The Alchemy of Harley Quinn (Pt. 1)

Two things have happened in the month or so, 1. I got a nasty ear infection in both ears and was unable to write due to the fact I was puking in pain… and 2. I finished The Alchemist, after watching Bird of Prey: and The Fantabulous Emancipation of One, Harley Quinn, and 3. I delved into a deep study of “influencers.”

Okay, three or four things happened. It was a month. I’ll start off bypassing my ear infection because no one actually cares and to be honest, I kind of forget what the pain felt like. Like after childbirth, you know it was painful, but you can’t recall the exact feeling. It’s totally the same… right?

Now. What can I say about The Alchemist other than what. the. fuck.  And don’t get me wrong, it was well-written, nice flowery language, and lots of philosophical thought jammed into 4 hours of audio and a little more than 250 pages. The audiobook I listened to was narrated by Jeremy Irons, who, as we have already established, is #grandaddy (see last post).

In my opinion, you have to be in the right mood to take this piece of literature in. Written in 1988 by Paulo Coelho, it is the very definition of “instant classic.” It’s about a shepherd young boy (whose age is never specified, but I’m assuming 17 or 18) that has a dream interpreted by a fortune teller and heads off to the pyramids. Of which, he has no idea where they are. It’s only until he is tricked by Moroccan thieves that he learns the pyramids aren’t just a hop skip and a jump from the Iberian Peninsula. Seems like he should’ve consulted a map first. They had those back then you know.

Today, this would be absolutely batshit crazy, but I suppose back then your options were either die of dysentery at 30 or never leave the 20 miles of your home town… Why the fuck not? Why the fuck not; the real theme of this book. Coelho uses a lot of metaphors about the “soul of the world,” and “listening to the universe.” But lets be honest, this is all the long-winded explanation of “why the fuck not?” A 17th century YOLO, if you will.

Of course he meets and falls in love with a desert girl, argues with an elitist Englishman, and is almost inadvertently murdered by “The Alchemist.” No, this kid is not the alchemist, sorry to say. However, while I won’t spoil the big plot point, the alchemist basically acts recklessly with this poor kid’s life and just generally doesn’t give a fuck because… why. the. fuck. not? It’s 16-something in the middle of the desert. Pretty good overall, kind of circular logic, but if you like Steinbeck, Descartes, and Jungs’ collective unconscious/non-metaphorical soul hippie stuff, you’ll like this.

And finally, Harley Quinn. I’m running out of room on the length of my usual post lengths, so I’ll probably add my thoughts on that later. But suffice it to say, it’s much better than any male critic who got their fragile masculinity bruised will tell you.  It’s funny, cheesy (in a good way), and doesn’t try too hard. That’s all we can ask of our DC films (looking at you, Batman vs. Superman).

The Alchemist: 4/5

Birds of Prey – and The Fantabulous Emancipation of One, Harley Quinn: 4.6/5

I’ll probably re-rate these after another assessment and average the two.

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