Australia. Weird, right? And because Malcolm was actually a spycatcher, and has access to secret databases, he used this to find who Ashton might be. It shocked him to find that George Ashton’s bio was not accessible to his level, red, and can only be accessed by those of black levels. And it shocked him more when his boss instructed him to guard both Penny and George Ashton.

But just as Malcolm arranged his spying plan, George Ashton disappeared. His letter explained little –if any- reason why, merely indicating his sudden departure with his servant Benson was to protect Penny and he wished Penny and Malcolm happiness. Nevertheless, no further information on Ashton made Malcolm’s work impossible, and he insisted on access to Ashton’s bio in the office’s secret database which his boss, however illegally and reluctantly, gave to him.

George Ashton turned out to be Aleksandr Chelyuskin, a genious Russian scientist who ‘retired’ from weapon lab’s work, faked his death, and moved to Britain. Here he ‘stole’ a dead man’s identity, got married, even developed a business that had made him quite rich. Unless for the business, even his own daughters knew nothing of these.

The police finally found the man who threw acid at Gillian’s face, but Mayberry – that’s what he was called – had nothing to do with George Ashton. So George Ashton’s fear might be wrong after all (the man wanted to harm Penny Ashton for interfering with God’s creatures, but he got the wrong girl). No sooner had he discovered this fact than he discovered that his other boss, Cregar the politician, had been seeing Penny’s professor, Lumsden. Things just got more suspicious.

Then finally George Ashton and Benson were seen in Stockholm, both under different names. Of course Malcolm and his men were at him for once, but things were a lot more complicated that they had anticipated for Russians were spying on Ashton as well. Malcolm got Ashton at last, but hardly had they began talking than a bullet shot through his head by, wait for it, Benson himself! Benson was then shot by one of Malcolm’s man, Henty. But not before he died did Ashton gave Malcolm a train timetable.

Malcolm and his team then went back to England. Most head departments agreed that this failure had proved Malcolm’s lack of competence to undertake the job. However, Ogilvie wanted him to continue , and wanting to see from different angle, Malcolm looked for Benson. Much to his amazement, Benson’s file had disappeared, so Malcolm alerts his superior about it. Suspicions arose. Malcolm tracked Benson’s record to the army (where he worked some thirty years ago) and found that the real Benson had died before 1947. I thought to myself, great. Another impostor to add to the drama. Even more, Benson was actually a spy for Cregar.

Malcolm then realized the model railway that was hidden at Ashton’s house is actually a computer with lots of studies about genetics. At the same time, Penny disappears. Malcolm goes after her and finds her in government’s secret lab in a remote island ran by Cregar. There he saw Penny lying on a bed, badly ill from new bacteria in the lab. Cregar refused to take her to the hospital because of ‘security risk’ and in turn Malcolm blamed him for not taking Penny’s advice on the lab’s safety. This initiated a hard feeling between the two men, and they ended up breaking a glass containing new mutant bacteria. Realizing the danger, Cregar fought his way out but fainted halfway to the door.

Malcolm managed to make contact with one of his man, so that three of them can be transported safely to the mainland. After extensive care from the best doctors from the U.S, Penny recovered. Unfortunately Malcolm wasn’t as lucky, for the unknown bacteria in the lab had caused him malignant cancer and he was to live no more than a year.

I was totally satisfied of the story until this part. Why didn’t Desmond Bagley make a fairy-tale ending for Penny and Malcolm? So Malcolm retired, and spent his last months with Penny in Ireland. Here Malcolm wrote about what things government do in the name of ‘the people’, and how they control things like science and media while Penny took a great care nursing and proofreading his writing. I didn’t know how short their happiness last, for the brightest fire blaze the shortest. But happiness, nevertheless.

oxford cover

This is the best Oxford book I have read for I didn’t put it down until I finished reading it. In my opinion, it makes sense that government controls things because it’s their job to protect the people. It only gets worse if people like Cregar dominates it. However, from the scale 1 to 10, well, I give this book a twelve!

“We have met The Enemy,
and he is us”

written by Tamara Ey Firsty

Heat and Dust : The Story of India

A while ago, I read a book called Heat and Dust. The abridged version, actually, but the same story nevertheless. I’d like to share it with you….

Authentic Author : Ruth Prawer Jhabvala


The character “I” in this story is told to be an independent young woman who was born and lived in England. Her grandfather, Douglas Rivers, was once an assistant of chief in Satipur, India, when British still colonized India. He was married with Olivia, but a scandal happened back then in 1923, when everything changed in, especially, Olivia’s life. Douglas remarried with Tessie Crawford, had a son, who lived in England and was told to be the father of this story’s writer.images

The writer (name is not told) had always been interested in Olivia’s life story, but it’s not until his dad died she got some important information. One day due to Marcia’s (Olivia’s sister) death, a friend Harry gave the Rivers family Olivia’s letters to Marcia about her life in India. The writer kept these letters, and in 1970s, she decided she needed to know more about Olivia, and left for India.

The rest of this book shows the parts of writer’s diary and Olivia’s life, comparing their life in the same place in India but in the different time. Their life was completely different but yet the same in some strange ways. Here it goes…

Being the first wife of a busy official in a foreign country with no one else to share thoughts was pretty depressing for Olivia. Sure she loved her husband Douglas, and he loved her very much as well, but during the day, Olivia only had her piano and she was beginning to get bored. One day the Nawab, an Indian prince, invited British’s officials in Satipur for dinner. Olivia was excited because this was new to her, and she totally enjoyed it when the Nawab seemed to have special interest in her.

Few days later, the Nawab came to her house. They had a good time chatting in the living room. Olivia was clearly thinking the Nawab was a good man. One day, they both went to Baba Firdaus’ shrine, a holy place where Hindu women usually come if they wish to have a baby. But the place was believed to be built by a Muslim, and this aroused controversy every year at Husband Wedding’s Day.  People are killed and injured.

Olivia then started to hear bad news about the Nawab. The British believed that he was a leader of a robber gang that’s been robbing and arousing fear for local villagers. Also the fact that he did nothing to stop the controversy on Husband Wedding’s Day or the widow-burning custom where wives were burnt alive together with their dead husbands. Hearing this talk didn’t make Olivia lose faith in her new friend and she kept visiting the Nawab’s palace during the day, which Douglas didn’t even know, and defended him when the other British talked about his bad.

The climax is when Olivia and the Nawab went to Baba Firdaus’ shrine together. At that time Olivia and Douglas were planning of having a baby, so of course Olivia’s hoping this visit could grant her wish. But after visiting, she and the Nawab made out under a tree…

Which is kind of what the writer also did.

When the writer arrived in Bombay’s airport, she found that India had developed and looked different than what Olivia described in her letters. She stayed in a missionary guesthouse for a while until she went to Satipur and rented a room in Inder Lal’s home. Inder Lal worked for the government, yet he and his family was poor. But he was kind. He took the writer to the building that used to be the Nawab’s palace, the Rivers’ home, the Saunders’ home, etc, and he introduced her to many things about living in India.

She got used to live there, even made friends with Inder Lal’s mom and her ‘holy’ friend, Maji. But her best friend was still Inder Lal. But then Inder Lal’s wife Ritu got some sort of mental illness and as Maji suggested, had to leave for a pilgrimage to the Himalayas. Inder Lal’s mom and a homeless man named Chid accompanied her.

Either that was because he was lonely or he really liked the writer, Inder Lal started to spend more time with her. Their story ended up the same with Olivia’s – both of them went to the shrine and made out.

Olivia and the writer might not have shared the same blood and certainly had never met each other. But they did have the same destiny as the made out thing got them both pregnant, and they both tried to abort the baby. Olivia’s abortion was done by two Indian midwives ordered by the Begum, the Nawab’s mother. At night she bled and Douglas brought her to the hospital, but of course it was too late, she miscarried. But the doctor, Dr.Saunder, recognized the sign of Indian midwives and accused Olivia for abortion. She ran to the Nawab’s home and never came back, living the rest of her life in a house provided by the Nawab in the mountains.

The writer, on the other hand, cancelled her abortion plan right after Maji the midwives rubbed her hand on her stomach. She decided to keep the baby, but she would, like Olivia, stayed in the mountain. She would be there in a religious group’s place, stayed during her pregnancy, oh, maybe even longer. Actually, she considered staying up there for the rest of her life, just like Olivia did.

In the terrible heat and dust of India, people changed. Life changed.


Sang Alkemis : (III) Quotes

Quotes, best moments, best lines, all from Coelho’s most inspirational book…

“Tapi aku ingin melihat kastil-kastil di kota asal mereka,” si anak lelaki menjelaskan.

“Saat melihat negeri kita, orang-orang ini juga mengatakan ingin tinggal di sini selamanya,” ayahnya melanjutkan.

“Aku juga ingin melihat negeri mereka, serta cara hidup mereka,” sahut anaknya.

“Orang-orang yang datang kemari itu punya uang banyak, sehingga mereka mampu bepergian,” kata ayahnya. “Di kalangan kita hanya para  gembala yang berkelana.”

“Kalau begitu, aku mau menjadi gembala saja.”

Seperti dia mengerti mengapa si pemilik kedai tampak begitu geram : dia ingin memperingatkan aku supaya tidak mempercayai pemuda itu. “Tapi aku seperti orang-orang pada umumnya – hanya melihat apa yang ingin kulihat, bukan apa yang sebenarnya terjadi.”


“Dasar penyihir tua,” si anak berseru kepada langit. “Kau sudah tahu kisah selengkapnya. Kau sengaja meninggalkan potongan emas itu di biara, supaya aku bisa kembali ke gereja ini. Rahib itu tertawa ketika melihatku datang dengan pakaian compang-camping. Tidak bisakah kau menghindarkan aku dari nasib itu?”

Jawabannya serasa datang dalam hembusan angin. “Tidak. Kalau aku memberitahumu, kau tidak bakal melihat Piramida-Piramida itu. Indah sekali, bukan?”

“Isi buku ini sama dengan isi hampir semua buku lain di dunia,” orang tua itu melanjutkan. “Dalam buku ini digambarkan ketidakmampuan irang memilih takdir mereka sendiri. Dan pada akhirnya dikatakan bahwa setiap orang percaya akan dusta terbesar di dunia.”

”Berapa banyak domba-dombamu?”

“Cukup banyak,” sahut si anak. Rupanya laki-laki tua ini ingin tahu lebih banyak tentang kehidupannya.

“Kalau begitu, kita punya masalah. Aku tidak bisa menolongmu kalau kau merasa sudah punya cukup banyak domba.”

Lalu dia memandang langit dengan perasaan agak malu, dan katanya, “Aku tahu ini adalah kesia-siaan atas kesia-siaan seperti kataMu, ya Tuhan. Tapi kadang raja tua ini ingin merasa bangga akan dirinya.”

“Rombongan ini terdiri atas berbagai bangsa, dan masing-masing mempunyai Tuhannya sendiri. Tapi aku hanya melayani satu Tuhan, yaitu Allah, dan dalam nama Allah aku bersumpah, sekali lagi aku akan berusaha sedapat mungkin menaklukkan padang pasir ini. Kuminta masing-masing dari kalian bersumpah sesuai Allah yang kalian sembah, bahwa kalian akan mengikuti perintahku. Di padang pasir, ketidakpatuhan bisa membawa kematian.”

Si anak lelaki hendak meraih tangan Fatima. Tapi kedua tangan gadis itu memegang erat gagang-gagang buyungnya.

“Kau telah menceritakan padaku tentang mimpi-mimpimu, raja tua itu, dan harta karunmu. Kau juga menceritakan pertanda-pertanda itu. Jadi, sekarang tidak ada lagi yang kutakutkan, sebab pertanda-pertanda itulah yang telah membawamu padaku. Aku bagian dari mimpimu, bagian dari takdirmu, seperti kaukatakan.

“Karena itulah aku ingin kau meneruskan mencari impianmu. Kalau kau merasa harus menunggu sampai perang berakhir, tunggulah. Tapi kalau kau merasa harus pergi sekarang juga, pergilah mengejar mimpimu. Bukit-bukit pasir ini senantiasa berubah diembus angin, akan tetapi padang gurun itu tak pernah berubah. Begitu pula cinta kita.

“Maktub,” kata gadis itu. “Kalau aku memang bagian dari mimpimu, suatu hari nanti kau pasti kembali.”

  (Writer’s note : ini line favorit saya, btw J bener2 sesuatu yaa)

Orang asing it memasukkan pedang ke sarungnya, dan si anak merasa lega.

“Aku harus menguji keberanianmu,” kata si orang asing. “Keberanian adalah factor penting untuk bisa memahami Bahasa Dunia.”

Anak itu terperangah. Orang asing ini mengetahui hal-hal yang hanya diketahui sedikit sekali orang.

Akhirnya seorang wanita muda mendeka. Si anak lelaki mendekatinya untuk menanyakan tentang sang alkemis. Pada saat itu waktu seakan berhenti bergerak, dan Jiwa Dunia bergolak di dalam dirinya. Ketika dia menatap mata gelap gadis itu, dan melihat bibirnya yang setengah tertawa dalam kebisuan, dia pun belajar bahasa yang bisa dipahami semua orang di hati mereka. Bahasa cinta.

Setibanya di puncak bukit pasir, hati si anak bagai teronjak. Di sana, di bawah cahaya bulan serta terangnya padang pasir, berdiri Piramida-Piramida Mesir yang anggun dan megah itu. Si anak jatuh berutut dan menangis tersedu-sedu. Dia bersyukur pada Tuhan yang teah memberinya keyakinan untuk percaya pada takdirnya,…

“Mereka sekedar mencari emas,” sahut sang alkemis. “Mereka mencari harta yang ditakdirkan bagi mereka, tapi tidak mau menjalani takdir itu.”

Angin mulai bertiup lagi. Levanter, angin yang berembus dari Afrika. Angin itu tidak membawa aroma padang pasir ataupun ancaman penyerbuan bangsa Moor. Angin itu membawa keharuman parfum yang telah begitu dikenalnya, dan ciuman lembut – ciuman yang datang dari jauh, pelan… begitu pelan… menyapu bibirnya.

Anak itu tersenyum. Baru kali itu Fatima memberinya ciuman.

“Tunggu aku, Fatima,” katanya.

Sang Alkemis : (II) Sinopsis

Ketika Santiago memutuskan untuk keluar dari seminari tempatnya dididik menjadi pastor demi kehidupan menjelajah yang ia inginkan, ketika itu pulalah nasib memanggilnya sebagai pemuda yang memahami dunia bukan dari bahasa fisik yang diutarakan langsung, namun dari intisarinya sendiri, dari bahasa dunia yang universal dan tak dikotakkan oleh perbedaan kata-kata semata.

Santiago adalah seorang anak laki-laki dari keluarga petani miskin Andalusia yang selalu bermimpi untuk bisa menjelajah dunia. Kekurangan uang membuatnya menghidupi mimpi dengan menjadi pengembala dan ia menikmati setiap detik dari hari-harinya. Hampir dua tahun mengembala, ia mendapatkan mimpi berulang tentang harta karun yang tersembunyi di Piramida-Piramida Mesir.

Rasa penasaran mendorong Santiago untuk menemui wanita peramal di Tarifa, yang dengan gamblangnya menafsirkan mimpi itu sebagai petunjuk bagi Santiago untuk pergi mencari harta karun di Mesir. Awalnya ia tak begitu yakin, tapi lalu ia bertemu seorang pria tua yang mengaku sebagai Melkisedek, Raja Salem, yang meyakinkannya untuk membaca pertanda, menjual domba-domba gembalaannya dan berangkat ke Mesir.

Itulah yang dilakukan Santiago. Malang, begitu sampai di pelabuhan di Afrika ia tertipu dan seluruh uangnya habis. Ia mencoba menerima kenyataan pahit ini dan akhirnya melamar pekerjaan di sebuah toko kristal terlantar. Jiwa filosofis Santiago yang terdidik baik membantu toko itu menjadi ramai kembali. Setelah hampir setahun bekerja, ia memutuskan untuk kembali ke tujuan utamanya : menemukan harta karun di piramida.

Ia pun bergabung dengan rombongan yang juga akan berangkat melintasi padang pasir. Disana ia bertemu seorang Inggris yang berprofesi sebagai alkemis. Ia menceritakan tujuan utamanya, yaitu mencari Sang Alkemis di oasis padang pasir. Konon Sang Alkemis ini bisa memurnikan logam sedemikian rupa sehingga bagian cairnya meramu kehidupan dan bagian padatnya mengubah setiap jenis logam menjadi emas murni.

Di oasis, mereka berhasil menemukan alamat Sang Alkemis dari seorang gadis cantik bernama Fatima. Ia dan Santiago langsung saling jatuh cinta. Santiago nyaris merelakan mimpi-mimpinya tentang piramida, namun naluri Fatima sebagai wanita gurun menyakinkannya untuk berangkat. Sang Alkemis ternyata justru menolongnya dalam perjalanan hingga mereka mencapai sebuah biara dan berpisah disana.

Sendirian Santiago berkuda menuju piramida-piramida dan memulai penggalian, namun hasilnya nihil. Suatu malam saat sedang menggali, beberapa orang pria mencoba merampoknya. Mereka mendapat sepotong kecil emas di tasnya, pemberian Sang Alkemis. Santiago menjelaskan mimpi-mimpinya kepada para pria tersebut, tapi mereka tidak peduli dan justru memukulinya hingga babak belur.

Salah seorang dari mereka bahkan mengejek Santiago dan dengan nada sombong mengatakan bahwa iapun pernah mendapatkan mimpi berulang tentang harta karun di akar-akar pohon sycamore yang tumbuh di padang-padang Andalusia. Saat itulah Santiago menyadari semuannya, karena ia tahu persis pohon sycamore mana yang dimaksud. Ia pulang kembali ke Andalusia dan menemukan harta karun itu tertimbun di akar-akarnya.

Dan sekarang setelah harta karunnya ditemukan, ia berencana kembali ke padang-padang pasir di Afrika, ke Fatima.


Alam Semesta Bersatu Untuk Menggali Harta Sang Alkemis

Alam Semesta Bersatu Untuk Menggali Harta Sang Alkemis

Apa yang akan kau lakukan ketika di saat-saat kau merasa hidupmu sempurna, ada serbuan mimpi-mimpi yang menggodamu untuk meninggalkan tanah yang kau cintai, mengembara dan berkemungkinan terlunta-lunta di negeri asing?


Judul buku : Sang Alkemis

Penulis       : Paulo Coelho

                        Penerjemah        : Tanti Lesmana

Penerbit     : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama

Cetakan ke         : 13

Waktu terbit       : Juni 2012

Tebal          : 216 halaman

Harga                  : Rp 40.000,00





Jika Batu Filsuf adalah karya agung peneliti alkimia, maka Sang Alkemis adalah karya agung Paulo Coelho. Terlahir dari keluarga mekanik pada 20 Agustus 1947 di Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Coelho dari mudanya telah bercita-cita menjadi penulis, seperti Santiago dalam Sang Alkemis bermimpi untuk menjelajah dunia. Namun keinginan Coelho terhambat oleh orangtuanya sendiri. Di usia 16 tahun, Coelho dikirim orangtuanya sendiri ke institusi pendidikan mental hingga ia berusia 20 tahun. Namun seperti kemudian ia nyatakan , “Mereka tidak melakukannya untuk menyakitiku, mereka hanya tidak tahu apa yang harus dilakukan… Mereka tidak bermaksud menghacurkanku, mereka melakukannya untuk menyelamatkanku.”

Tokoh utama dalam novel ini adalah remaja bernama Santiago. Ia telah meninggalkan kehidupan di seminari yang statis dan menjamin kedudukan pastur di masa depan, demi impian menjelajah yang telah menghidupi hatinya sejak ia kecil. Keterbasan ekonomi membuatnya hanya bisa menjelajah sambil menggembala domba. Dua tahun lamanya ia menjelajahi padang-padang Andalusia, dan dua tahun itu ia menikmati pengembaraannya, jatuh cinta pada hidupnya.

Tetapi kemudian ia mendapatkan mimpi berulang mengenai harta karun di Piramida-Piramida Mesir yang mengganggunya. Ia lalu bertemu dengan Melkisedek di Tarifa. Pria tua yang mengaku sebagai Raja Salem itu menasihati Santiago dengan kebijaksanaannya –  bahwa manusia bisa kapan saja memilih untuk menjalani mimpi-mimpi mereka. Petualangan Santiago ke Mesir pun dimulai.

Santiago bertemu banyak orang dalam perjalanannya – pedagang kristal, seorang pria Inggris, cinta sejatinya Fatima di oasis, dan sang alkemis itu sendiri. Pencarian harta dunia itu pun berubah menjadi pencarian harta jiwa, yaitu Jiwa Dunia. Dalam buku ini dicantumkan bahwa hati manusia berasal dari Jiwa Dunia, dan mendengarkan kata hati berarti mendengarkan jiwa dunia itu sendiri.

Walaupun akhirnya Santiago menemukan bahwa harta yang dicarinya itu sebenarnya berada di Andalusia, ia tidak menyesali pengorbanannya. Sebaliknya ia justru bersyukur karena mampu menjalani takdirnya dan mendapatkan lebih dari sekedar emas dan mata uang kuno. Terutama pertemuannya dengan cinta sejatinya, seorang gadis gurun Al-Fayoum bernama Fatima.

Dalam novel ini disebutkan bahwa hal yang harus dimiliki untuk menggapai Jiwa Dunia adalah keberanian. Berani untuk meninggalkan zona aman dan berani melakukan kata-kata hati kita. Karena walaupun semua orang ingin menjadi pribadi yang sukses, jarang ada yang berkomitmen saat menjalani takdir mereka. Jarang ada yang cukup kuat berdiri saat orang-orang meragukan mereka. Membaca novel ini membantu kita menemukan kekuatan dan kesadaran bahwa tak ada hasil tanpa perjuangan, dan perjuangan akan selalu membuahkan hasil walaupun kadang tak sesuai dengan apa yang awalnya kita impikan.

Tak diragukan lagi karya klasik Coelho yang satu ini adalah novel yang wajib dibaca semua kalangan. Ia berhasil melarutkan pelajaran berharga ke dalam lautan sastra dengan bahasa yang ringan dan mudah dipahami. Di tengah kemiskinan dunia sastra akan buku berbobot, Sang Alkemis adalah pelepas dahaga. Dialog berbobot dalam novel ini membantu pembaca berefleksi pada kehidupannya sendiri.

Saya merasa kesulitan menemukan kekurangan dalam buku ini karena semuanya terliha begitu sempurna, jatuh pada tempatnya.

Novel keenam pria yang sekarang berusia 65 tahun ini memang pantas dianugerahi Guinness World Record for Most Translating Book by Living Author dan adalah sangat tepat ketika UN menamainya Messenger of Peace. Secara pribadi, penulis menilai novel berjudul asli O Alquimista ini yang terbaik dan paling bermakna dibandingkan novel lain Coelho seperti Brida atau The Pilgrimage. Apalagi dibandingkan novel-novel bergenre sejenis dari novelis lain. A must to read!

Dalam kurun waktu tertentu – entah itu tahun, dekade, atau malah abad – terbit novel yang menggugah dan mengubah hidup pembacanya. Sang Alkemis adalah salah satu dari novel-novel tersebut.

“I doimages (5)n’t live in either my past or my future.

I’m interested only in the present.

If you can concentrate always on the present,

 you’ll be a happy man.

Life will be a party for you, a grand festival,

because life is the moment we’re living now.”




p.s : English version will (insyaAllah) soon followed

p.p.s : penasaran dengan kisah Santiago selengkapnya? Synopsis The Alchemist, coming real soon!!

The Accidental Tourist

A while ago, I read a book called The Accidental Tourist. The abridged version, actually, but the same story nevertheless. I’d like to share it with you….

Authentic Author : Anne Tyler

If you ever write guidelines to help people get through what you’re going through, then you definitely can relate to Macon Leary. But there’smore to him than the introversive and routine-loving side

Macon Leary loved routines and hated traveling. Ironically, he wrote guidebooks for people like him – called the Accidental Tourist series. This obliged him to travel to places. That had been his life – his perfect boring little life with his dear wife Sarah and their only son, Ethan.

So everything totally changed when Ethan was shot during his school holiday. Sarah was torn apart by his death, and although Macon was just in as much grief, their marriage started to falling apart. Couldn’t bear Macon’s lack of attention and comforting words, Sarah stated she wanted a divorce, packed her things, and left.

All alone, it took him three whole weeks before he had the gut to tell her unmarried young sister and two divorced older brothers – who lived together. They’re concerned about him, but Macon insisted he was doing fine. When his boss Julian asked him to make a new edition of Accidental Tourist in England , that was when he found a new problem. The usual place won’t take Edward, his dog, because he bit an attendant the last time he was there. Desperate, he took Edward to Meow-Bow Hospital.

The girl in the front desk accepted Edward gladly, and introduced herself as Muriel. Macon met her again after he came back from England, when he picked Edward. Muriel started staring and flirting, and in the end not only she gave Macon her card, she offered her service to train Edward.

Macon didn’t put much thoughts of that. He came home and started doing things, until the little incidents in the basements happened, resulting in his leg got double bend. Macon was forced to stay with Rose then. There, Edward got even wilder, attacking and biting people. That left Macon no choice but to call Muriel for help.

Muriel not only taught Edward to sit and sleep and stay, she also told Macon stories about herself. It was going smooth until Macon found out she had had a little boy. Muriel, crazy in love, was afraid it was just gonna ruin the possibility of their relationship. She stormed out and didn’t come back for a while.

accidentaltouristThen he got a phone call from Sarah, just to know that she’d filled the divorce paper and had sent him one as well. Macon hadn’t get over Sarah, in fact, he still found her quite charming which actually the sweetest things written in this book. However, live went on, and when Edward got all wild again Macon was forced to call Muriel for help. Edward’s training continued, led these two to spend time together, talking and shopping and finally kissing.

Meanwhile, Julian found himself in love with Rose Leary. After stood up for her and her wrongly-baked turkey at thanksgiving, he decided to marry her and proposed at Christmas. Macon’s love story didn’t go as that smooth though. He tried to refused Muriel’s invitation for dinner, but in the end he showed up anyway, spent the night at her house. He got along with Muriel’s son, Alexander, and even went with Muriel to her parents’ home. Muriel looked so childish and annoying when she hopelessly told him she didn’t expect more of his visit, since her mom made her look bad (although she was).

Rose, Charles, and Porter all tried to assure Macon that Muriel’s not his type, but he didn’t respond. He’d been living with Muriel for a while when things got even more complicated. Muriel wanted to marry him, but Macon didn’t, so there was shouting and throwing.

Anyway, Macon had to go to Paris to write a new book. Muriel insisted to go to, but Macon refused. Muriel started her stalking, and after borrowing money from Bernice and Claire, managed to buy the same plane tickets as Macon, even stayed in the same hotel and buy clothes. He kept refusing her invitation to have dinner or anything, but this persuasive person just kept sticking and asking.

Macon was just about to leave when his back went out. That was when Sarah came to take care of him. They were doing perfectly well together. But show must go on. Spend the night thinking of Sarah and Muriel, he finally decided to left Sarah, left his belongings, and went for Muriel.