An alchemist turns lead into gold.

Brazilian author Paul Coelho has turned a slender magical tale into a modern classic. The Alchemist has a “devoted following around the world.” Its devotees include motivational speaker Anthony Robbins, Award-winning Actor Laurence Fishburne, a star of the hit television series “Orange Is the New Black,” and singing superstar Madonna, among others.

It’s readers not only read but re-read it. They carry it with them and give it to their friends and loved ones.

What accounts for this devotion?

Like trying to explain magic and mystery, the language of logic alone fails. The tale of Santiago, a young Andalusian shepherd boy who braves distance and dangers in search of a great treasure is one of high drama. His journey brings him wisdom, love, beauty, success, and fulfillment. The earthly treasure he pursued has – in the process of that pursuit – turned into spiritual, psychic, and emotional gifts. Words like omens, dreams, “Personal Legend,” luck, and coincidence are used throughout. The language used to tell this tale is poetic, ethereal, enchanting.

Who knows – this tale, this drama, this language, may work alchemy in the life of a new reader.