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The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
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The Alchemist (1988)

by Paulo Coelho

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
28,05278258 (3.58)1 / 528
  1. 223
    Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (hippietrail)
    hippietrail: Another spiritual quest, also short and in a very simple style, but much better written
  2. 62
    The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (derelicious)
  3. 52
    Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho (aces)
  4. 10
    Love of Seven Dolls by Paul Gallico (Fliss88)
  5. 21
    The Journey to the East by Hermann Hesse (unlucky)
  6. 21
    The Profit by Kehlog Albran (bertilak)
  7. 11
    Being There by Jerzy Kosiński (bertilak)
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    Why Your Life Matters by Cash Peters (Anonymous user)
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    God on a Harley by Joan Brady (ALDRINDSL)
  10. 23
    Paradigms by Chris McKenna (MarkHardy)
    MarkHardy: I think if you like things that are a bit spiritual then you'll like both of these.
  11. 12
    Jag sköt Paulo Coelho by Staffan Vahlquist (Jannes)
    Jannes: Om du verkigen INTE gillade Coelho så kan du ge Vahlquists anti-berättelse en chans. Oavsett vad man tycker om hans kvaliteter är det spännande att se hur Coelho väcker så starka reaktioner åt båda hållen.
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  13. 13
    Music and moonlight; poems and songs by Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy (ExVivre)
    ExVivre: "We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams..."
  14. 02
    The Seed by Fola (nadoosha_373)
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English (712)  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 (775)
Showing 1-5 of 712 (next | show all)
I am so annoyed by this book that for the first time, I gave one star to a book that I finished. I was waiting for it to get better, to deserve the hype, but it just got worse. This is the preachiest, most pretentious, most repetitive phony moral tale I have read. The language is god awful - oversimplified, preachy dialogue, repeating the same thing over and over again, throwing in awkward parables. The story is random and inconsistent. In one paragrah the boy is smart, does something great, observes and learns - in the next he does stupid things or asks really dumb questions he should already know the answer to.

The Personal Legend, the Language of the World, and Listen To Your Heart are phrases that are worn thin from overuse - seems like they occur three-four times per page. And seriously, does the boy have to literally listen to his heart, as in, having a dialogue with it? Ugh! I can't enjoy something that beats you over the head with its message over and over, than it hammers on it some more. Poor dead horse.

And what kind of treasure is this anyway? Geez, I thought he would find something meaningful. And don't tell me that falling for every girl he meets counts as love. Or that any sane woman would tell her lover "oh go off searching for some treasure you dreamt of, I will be here whether you come back or not, we women here are used to our men not coming back". Seriously! Not to mention she might have been married off against her will in the meantime in a culture where a boy is not supposed to talk to women.

I could keep poking holes in it but I don't need to, it is a sieve. I have no idea why this is something people need to read. Honestly I think it is pure junk. ( )
  Gezemice | Oct 29, 2018 |
I don't see the point of this book and why it is so popular. This book was written in 1993, not ancient like 1800s or 1920s so there's nothing mystical about the book imo.

I am giving it 3 stars because of the good literature works and nice narration. ( )
  Jason.Ong.Wicky | Oct 9, 2018 |
I listened to this book read by Jeremy Irons. I liked it a lot.
  taurus27 | Sep 30, 2018 |
This book has been on my TBR forever. I expected to love it, but didn’t quite get there. I’m going to try reading it in the original Spanish to see if it flows better.

Santiago is a young shepherd who dreams of seeing the world. He sets out on a quest to find treasure in Egypt and discovers that the universe has his back. I didn’t hate the story, but it has shades of The Secret (which I did hate). The way women have no agency was disappointing. ( )
  DeborahW42 | Sep 30, 2018 |
Every so often, you come across a book that feels like it was written for you. This book feels like it was not written for me. ( )
  polytropicprodigal | Sep 30, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 712 (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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Epigraph
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
Dedication
Til J.
Alkymisten, som kender, og som anvender Det store Værks hemmeligheder.
PAULO COELHO
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."
Quotations
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!
(passion4reading)
Pseudo-profound dross
lures millions into parting
with their hard-earned cash.
(passion4reading)

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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