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The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist (original 1988; edition 2014)

by Paulo Coelho (Author), Jeremy Irons (Narrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
28,37979457 (3.58)1 / 535
Title:The Alchemist
Authors:Paulo Coelho (Author)
Other authors:Jeremy Irons (Narrator)
Info:San Francisco : HarperOne, 2014.
Collections:Read in 2019, Read but unowned, Needs Review
Tags:fantasy, fable, audio

Work details

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (1988)

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English (724)  Spanish (15)  Dutch (15)  French (8)  Swedish (5)  German (4)  Finnish (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Lithuanian (2)  Portuguese (2)  Catalan (2)  Danish (1)  Greek (1)  Italian (1)  Piratical (1)  Arabic (1)  Czech (1)  All languages (788)
Showing 1-5 of 724 (next | show all)
Cleanly translated and simply stated with a sincere depth, The Alchemist takes you on a ride from the Andalusian hills to the pyramids of Egypt and makes some compelling, if a little idealistic, arguments about life and the nature of destiny. ( )
  barda90 | Jan 10, 2019 |
I pull holds at the library where I work and a LOT of people request this book. Even though I found it too boring to finish, clearly I may be in the minority.

Granted I seem to be pickier about books just now, but the story, while it had many interesting elements was just too slowly paced for me. The theme is a very common, pursue one's dreams and destiny at all costs, and not one that I find exciting. I'm not spiritual, and I'm a fairly literal-minded person who isn't inclined to read most things symbolically, probably making me the wrong audience. This is apparently an important book personally to Coelho, and I am glad that he has enjoyed such a success.
  juglicerr | Jan 10, 2019 |
This is the story of a Shepherd named Santiago. He desires to travel and seek worldly treasure. He has a repetitive dream that tells him he will find his treasure at the pyramids. He starts his journey and meets a man who calls himself a King. Before Santiago even tells him why he is on his journey, the King knows. As Santiago continues his journey to his treasure he meets thieves, people he can trust, the love of his life, and ultimately reaches what he seeks. Along the way he learns to listen to his heart and follow his dreams even when he is tested.

I liked this book. It was simple and short, and an easy enough read. The shepherd boy ran into many obstacles as he tried to reach his treasure in the dessert, but in his quest, he comes across the Alchemist - a man who has the Philosphers Stone which contains the Elixir of Life, and he was 200 years old. (cue Harry Potter) He is wise and he taught the shepherd boy how to listen to his heart and follow his dreams and reach his destiny. Telling him that if he doesn't, he will always regret it.

I say give this book a try. It is a nice story, and a nice message, and worth the read. ( )
  JenMat | Jan 10, 2019 |
Meh, I don't see the hype. It wasn't bad, it wasn't great. It just wasn't my thing. The Alchemist tells the story of a young shepherd boy whose simple life is turned upside down when a traveling king, tells him where to find treasure. From there the boy goes on a long journey, falling omens and good sense to try and find the treasure that lay near the pyramids. It's a little deep for me and I didn't much care for it. I don't like these kind of fables. The only good part was having Jeremy Irons narrate the audiobook version. ( )
  ecataldi | Jan 9, 2019 |
70% ( )
  MichaelDouglass | Jan 4, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 724 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (93 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Coelho, Pauloprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
İnce, ÖzdemirTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
亜希子, 山川翻訳secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buchholz, AnneBearbeitungsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Calleja, SeveEstsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cisneros, JesusIllustratorsecondary authorsome 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
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."
The alchemist picked up a book that someone in the caravan had brought. (Prologue, trans Clifford E. Landers)
The boy's name was Santiago.
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.
Last words
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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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 19 descriptions

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