The Alchemist

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The Alchemist

by Paulo Coelho

HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS | April 12, 2006 | Trade Paperback

The Alchemist is rated 4.5138 out of 5 by 109.

"My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky." Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams."

Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. The Alchemist is such a book. With over a million and a half copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has already established itself as a modern classic, universally admired. Paulo Coelho's charming fable, now available in English for the first time, will enchant and inspire an even wider audience of readers for generations to come.

The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist.

The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, above all, following our dreams.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 208 pages, 8.13 × 5.5 × 0.59 in

Published: April 12, 2006

Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0061122416

ISBN - 13: 9780061122415

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Reviews

Rated 1 out of 5 by from Didn`t like it ! Don`t understand what everyone likes so much about this book. Found it very boring. The writer repeats himself many times. I was sorry to spend my money on it.
Date published: 2014-07-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from An inspiring read.... The Alchemist is a simple story about a young shepherd boy named Santiago from Anduluasia. He dreams about a hidden treasure in the Egyptian pyramids… While he sets out from Spain to Egypt in search for this hidden treasure, he meets a gypsy woman and an old King who inspires him to pursue his dream. The shepherd boy Santiago summons all the courage and sets out on a desert caravan where he meets an Englishman who seem to be intriguing in all ways… The Englishman's relentless search for knowledge inspires Santiago to pursue his dream. Along the journey he comes across many obstacles but he gathers all the faith and the courage and surmounts all the obstacles that stands on his way….With the guidance of an alchemist he completes his journey only to find the treasure where he least expected…. While narrating the story of Santiago, the author Paulo Coelcho accentuates the values of spirituality, faith, hope and courage that one should hold on to while reaching out the dreams… Overall, it was an inspiring and captivating read and is a treasure for the reading and spiritual minds….
Date published: 2013-07-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Following your dreams The story is about a young boy who travels to find a treasure. But throughout the book there are some very profound ideas to think about, such as following your dreams... I thought the book was very interesting.
Date published: 2012-09-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from =) "when you really want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it" Its all about following your dream and about taking the risk of following your dreams, which is actually so difficult to do and there are very few people in this world who actually do.
Date published: 2012-07-01
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Nothing new here. I read dozens of reviews online before ordering this book & finally did a couple weeks back. I just finished reading it and unfortunately I was disappointed. A lot of people claimed that this book was "life changing" and made it out to be a book of great lessons, but to me it was an entire collection of common sense. Things we've known for decades. Follow your dream, don't give up, listen to your heart and so on. This book was very basic. Definitely didn't live up to all of the hype.
Date published: 2012-05-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Average This book did definitely not live up to the hype for me. So many people seem to have found insight and guidance from this book but I found it to be very average and the lessons from it to be common sense and nothing new.
Date published: 2012-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful and Uplifting It is truly a magnificent fable about a shepherd traveling around to find his Personal Legend. Those that have lost faith and inspiration will find themselves uplifted when reading this book. Following one's dream has never been easy with huge and painful obstacles but it is not impossible to overcome them if one decides to set their mind on it and take that chance to step out and follow wherever their heart is...
Date published: 2011-06-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful story! I was sitting on the fence for a long time before I bought this book. I eventually bought it as an ebook and devoured it. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and didn't want it to end. I'm not one to re-read books, but I could and would definitely re-read this one.
Date published: 2011-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LIFE-CHANGING BOOK This book was given to me years ago, but it wasn't until I recently picked it up that I found the existing lessons within it incredibly moving. If you have 3 hours to spare in your life, please please read this book and reflect on the ideas within it. It's empowering, engaging and incredibly moving. Just to give you a quick sample and without ruining the storyline, here is one of the quotes from the book that really shook me, "What is the world's greatest lie? It's this: That at a certain point in our lives, we begin to lose control of what is happening to us and our lives become controlled by fate. That is the world's greatest lie" Please read and pass it onto your friends and family. Great read!
Date published: 2011-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved it :) This was a book that makes you really think. I liked it because it was straight to the point. It made me not want to put it down. Its a life lesson in a few pages in a book. A must read if your lookig for something short
Date published: 2011-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Where has this been all my life. I read this book about a year ago and it definitely made an impact on me, as it would to anyone who's read it. For those who are anti-religious-content, don't lose focus and keep reading. Or else you'll miss out on the stories perfect examples of symbolism.
Date published: 2010-11-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not bad The Alchemist is a touching story about a young shepherd boy who dreams of more than his lot in life, and discovers a map to a treasure and so heads off on the journey of a lifetime to find it. He travels from Spain to Egypt, and sees the great pyramids. He meets all kinds of interesting people along the way, including an Alchemist who teaches the boy to listen to his heart and speak to the desert wind. I really liked the ending of this book. In the end the boy does not find the treasure he was seeking buried under the pyramids as he believed. But rather the treasure he had spent all that time searching for was right back where he started. He never had to go searching for it halfway across the world, for it was in his own backyard the whole time. I feel this speaks to a lot of us in these times. We always seems to be searching beyond our boarders for that which would make us most happy in life, and often we are blind to the happiness that can be found at home.
Date published: 2010-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A "must read" for all who truly are on a life's journey I took the advice of a friend and writer and this book before embarking on an exploration of Paulo Coelho's other works and I am profoundly pleased I did. This book is a cornerstone, not just to his works but to anyone serious of living their own story. Over the past 6 weeks I have been able to read several more of Paulo Coelho's books and they all add a positive and insightful perspective to my life.
Date published: 2010-08-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Spiritual, Soul-Searching Saga This is the story of a boy who has a dream that seems impossible, but decides to pursue it. Along the way he meets several people and experiences things that transforms him into a completely different person. The text contains a lot of philosophical and spiritual themes. The main recurring theme of the book is that every person has their own Personal Legend, which is what they are born to do in life. Many people ignore it out of comfort or fear, but for those who follow their Personal Legend, the whole world conspires to help them find it. Though they may or may not succeed in achieving their Legend, they become a better person in the process. This is a heartfelt, emotional story that helps the reader deeply reflect on life and possibly motivates the reader to pursue goals they once thought unattainable.
Date published: 2010-06-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Alchemist "The Alchemist” was written in Portuguese and translated into 56 languages. It has been heralded as a modern day classic. It is an allegorical novel written by Paula Coelho and is one of the best selling books in history. It is a story about Santiago a shepherd boy who has a dream of finding treasure and unlike most people Santiago decides to sell his sheep and pursue his dream of finding the treasure. He is encouraged by Melchizedek and is given seer stones to help him on his journey. Santiago does not immediately find his treasure, it becomes a work in progress and along the way he meets many people, he falls in love, and he faces war. One of the many people he meets is an alchemist who helps him finally fulfill his dream. "My Heart Is Afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.” Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams." This book is written simply and preaches the message that we should fulfill our destiny (visions of Star Wars pops into my head). There are numerous bible references, Melchizedek just being one of them and Santiago is compared to Joseph, the one with the coat of many colours. I like others had great expectations for this book and I was disappointed. It is not a worthless book, there is a profound message of following your dreams, but it is so obvious and in your face that it almost seems annoying. Maybe in this fast paced world we live in, with all the action and fighting constantly surrounding us in media and in books that when something simple comes forward we look at it in disdain...just a random thought.
Date published: 2010-06-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Life is about the journey... What an interesting story. Really makes you think about how important the journey of life is.
Date published: 2010-05-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Life Changing!!! Hands down, one of the best books I've ever read. The hype surrounding this book is completely accurate! It is so beautiful and simple, but the through the simple story telling, profound lessons are learned. I applaud Santiago for following his dreams and finding enlightenment and happiness along the way. I think about these lessons nearly everyday since reading it. Definitely one to read many times over.
Date published: 2010-05-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from So so. This is one of those books that people like or they hate. I can't say that I hate it, but I don't know if I really liked it either. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't a book that spoke to me. Throughout the whole story I felt like that person who isn't in on the conversation going on around them. There was something I was supposed to know about this story, something I was supposed to *get*, but I just wasn't getting it. I enjoyed the tale and the journey, but I know there was something more that I was supposed to be getting out of this book. And I didn't. I wanted to be blown away by the story, but in the end... I was just sort of apathetic about it. I didn't hate the book. But I didn't *love* it. C'est la vie.
Date published: 2010-04-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Definitely recommended! I really enjoyed reading The Alchemist and it is one of my keep-sake books. Paulo Coelho has a very admirable lightness to his writing that balances the weightiness of the themes he presents in this story (ie. struggling to pursue a dream). Even though his characters have little development, I feel the messages about life throughout the story are thought-provoking and keep the reader interested until the very end, with the epilogue summing up the story with a final message many of us can relate to.
Date published: 2009-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Don't think, just read!!! This book was a catalyst in my life. It showed me that I can do and be anything! This is a must for everyone. I am who I am today because of this book, and I couldn't be happier!!! It is an easy read. I have read it many times and will continue to read it many more. Thank you Paulo Coehlo!
Date published: 2009-09-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful Quite possibly one of the most thought provoking books I have read. It teaches morals and lessons every step of the way! This one is a definite must read among avid readers.
Date published: 2009-08-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thought Provoking Great read for someone searching for more, stuck in a rut in their lives. There were some inspiring moments throughout. I give it a 3.5 as it wasn't quite as good as I expected, but I still enjoyed it. Loved the last line!
Date published: 2009-07-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Enlightening! This was recommended to me by a friend, but I also felt compelled to read it after realizing it was an "International Bestseller". This is a rather short and quick read, but it is packed with a lot of thought provoking content. At first glance, it seems like a simple story about a shepherd boy searching for his treasure. But on another level, it is about listening to our hearts, and finding the courage to give up everything in search of our ultimate life fulfillment. There are lots of wonderfully written passages and lessons from this book that would stick with you for life!
Date published: 2009-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thought Provoking The Alchemist is about a boy, Santiago, who is a shepherd. One night he has a dream and this dream is the beginning of his journey. This book is thought provoking and requires real reflection. The story in and of itself is a simple and quick read. But it is packed with some real deep questions about the whole meaning of life. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will definitely read it again because I think I will get more and more out of the story.
Date published: 2009-05-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My FAVORITE book of all time! I have yet to read a book that has touched me or that I have enjoyed reading as much as 'the Alchemist' .
Date published: 2009-05-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A book everyone should read at some point in their life...sooner rather than later In Paulo Coelho The Alchemist we learn of a young sheperd who has a dream and decides to follow it. He meets many people along the way who guide him on his journey. Paulo Coelho combines wisdom seemlessly with a great narrative that keeps you wanting to read more. I can't wait to read his other books.
Date published: 2009-04-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Journey to Self-Discovery This is the story of Santiago, a boy shepherd from a small town in Spain. He has a recurring dream about finding his treasure near the pyramids of Egypt. He sells his sheep and begins his journey across the desert. In his travels he comes across many interesting people including a gypsy, a king, a thief, a crystal merchant, an Englishman, and so on. Each person helps him to find his treasure and move forward in his journey whether they realize they are helping him or not. At the end the boy finds himself, and his future, and all he needs to know of life. He continues to follow his heart and his dreams not knowing whether the treasure is nothing more than a metaphor. I absolutely LOVED the way this story was written. From beginning to end it’s told in the same fashion as a bedtime story, which was captivating and I was drawn in immediately. Read more at: http://justkickinit.ca/2009/04/01/the-alchemist-by-paulo-coelho/
Date published: 2009-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really Great! Very easy read,enjoyable and keeps you interested.Special book you will always remember and the type that you will re read not to many like this!
Date published: 2009-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant! A truly inspiring and well written book! The Alchemist is a must read for anyone in need of a little encouragement. The story of Santiago’s advenventure will remind the reader that life is truly what you make of it and that can you can obtain your dreams by following your heart and accept what was never meant to be. Paulo Coelho is brilliant. He wrote the story of Santiago in both the literal sense of his journey and with symbolism - literally depicting Santiago’s journey to obtain his dream and symbolically demonstrating how each one of us can recongize and embrace our own “Personal Legend” or the reason for our existence. The Alchemist is a story to be read over and over again, each time offering new perspectives on how to achieve your dreams and goals and applying lessons learned in life (personal and professional) to each new situation, challenge or objective.
Date published: 2009-01-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Delightful Book & Light Read! This book tells an adventurous and compelling tale of a young Andalusian shepherd boy, Santiago, who is spurred by a recurrent dream to embark on a journey towards realizing his life's dream or 'Personal Legend'. Along the way, Santiago encounters intriguing characters, from the gypsy woman to the alchemist. Every character is woven into the story for a purpose as they help Santiago learn about his Personal Legend and assist him in realizing his dream. He encounters challenges along the way, as with the complexity of life in its many facets. For example, when Santiago travels to Tangier he is robbed of all his savings by a crafty young man. However, this experience leads Santiago to realize that even without monetary resources, he can utilize resourcefulness to survive. Santiago leads an exciting journey of self discovery as he travels the Sahara by caravan, encounters the alchemist in an oasis community, and discovers his Personal Legend at the Pyramids of Egypt, eventually leading him back to his homeland of Andalusia, Spain. In reading this book I was reminded of Rainer Maria Rilke's quote, "The only journey is the journey within", as well as the novella "The Little Prince" by Saint Exupery. "The Alchemist" is truly enjoyable reading, and I am definitely compelled to read more books by Paulo Coelho.
Date published: 2008-12-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning This book was really amazing
Date published: 2008-12-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Must Read!! I first picked up this book when I was struggling in my own life. Each page inspired me and encouraged me in so many ways. Each time I have read it it has offered me new perspectives and I continue the anticipation about what will happen.
Date published: 2008-11-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Everything you have ever heard about this book is true! I've worked at Coles for almost 4 years now. Almost from day one customers have told me to read this book. I have heard so many stories about how this book has motivated, inspired and encouraged readers of all ages and walks of life. This is truly an inspiring read perfect for anyone in almost every situation. A fantastic combination of spirituality, wisdom, faith and adventure.
Date published: 2008-10-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A wonderful read! A great book for all ages. I love the way the author wrote the book to have 2 meanings, Literally and morally. Literally the boys goes on an adventure where there is action and he has to find the pyramids of Egypt! Morallly though along the way he learns that each person has his own Personal Legend which can either be ignored or you can listin to your heart and find it.I thought that they could have told us more about the englishman but other that that the morals of the story blend in perfectly. My favorite part was when the boy and the Alchemist were in the Desert and they are stopped by the 2 Arab Warriors which ask the alchemist what he is carrying, he tells them that it is the elixir of life and the philosophers stone which is what they really were but the warriors laugh like its a joke. This shows that the Alchemist really knows how people work because if he woulkd have tried to hide the objects the warriors would have become suspicious. The book also incorporates so fiction even though the majority of the book was non-fiction. This book kept me captivated till the last page!!
Date published: 2008-09-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Probably the most beautiful writing I have ever read!! What can I say, except that every aspect of this book I loved. The character, Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd is in search of his destiny. Simple as that. While the story is short and incredibly easy to read, there were so many lessons to be learned, and it was put in such a way, that you couldn't help but find pieces of yourself in the novel. Incredibly inspirational, this book would make a terrific gift for virtually anyone, as it's about following your heart and the rest will fall into place.
Date published: 2008-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome!! Rarely do I read a book in one sitting but this one was worth it. From the first page I was hooked. This book is about following your dreams, your heart, and living in the present. A must read for anyone who is looking for meaning in their lives. I cannot wait to read Paulo Coelho's other titles.
Date published: 2008-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Important Lesson For Us All Reading Paulo Coelho's phenomenal best-selling novel reminded me of another two wildly popular new age philosophy fables: "The Celesteine Prophecy" and "The Five People You Meet in Heaven", in that the stories themselves were almost stupefyingly simple. Yet, the underlying messages relating to our interconnectivity and the importance of pursuing our own personal destinies bear repeating. Life is, if nothing else, a myriad of white noise, as we are inundated on all sides by all manner of stimuli. Time moves very fast, and its entirely too easy to loose track of where we are and, more importantly, of where we're headed. In the Alchemist, a simple shepard boy sets out to find his life's true purpose and despite numerous obstacles, the gods smile on him because of his bravery. He learns the importance of looking for and listening to the signs that propel us forward in our life-quest and eventually understands the rewards inherent in the journey are almost as rich as the actual treasure at it's end. Now, a cynical person might look down on the preachy quality of these little stories, but I'm not one of them. Life is short and at times, very difficult, and people who are willing to take risks deserve our respect and certainly can use a little boost now and then. Also, the idea of all of us having a higher, or "true" purpose somehow feels very right to me. The fact that this short book has sold something like 60 million copies and has been translated into more than 50 languages confirms that there's a gap there, that many of us feel an ache that must be filled. Its simplicity is it's strength - the messages contained within are very clear. Go for it - you'll be glad you did!
Date published: 2008-09-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing Read I was absolutely amazed by this novel. Reads like an adventure novel but has a deeper spiritual meaning. I would definately recommend this book to those who enjoyed reading: Da Vinci Code, Life of Pi type books
Date published: 2008-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from the alchemist A great book. I have read all this authors books and have found them all to be very inspired. If you are looking for something more of out life, but have not quite found it then this book (and his other books) may offer you some guidance and some thoughts to live by.
Date published: 2008-09-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enchanting I had come across this title many times before i read it, hearing that it was exceptional, a best seller, and one of the greatest in its times. When i got my hands on it i twas easy to read and not at all very long. It is a quick read that teaches alot and takes you from one place to another to another. You learn alot and you see that with just a bit of hope you can go very far in life.
Date published: 2008-08-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing, inspiring and enterntaining Many people had recommended this book to me many times, yet I decided to give it a try just last week. As I began to read it, I began to live and experience the story. The way the author describes everything and the way he implies different and valuable messages throughout the story make you nod and agree with certainty. This is doubtless one of the best books I have ever read in my whole life, not only does it teach you so many valuable and important things, but it allows you to begin a journey next to the characters, where you begin to understand and see life from a different and more positive perspective.
Date published: 2008-07-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Discover the words of wisdom The journey of the shepherd Santiago on his quest to fulfill his 'Personal Legend' is a magical experience to behold, not just for the young boy himself, but for Paulo Coelho penning his message in the story, the translator finding the right, simple words to keep the meaning, and for the millions of readers this book has reached. I admit the underlying ideas were too immense at times, and I was unsure if I had to go beyond the words or take it for its face value. My brother summed it up best: it's up to the individual to interpret the message regardless of the depth, just like how 'The Little Prince' by Antoine Saint-Exupery could be a children's fable or could include compelling introspection. Nevertheless, it gives a strong message on living the moment and achieving one's aspirations. This is a recommended read to understanding the heart, the mind, and the signs.
Date published: 2008-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Encouraging story This is an exceptional and easy to read book. The overall message is to pursue your dreams no matter how difficult they may seem. I loved it and consider it one of my favourites. The book just outright makes you feel good and prevails upon you to change your life for the better. Hope his other books are as close to being as good as this one.
Date published: 2008-06-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not what it seems Based on the reviews I expected that this was a different kind of book. At times, this semed like a self help book. If I had to read the term 'personal legend' one more time I would have thrown the book out a window. In retrospect though, the book does have a charming quality - like a fable. I think if I had gone in knowing that I could have enjoyed the book much more.
Date published: 2008-05-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Amazing! This has been one of the greatest books ever written! I love Paulo Coelho's work and have read 11 Minutes and loved it. But The Alchemist is now my favorite book and highly reccomended! I couldnt put it down, I am so looking forward to reading another one of Paulo's novels......................
Date published: 2008-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring! A beautiful book whose seemingly simplistic story can transport the reader to different times in their live teach them lessons. Though some find that "The Alchemist" is a simplistic meandering story; others, like me, looked deeper and identified with the symbolism and lessons that Mr. Coelho protrayed. I was able to identify and apply these lessons to my life and recommend anyone who needs to find peace or direction in their travels through life. I read this book in one night, and re-read it again the following day. This is one of my favorite books that I have ever read, Mr. Coelho's writing is inspiring.
Date published: 2008-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Must Read! This novel captured me, and pulled me in, within the first few pages! It is a fantastic journey of truth, meaning, love, and life! Its is jam packed full of experiance, and knowledge. Paulo Coelho truly is the best author out there! And this book is proof!
Date published: 2008-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Alchemist By far the best impirational novel ever written - truely motivating for you to find your destiny and follow your dreams! - I loved it :)
Date published: 2008-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great feel-good read! The story is uncomplicated (without being simple), written beautifully and an easy read. I loved it because it takes me to a positive, pure, idealistic and magical realm where everything is possible. It reminds me to be positive and entertains me at the same time.
Date published: 2008-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolute classic! This is a powerful piece of work with beautiful words. A must-read for all people.
Date published: 2007-12-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Alchemist This book started me on a new path in my own life and the author got me hooked on his writing. The book mirrored my desire to see the world beyond the small town in which I live. "When you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true", the optimism reflected in Paulo's writing warms your heart and causes one to continue to look for more positive images to read. After I read it I wanted to share it with my children so they could believe in life really driving you on towards good.
Date published: 2007-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best travelling book ever written! A magical story of the difficult journey one takes when pursuing one's dreams, and the challenges in searching for one's personal treasure.
Date published: 2007-10-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What is it about this book? I can't quite put my finger on it, but there is something magical about this book. When you've finished reading, you'll feel like a completely different person. It’s a very imaginative story about growing up and learning through experience. I've heard people compare it to "Celestine Prophecy" but do yourself the favour and check out this book. There is also a really nice illustrated version that makes a great gift!
Date published: 2007-09-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from WAY Overrated The Alchemist is an inspiring journey of words, dreams, and love that fearlessly portrays the endless powers of man. However, I believe that The Alchemist is way overrated. Although it is a great read, I was not "hooked," and it took me nearly a week to finish it because I was not enticed to come back to the book. Hopelessly cheesy and sugar-coated, I do not understand the hype around such an average book, and if this is the "best book you've ever read," then I have a whole list of books that you need to read. As it is The Alchemist can only merit 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Date published: 2007-09-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Insightful and Inspiring Don't miss the point of this story! It may have been told many times before but worth reading again. The relationship between the divine humankind and our divine creator is what is highlighted here. The author's clear message that the journey within ourselves is as important as the physical journey our human life takes us on. The message of ...'be still and listen to your heart." is something we need to be reminded of often.
Date published: 2007-06-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AN AMAZING JOURNEY! A masterpiece! As others have said, it will change the way you think and view the world around you! It's a fast read...you won't want to put it down.
Date published: 2007-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thought-provking I'm sixteen and I read this book completely by accident; I thought it was something else. I'm really glad I did though. A lot of the book is philosophy, and it's not really about the shepherd or the alchemist, it's a universal explanation of one man's discovery of the unwritten laws of the universe. People enjoy it because it makes them feel like they understand life a little better. It definitely requires an open mind, and it is not light reading. It's not a book you read for its plot, you read it because it makes you think. Paulo Coelho, though he's explaining his understanding of the world, doesn't force anything on you. I definitely agree with some things because I know they're true, others I don't agree with so much. Either way, it's a learning experience. We all have to choose our values and beliefs at some point, and this book can help with self-discovery.
Date published: 2007-06-22
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Am I Missing A Point? I was led to believe that when I bought the book, I was going to be taken into a magical, exhilarating and intoxicating journey but to my VERY unfortunate disappointment, I felt like it was a wild goose chase. Without giving much away, readers will understand when they have read the book what I intended, when I say a wild goose chase. This book is for the older and more spiritual/theological people. It isn’t about “self-discovering”, I’m sorry to say. I did not find it in any way opening up a new perspective that I haven’t seen or heard of. For those who like a clear cut of fiction and non-fiction, this isn’t for you. There is a lot of guessing and interpretations to be made and believe me, it’s not the good kind.
Date published: 2007-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant This book looks into the spiritual relationships between God, man, earth and universe. Total amazing!! It makes the reader consider where they are in their life's journey and their purpose in life. Simple writing with in-depth meaning, easy to read.
Date published: 2007-03-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Mind Changing This book changes the way you think. It makes you feel “if it was meant to happen, it will happen” and made you believe that getting to the destination is not what is most important, but what you did on the journey to get there. A good discussion book to help you along on life’s journey.
Date published: 2007-03-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Find Your Personal Legend The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho appears to be a simple story, but it has deeper meaning under the surface story. "A fable about following your dream" is the best way to nutshell it. As Santiago follows his life path, he meets people he needs to fulfill his Personal Legend--his mission on this earth. Santiago in return affects these people and others too as they strive to fulfill their own Personal Legends. He makes many sacrifices that don't always turn out as hoped. Some lessons are hard learned but necessary to achieve the final goal. One of the bigger messages offered is that those who don't take risks will miss out on all life has to offer. This international bestseller is a quick read, but will provide lasting hours of food for thought.
Date published: 2007-03-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Simple depth From a plot point of view, this book is very, linear. Boy Shepherd has a dream, gets it interpreted, learns of treasure buried by the pyramids, talks to a wise king, learns he is on a quest for his personal legend, travels to Egypt, etc etc. There are no real plot twists (beyond one near the end), and the story is simple and straightforward. And, still, somehow, both spiritually interesting and thought-provoking. It has the sense of a legend or myth in and of itself, and had some wonderful lines to it ("What goes into a man's mouth is never evil, but what comes out of it is often so," and so on). It made me think a few times, and that's always welcome. The notion that everyone has a Personal Legend - and that the universe will try to get you onto the path of said Legend, is a very solid piece of interesting writing. I think I had less of a "this shall change my life!" reaction than many I've spoken to who've read this, but at the same time, I ended up thinking about it for a few days
Date published: 2007-02-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Coelho is by far one of the greatest authors of our time. He is one of the few who speaks to the heart, mind and soul. This book will change your life forever by inspiring you to chase any and all of your dreams and follow your heart. You definitely won't regret reading this one.
Date published: 2007-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Eye Opening I normally hate when people hype up a good book so much that when I go to read it, it doesnt live up to what I heard, but this book was simply amazing =)
Date published: 2007-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simplicity equals beauty!! This book not only became one of my favorite stories to tell other's, but has given me a great guide and courageously taught me that I not only listen to my instinct's in life, but follow them with confidence. Paulo Coelho is known as one of the best writer's of our time. And this was the book that started it all. If you want an uplifting book that will encourage you to follow your dreams till your last possible breath, this is the book. Enjoy!
Date published: 2006-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully Crafted Paulo Coehlo's wonderfully poetic prose will transport you to a world of spirit and hope. Santiago's journey is one we all share in at some point of our lives, the only question is of our awareness. A must read for all of us who question, seek and dream.
Date published: 2006-07-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing book book was simply and unthinkably great. it seriously couldn't have been better in my opinion. paulo coelho is a fantastic author that teaches readers that language of the universe and the wisdom of life and helps us understand that we should follow our dreams because everything is for a purpose. the book is an exeptioanal bestseller and a perfect read
Date published: 2006-07-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A GREAT STORY OF LISTENING TO YOUR HEART Let's just clarify something, this is not a book and CD-ROM. Its a book on CD. I was disappointed when I received it. However, it really is a wonderful book. Parents should insist that their children read this to aid in teaching them to live thier lives true to morality and hard work. Loved it!
Date published: 2006-07-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mystic and Poetic Santiago's pilgrimage to discover his Personal Legend is a lesson for contemporary society. If you are looking for something mysterious, soft, and inspiring then this fable is for you.
Date published: 2006-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Display Case Required.. This story is a masterpiece on dreaming, believing, and finding your treasures in life, as a disguised king speaks to a young, puzzled shepherd boy - who already thought his sheep could give him all the happiness he desired - about how he must venture towards his dreams, learning the things the world has chosen to forget – the “Universal Language” and the “Soul of the World.” - “Truly inspirational!” The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho creates a flame of indescribable joy, as you set fourth on the boy’s journey through sands and sun, love and hate, acquaintances and more; becoming his precise shadow and footsteps as the author’s heart desired. A book which I extremely recommend for any reader seeking the perfect summer retreat.
Date published: 2006-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A moving audio experience I listened to this on unabridged audio while travelling back and forth to work. From a plot point of view, this book is very, well, linear. Boy Shepherd has a dream, gets it interpreted, learns of treasure buried by the pyramids, talks to a wise king, learns he is on a quest for his personal legend, travels to Egypt, etc etc. There are no real plot twists (beyond one near the end), and the story is simple and straightforward. And, still, somehow, both spiritually interesting and thought-provoking. It has the sense of a legend or myth in and of itself, and had some wonderful lines to it ("What goes into a man's mouth is never evil, but what comes out of it is often so," and so on). It made me think a few times, and that's always welcome. The notion that everyone has a Personal Legend - and that the universe will try to get you onto the path of said Legend, is a very solid piece of interesting writing. I think I had less of a "this shall change my life!" reaction than most I've spoken to who've read this, but at the same time, I quite ended up thinking about it for a few days (I only now just write this review, but I finished it last week). Definitely recommended.
Date published: 2006-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring The Alchemist is one of those few books out there that is truly inspiring. It gives hope that anyone can achieve what seems to be the impossible.
Date published: 2006-06-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful and Inspiring Paulo Coelho's writing has an edge of the mystical about it, and yet the stories are simple and honest. The Alchemist is possibly the best of his works, where a young boy travels all over the world in pursuit of his dreams. I love Santiago's innocence, because he is very much like a real person who has the clarity to ignore all the extra confusion and focus on what's important. Although he is searching for treasure, he finds more than he was looking for along the way.
Date published: 2006-06-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly inspiring. Paulo Coelho has created an intricately woven tale with elements of spirituality and mysticism. We are brought along on the journey of a young shepherd in search of his 'Personal Legend' - the true meaning of one's existence. Readers of all walks of life will find deep meaning in Coelho's words, and perhaps be inspired to find their own 'Personal Legend'.
Date published: 2006-06-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Fantastic Dream! Everyone from the bookstore representative to my friends, said that The Alechmist was a great book. They where wrong, its a fanatastic book, Paul Coelho's writing is just so fluid - you feel that your in a dream that you never want to end. The story is intriguing, witty, and mysterious that it kept me up reading it for two days! Im on my third time reading it again already.
Date published: 2006-06-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the BEST books ever I absolutely loved this book! It evoked so much emotion and personal insight. I recomend this to anyone. It's an easy read, I read it in a couple of hours. I would definetly say that it is my favourite book as of date.
Date published: 2006-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastically Amazing This book isn't about who you are. It's all about who do you WANT to be? How can you achieve that? What is it you can do to arrive at your destination? Well in this book Paulo Coelho explains it all. The drive behind fate. The force byond destiny. And how the universe itself is on our team of man kind. How "when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it." A great book. An easy read. A good way to pick yourself up, and go for your dream, because that is what your destiny is.
Date published: 2006-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from *Inspiring* This book is a must-read. One of the best books i've ever read. It will change your whole outlook on life.
Date published: 2006-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This Read is A Treasure! I'm a big fan of Paulo Coelho's, but this book, is my all time favorite. Paulo tends to write about very human stories that speak of personal growth and wisdom from the perception of a sage. This story is very potent. A wonderful read. I personally bought ten copies and gifted them to everyone I loved.
Date published: 2006-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Paulo Coelho takes you into a journey The alchemist is a short story about an individual that somehow relates to all of us… The character encounters himself several times dreaming about a treasure, something that drives his adventurous spirit to wonder what will be of him if he is guided by this dream. One of this voices; the feeling of venture; is telling him to go and wonder into the extensive world in search for this dream. The other voice; the voice of maturity and conformity; is telling him that there is no need, because he has everything he wanted for a living. The whole story is base on instances of time, where hints, feelings, and thoughts are place in the main character, so the reader is able to experience the struggle of breaking free from a regular life. There are other characters that somehow help the main character to gain trust about what is going to happen. Mentally preparing him to become strong and take a blind decision towards the direction of his dream. There are moments in time that can fracture a person’s heart, mind and soul. These occurrences of life are placed in to reveal the importance of that dream; whether good or bad; the main character endeavors in a wonderful trip to an estrange land. Every experience he has fills in his spirit, making him become smarter and wiser. At the end of the journey, he finds what he dreamed of. However the real treasure was the people he met, the experience gain and the satisfaction of accomplishment throughout his trip.
Date published: 2006-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A lifetime's friend I couldn't put this book down, something in the first few pages spoke to me; and continued to speak throughout the story. I will be rereading this one for life, whenever I need to think about life and see the positive in it.
Date published: 2006-02-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from New vue on life The book really gave me a new vue on life. At the beginning, I have to admit I found it a little confusing, but it's just as if deep down inside... I understood the true meaning of the story inside story. I'm proud to say that this book changed me.
Date published: 2006-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent book Once I started the book, I couldn't put it down. It has really changed the way I look at things, I really loved the concept of Personal Legends and I think that it's something I will think about in the future. I think everyone should read this book, we all have something to gain from it. It also doesn't hurt that it's a very short book, there's no excuse not to read it!
Date published: 2005-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thought provoking, excellent book I enjoyed this book . It was highly inspirational and gave a new perspective to life. A superb book to read for everyone, highly recommended.
Date published: 2005-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I cried twice i cant believe how amazing this book is. i am 15 and in cadets and i still cried like a baby. it is heartlifting and it will influence me for the rest of my life. I will now strive to become a semen like i have always wanted too. buy this book right now its amazing. i had to buy another because i dropped this one in the toilet. :)
Date published: 2005-10-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply rewarding.. This book unravels the bound realistic ordeals in life and is beautifully narrated from beginning to end. If I had to choose the one book for life, this would be the one.
Date published: 2005-08-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is an omen If you are debating on whether or not you should read this book.. DO IT! An easy read with a great beauty. You can`t go wrong with this one!
Date published: 2005-07-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spiritual After I finished reading The Alchemist, I felt I had learned something about the world, and about life. It was a very good book.
Date published: 2005-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Opportunity comes in disguise This is the first book I could not put down, and I read it in an afternoon. It is inspiring, rather than heroic, in that it makes you feel your goal, or 'Personal Legend', is reachable. It also leaves you with an inner calm. As other reviewers have observed, it emphasizes the importance of understanding your own personal goal, and pursuing it, but recognizing the learnings acquired on the journey. The book also illustrates how opportunity comes in disguise, often, on the face of it, in the form of bad news. As I look back on my own personal experience I see the truth of that at many turning points in my life. Adversity forces one to switch off 'auto-pilot' and set a fresh course towards the goal in one's heart. Understanding this at the time could help in charting that new course with courage, optimism and vigour. A book for young and old alike.
Date published: 2004-12-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Simple yet Deep When I was advised to read THE ALCHEMIST by a friend, I thought that it would be a thick book with complicating wordings and a book like any other. However it turned out to be a book easy to read yet the meanings it sent across was very deep. It definitely makes the reader reflect on their own life and question if they have reached their destiny and dream. I would definitely recommend people to read this book.
Date published: 2004-12-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspirational In a world where we seek out the short cuts to get to the end as quickly as possible, this story inspires us to become one with the journey. In recent years when I have come to critical crossroads, I have found this book offers insight that helps quiet the mind and helps one to understand the path with greater clarity. I have enjoyed it several times over and recommend it as a great travel companion through the journey of life. JPC
Date published: 2004-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from one of the best this is such a great book. i read it a few times, and every time i read it, it inspires me so much, makes me think i can do anything i set my mind to. i highly recommend this book to anyone, especially those of you who are unsure of what the important things in life are, and who are unsure of how much following your dreams is really important. the whole point is that the most important things in life are not material...
Date published: 2003-10-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Alchemist This is indeed one of the best books i've read...full of life's lessons and timeless in it's message. Santiago's story pulls you through the pages so you don't want to put the book down. overall a great read
Date published: 2003-05-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOn't put it down This book, Who Moved My Cheese (Spencer Johnson),Self Matters (Dr.Phil) and The Butterfly (Jay singh) were my favorite books of the year. I got many books in my stocking and I must say this was my favorite! Buy this book, you won't regret it.
Date published: 2002-12-31
Rated 1 out of 5 by from The alchemist this book was the best book i have ever read. it really inspired me to do my best to follow my dreams.
Date published: 2002-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Alchemist This book was recommended to me by someone who reads one book a year. He was not wrong in picking The Alchemist as his yearly book. Since reading it I have given it as a gift eight times. The Alchemist transports you into the soul and heart of the shepherd boy, you want him to follow and finish his journey. This book can give you the courage to get off the couch and follow your own destiny. Wherever that may take you.
Date published: 2002-10-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent!! This is by far my favourite book. The author accomplishes his mission to teach the reader to never give up on his/her dreams by using a simple, heart-warming, and down-to-earth story. A modern-day classic!
Date published: 2002-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from one of the greatest books ever! This is an absolute masterpiece! Me being a 15 year old, I didnt know what an alchemist was, but after reading the first few pages I was captured.. this is a must read. The lesson and the view on life has changed my own outlook on life... my favorite book ever!
Date published: 2002-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A MUST READ One of the most inspirational books i have ever read. I am only 18 but i read alot of philosophy based books, and this one is one of tops books. The authors intepretation of the human path through life and its lessons are amazing. I definitely look at life differently. It now takes on a whole new meaning.
Date published: 2002-02-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Need a push to follow your dreams? Read this Book! When a friend discovered that I had given up my dreams to become a corporate slave, he told referred this book to me. It was through Santiago's journey that the little girl without inhibitions was reborn within me. I realized that it's never too late to start following your dreams - after all, you only live once. This book reminded me that life w/out purpose and passion is meaningless. The Alchemist is a must read for anyone in need of a push to follow their dreams! PS: it's an easy read!
Date published: 2001-05-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a piece of work! This book takes you through all of life's lesson in about 200 pages. I'm only 15, and I loved reading about Santiago's journey to discover himself. I would recommend this book to anyone who'se looking for inspiration!
Date published: 2001-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing! This is one of those rare books that contains a wealth of inspiration for those ready to recieve its message. The story is simple but the ideas are deeply spiritual and complex. I highly recommend it to anyone - it will entertain you and open your mind.
Date published: 2001-04-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Alchemist An interesting journey following this young boy through the trials of his life. Invokes your own journey and reminders of how important fate and family are in our future.
Date published: 2000-10-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read this book to change your thought on life! Paulo Coelho breathes such life into his character Santiago, that not only are you compelled to read through "The Alchemist's" pages, but you also feel as though your immersed in Santiago's journey, relating to his chances of fate, and drop-of-the-heart realities. This invigorating tale of one man's search of destiny, has a meaning that anyone can empathize and take with them. Whether your a die-hard reading fanatic, or just a magazine flipper, I highly recommend this book to anyone who feels like they've lost their path, but still has a personal journey that they would like to finish.
Date published: 2000-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from If you don't have 40 days If you haven't the time to retreat to the desert or climb a mountain or leave your daily routine, this book may satisfy the desire to go away to rethink your dreams. The shepherd's journey is one my heart shared. The hope, the faith, the work, the resolve, and the love are woven together in ways I identifed with. I recognized familiar joys and sorrows. The bittersweetness of challenge and comfort mingled on each page. I finished Coelho's book feeling that I could take some new risks in my life, risks drawing me closer to the truth of who I am. It will stay on my must reread annually shelf. This is a great gift.
Date published: 2000-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Life is but a Dream! Recommended by a friend, I set out to read this novel, not even knowing what an alchemist was. At first it's simplisity made me question the praise this novel has gained internationally but as I read on, I could not put the book down. I couldn't help but feel compelled by the boy's courage to follow his heart even though he did not understand it. I finished this novel questioning my dreams and passions and whether my fear of suffering was keeping me from feeling fulfilled. It's a must read for anyone in need of feeling empowered by their spirit!
Date published: 2000-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Alchemist This is the most brilliant piece of literature ever written! For those who have not read it yet ...this will not only inspire you but will keep you captivated until the end. It serves as a medium for those on the path to self-realization. Lots of wisdom...life lessons...along Santiago's journey to self-discovery. For those seeking the true treasures in life, this book will definetely reflect "the road less traveled." Absolutely amazing!!!
Date published: 2000-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read the Alchemist and be inspired! Warm and inspiring, Paulo Coelho's fable for adults reminds us of the importance of listening to our hearts and following our dreams. P.S. I highly recommend the Illustrated Alchemist (ISBN 006019250x)for collectors or as a gift. This book was definately a find!
Date published: 1999-07-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A reminder of your own dreams The Alchemist...a wonderful adventure in your own mind, an intriguing book about realizing your dreams and reminding you the whole while that you did have dreams and probably still do.while reading this book You will find yourself looking back and remembering.....remembering the dreams you had as a young adult and wondering what stopped you! then plunging you into the thought of now persuing it and realizing your personal goal. Shall i go on? NO....THE ALCHEMIST is a must read in my book
Date published: 1999-05-11

– More About This Product –

The Alchemist

by Paulo Coelho

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 208 pages, 8.13 × 5.5 × 0.59 in

Published: April 12, 2006

Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0061122416

ISBN - 13: 9780061122415

About the Book

This international bestseller about the shepherd boy Santiago who learns how to live his dreams includes an inspiring afterword by the author.

From the Publisher

"My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky." Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams."

Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. The Alchemist is such a book. With over a million and a half copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has already established itself as a modern classic, universally admired. Paulo Coelho's charming fable, now available in English for the first time, will enchant and inspire an even wider audience of readers for generations to come.

The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist.

The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, above all, following our dreams.

About the Author

Paulo Coelho, born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, is one of the bestselling and most influential authors in the world. The Alchemist, The Pilgrimage, The Valkyries,Brida, Veronika Decides to Die, Eleven Minutes, The Zahir, The Witch of Portobello, and The Winner Stands Alone, among others, have sold 115 million copies in more than 160 countries.


Paulo Coelho naciÓ en Brasil en 1947 y es uno de los autores con mÁs influencia de hoy dÍa. Conocido mundialmente por el bestseller internacional El Alquimista, Coelho ha vendido mÁs de 100 millones de libros en todo el mundo, los cuales han sido traducidos a 68 idiomas y publicados en 150 paÍses. Paulo Coelho escribe una columna semanal que se publica en los periÓdicos mÁs importantes del mundo.

Editorial Reviews

“[His] books have had a life-enchanting effect on millions of people.” (London Times)
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