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The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist (1988)

by Paulo Coelho

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
27,89177558 (3.58)1 / 523
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English (708)  Dutch (15)  Spanish (15)  French (7)  Swedish (5)  German (4)  Finnish (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Catalan (2)  Lithuanian (2)  Portuguese (2)  Danish (1)  Greek (1)  Italian (1)  Piratical (1)  Arabic (1)  Czech (1)  All languages (771)
Showing 1-5 of 708 (next | show all)
The Alchemist is a book that, although being a simple read, has such vast amounts of intellectual depth. Santiago, a young shepherd boy from Spain, is in search of what Paulo Coelho refers to as his ‘Personal Legend’. A Personal Legend is not unlike destiny and could also be described as one’s purpose in life. The young boy embarks on a journey from Spain to Egypt, where he believes his treasure awaits him. He struggles with self doubt and fear along the way but is guided and helped by various people.

Santiago begins to learn to look at the world in an entirely new light. He is taught that it isn’t finding the treasure that is the most fulfilling of all things but it is in the journey itself that one becomes enlightened. It is important to put your heart into everything you do and if you are successful, your heart will become one with everything.

The Alchemist has so much to offer readers of all ages and I would recommend it as required reading for all of humanity. I am positive I will read Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece many many more times through the years. I am confident that this book will teach me something new each time I read it. ( )
  Scorched_Earth | Sep 11, 2018 |

The Alchemist is a very unique, fable-like book. It's definitely nothing like I normally read or even like the classics I normally read; but I enjoyed it a lot!

It took me a while to get into the style of the writing. The English 10th anniversary edition (translated by Alan R. Clarke) is an awesome edition. The translation was really well done and had no real awkward areas.

This story has many references to Bible and tons of inspirational sections. The big idea is to not give up on your dreams. Dreams are a lot of work. Pursue your "Personal Legend" to it's end, no matter the consequences. Change is hard, but can be a blessing. Sometimes, the journey is greater than the treasure you set out for.

Santiago was a fun, interesting character. All he wanted was to travel with his sheep, but he was pulled into such a greater adventure. That adventure brought him to better things.

I really enjoyed reading this tale. It had some cute, quick romance, crazy adventure, and great mystery. The main thing I got out of The Alchemist is to pursue what you love because true love will always be waiting for you. ( )
  AudrasBookBlabbing | Sep 4, 2018 |
The Alchemist is a classic and though Paulo Coelho is a talented writer, I didn't really like The Alchemist. Finally, a book I can rant about. Full review to follow. It actually felt like an anecdote from or prequel to Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear. ( )
  crimsonjade | Aug 30, 2018 |
Loved! Loved! Loved! I feel everyone should have to read this book. ( )
  Chelz286 | Aug 26, 2018 |
Library Thing advised me that I would not like this book and they were right.
Young shepherd in the Andalusia region of Spain has higher goals than being a shepherd all of his life. He reads extensively and decides that he would like to travel to the Pyramids in Egypt. He meets a stranger in a village who happens to be some kind of celestial king who tells him that the true path to happiness is to follow his heart, personal judgment, dreams and watch for omens.
Shepherd sells his flock, boards a ship to Tangiers, is robbed of his savings and manages to find work, survive, save and travel to the Pyramids with the alchemist who is mentioned to him by a traveling Englishman, chemistry professor.
Desert warriors, a woman, omens, life in the desert, sand storms, encounters with destiny and long chats with his heart fulfill his destiny. ( )
  MaggieFlo | Aug 21, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 708 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (51 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Coelho, Pauloprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clarke, Alan R.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jansen, PietTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lemmens, HarrieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maître, PascalPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
MoebiusIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ohlbaum, IsoldePhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sheahen, LauraContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Swoboda Herzog, CordulaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Op hun tocht kwam hij in een dorp, waar een vrouw die Martha heette, hem in haar woning ontving. Ze had een zuster, Maria, die gezeten aan de voeten van de Heer luisterde naar zijn woorden. Martha werd in beslag genomen door de drukte van het bedienen, maar ze kwam er een ogenblik bij staan en zei: "Heer, laat het U onverschillig, dat mijn zuster mij alleen laat bedienen? Zeg haar dan dat ze mij moet helpen." De Heer gaf haar ten antwoord: "Martha, Martha, wat maak je je bezorgd en druk over veel dingen. Slechts één ding is nodig. Maria heeft het beste deel gekozen, en het zal haar niet ontnomen worden."

Lucas, 10:38-42
Til J.
Alkymisten, som kender, og som anvender Det store Værks hemmeligheder.
First words
The boy's name was Santiago.
Introduction by Coelho:  I remember receiving a letter from the American Publisher Harper Collins that said that: "reading The Alchemist was like getting up at dawn and seeing the sun rise while the test of the world still slept."
We are told from childhood onward that everything we want to do is impossible. We grow up with this idea, and as the years accumulate, so too do the layers of prejudice, fear and guilt. There comes a time when our personal calling is so deeply buried in our soul as to be invisible. But it's still there.
He still had some doubts about the decision he had made. But he was able to understand one thing: making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will take him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.
'Always heed the omens', the old king had said.
Maktub (it is written)
'To realise one's destiny is a person's only real obligation. All things are one. And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it', the old king said.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
A young man named Santiago is on a quest to the Pyramids in Egypt following his "Personal Legend" to find a treasure. His adventures and experiences with the people he meets eventually help him discover where the true treasure is in his life.
Combining magic, mysticism, wisdom and wonder into an inspiring tale of self-discovery, The Alchemist has become a modern classic, selling millions of copies around the world and transforming the lives of countless readers across generations.

Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.
Haiku summary
Santiago, shepherd,
gets told by King of Salem:
Follow your heart, boy!
Pseudo-profound dross
lures millions into parting
with their hard-earned cash.

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061122416, Paperback)

Like the one-time bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, The Alchemist presents a simple fable, based on simple truths and places it in a highly unique situation. And though we may sniff a bestselling formula, it is certainly not a new one: even the ancient tribal storytellers knew that this is the most successful method of entertaining an audience while slipping in a lesson or two. Brazilian storyteller Paulo Coehlo introduces Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who one night dreams of a distant treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. And so he's off: leaving Spain to literally follow his dream.

Along the way he meets many spiritual messengers, who come in unassuming forms such as a camel driver and a well-read Englishman. In one of the Englishman's books, Santiago first learns about the alchemists--men who believed that if a metal were heated for many years, it would free itself of all its individual properties, and what was left would be the "Soul of the World." Of course he does eventually meet an alchemist, and the ensuing student-teacher relationship clarifies much of the boy's misguided agenda, while also emboldening him to stay true to his dreams. "My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy confides to the alchemist one night as they look up at a moonless night.

"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself," the alchemist replies. "And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity." --Gail Hudson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:01 -0400)

(see all 11 descriptions)

An Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasures found within.… (more)

» see all 19 descriptions

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