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The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist (original 1988; edition 1993)

by Paulo Coelho

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
26,18673942 (3.58)1 / 502
Title:The Alchemist
Authors:Paulo Coelho
Info:HarperSanFrancisco (1993), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 192 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

Work details

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (1988)

  1. 223
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English (674)  Dutch (15)  Spanish (14)  French (7)  Swedish (5)  German (4)  Finnish (3)  All (2)  Catalan (2)  Lithuanian (2)  Portuguese (2)  Danish (1)  Greek (1)  Italian (1)  Piratical (1)  Arabic (1)  Czech (1)  All (736)
Showing 1-5 of 674 (next | show all)
Over rated. The author preaches, lectures and explains too much, instead of letting the story teach us. Also, the plot is totally unoriginal. The main story is found in a famous hasidic folk tale. I don't know if that specific version was the inspiration of Coehlo's story but I have no doubt the same story is found in other folklore as well. The original is short and can be told in two minutes. Coelho drags it out without adding more power or depth to the story. ( )
  aront | Jul 25, 2017 |
Reminds me of Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. It has a fluffy, feel-good prose, as if in a dream, but lacking a certain substance for my tastes. Nevertheless, I completely get how The Alchemist grew to become one of the most popular books of its time. It pushes all the right buttons—an exotic landscape, believe in yourself, follow your dreams, etc. ( )
  Daniel.Estes | Jul 14, 2017 |
Andulasian shepherd boy travels Spain to Egypt with a gypsy influence.
  Annabel1954 | Jun 24, 2017 |
Too preachy for my taste. It's a self-help book thinly disguised as a story. Couldn't connect with the narration or the characters.
  lapiccolina | Jun 23, 2017 |
the cover of this book states that it has changed the lives of millions. i cant say that it changed me, it was a good read and i enjoyed it. on some levels i read it and thought of it as “Hemmingway-lite”. the characters are well built and interesting. it is humorous at points and very poetic in its descriptions.

the story follows a Spanish shepherd who leaves the Andalusian plains to search for a treasure. he is prompted to do so after having a dream of seeing the? Egyptian pyramids and learning of a treasure that he would find there. as his journey progresses he learns of alchemy, but not in the lead to gold sense that all of our modern stories talk of, he learns it as life itself being lead, and all things being transmutable into something higher. the story was warm and worth reading, but i would suggest going into it with out any expectations, you will absorb more from it with an open and clean mind as opposed to a “this will change me” perspective.? i go into every book with the expectation of entertainment and walk away with what ever i walk away with. in this case, it was awe, respect, and a little bit of fear.

i entered into the alchemist with a personal understanding of how the world works. an understanding that all things are connected and the world is a series of chain reactions and coincidences. following the chain and discounting the coincidences, you can move from one place to the next, constantly learning to disregard and embrace at a moments notice. to dwell on things that deserve contemplation and make informed decisions. under 200 pages later, i came out with a clear view of what the author is looking to show, and i can only see the life changing aspects occurring to people on the brink of change already, or who have not looked at the world enough to recognize the intricate ties that all things hold to one another.

this is not to say that change has not occurred, just that i have a hard time seeing said change in others. the person who gave me this book, says she was moved to change by it, i trust her in her interpretation of the reading as well as its use in her life. in reference to the book, she was transmuted, she followed the tale and came away something more than she was. following the book, this alteration shows in herself an alchemist, making alterations.

the story is a nice mesh of christian ideologies with eastern. mix in some folklore. mix in some faith in something more than religion. mix in some gummy bears.. welcome to Coldstone.

my largest concern after reading this book was definitely fear. not fear for myself but fear for others. most people i have talked to have no understanding of the world outside of Christianity. they? come away touched and full of perspective that is often times quelled inside them from the early years of being fed doctrine. others, the ones i really fear for are the ones who are not in that category, specifically the ones that are already teetering on the edge of reality. the ones who would embrace the book so fully that they quote it daily, absorb the ideas and phrases, use it in their personal religions. people need less dogma, not more. and to take something like this and make it a keystone in their world frightens me.. we already have enough dogma.. enjoy the book, take what you can from it, then let it alone. ( )
2 vote JasonBrownPDX | Jun 16, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (51 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Paulo Coelhoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Alan R. ClarkeTranslatorsecondary 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.
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 11 descriptions

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