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The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream | [Paulo Coelho]

The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream

Paulo Coelho's enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its simplicity and wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of 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.
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Publisher's Summary

Paulo Coelho's enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its simplicity and wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of 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 meditation on the treasures found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is art eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.

©1988 Paulo Coelho; (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"The story has the comic charm, dramatic tension and psychological intensity of a fairy tale, but it's full of specific wisdom as well, about becoming self-empowered, overcoming depression, and believing in dreams." (Publishers Weekly)

"Yareli Arizmendi spins this marvelous tale of exotic adventure....[He] makes us feel the pain and joy of Santiago, the poor shepherd boy, as he tries to decide whether to seek a larger fortune or stay in the security of his job. Exuding softness and pathos, the narrator reminds that us most people who are unhappy failed to follow their dreams when young." [AudioFile]

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (4986 )
5 star
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4.3 (3467 )
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4.5 (3435 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 06-12-14
    Amazon Customer United States 06-12-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    38
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Maybe I'm missing something"
    What disappointed you about The Alchemist?

    The hype that follows this story. It wasn't really a let down. It just kind of went thud. The story is very simple and can be told just as effectively in an even shorter version. I also don't buy into following your dream at all costs. The reality of life is, we all have people, obligations, baggage, etc. that accompany us. This story invokes being selfish at every turn in order to find your treasure.


    What could Paulo Coelho have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Shorten it and not rely so much on Islam. I understand the story takes place in that region of the world, but he's redundant in many of it's customs.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Jeremy Irons did a pretty good job. He wasn't really a distraction. His performance was really the only thing that kept me somewhat engaged.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Absolute, complete disappointment. As I mentioned already, the hype surrounding this story is very much unwarranted in my opinion. I'm sure some people like their "self help" books in fictional stories. Personally, I don't.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 06-08-14
    Jennifer 06-08-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it's just an amazing book with a very positive message


    Any additional comments?

    This is a wonderful story, and the insights are priceless. Jeremy Irons reading makes a great book even better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Wesport, CT, United States 04-05-14
    Andrew Wesport, CT, United States 04-05-14 Member Since 2011

    Westport, CT

    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    77
    77
    FOLLOWERS
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    2
    4
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    "Good read, best for young adult"

    Interesting read, a bit short though, could be considered somewhat anti christian in its message in that it provided an alternate reality to christian thought.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer EastHartford, CT USA 02-19-14
    Amazon Customer EastHartford, CT USA 02-19-14

    Stylist

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "OUTSTANDING!!!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Alchemist the most enjoyable?

    This is absolutely one of my favorite books. I first discovered it on youtube and from that day I cannot get enough. I listen to it over and over again and it always feel like I'm hearing it for the first time. I just had to purchase it, as I didn't want rely on youtube just in case.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The journey that the young lad had to take in order to realize his dream.


    What does Jeremy Irons bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I Love his voice.....he is Grrreat!


    Who was the most memorable character of The Alchemist and why?

    Everyone was memorable. They all work together to bring this story alive.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish I had this book 20 years ago! Love, Love, Love, Thank You!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer North Carolina, USA 02-17-14
    Amazon Customer North Carolina, USA 02-17-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Learned My Lesson"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Familiar with ebooks and paperback, this was one of the first buys on Audible since I do a lot of driving. I've heard amazing things about this book and couldn't wait to dive in. But I found myself wishing I had just went ahead and drowned about 3 chapters in. I don't recommend listening while on a road trip particularly if you're a driver for it will cause you to fall asleep at the will. The reading voice is much to dull and drawn making it difficult to get and remain engaged into the book. I learned my lesson. Always always sample no matter how accredited a work is.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JENNIFER THORNHILL, ON, Canada 02-07-14
    JENNIFER THORNHILL, ON, Canada 02-07-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    43
    11
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    0
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    "THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER LISTENED TO!"
    Where does The Alchemist rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    #1


    What other book might you compare The Alchemist to and why?

    None, it is in a class of it's own!


    Which character – as performed by Jeremy Irons – was your favorite?

    All of them, so well read! Best narration!


    If you could rename The Alchemist, what would you call it?

    The Legend


    Any additional comments?

    Incredible. Loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simon 02-04-14
    Simon 02-04-14 Member Since 2015

    I am an Entrepreneur, coach, mentor, interventionist, certified hypnotherapist, Husband and Father of four and catalyst for good change!

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A joy to listen too with good lessons and learning"
    Where does The Alchemist rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    A fun and great listening experience, with good life lessons contained too.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Jeremy Irons seems to be enjoying reading Paul Coelho's The Alchemist. Jeremy brings accents, tone, feeling and vibration to the story and you can imagine the different characters by just shutting your eyes, enjoying and laying back and immersing yourself into this very fine audio book. And you will come away having experienced a story which may help you change your life in a good way, if you just listen, yes just listen and let the legend of your life call you….then follow and create that legend..that's right, enjoy!


    Have you listened to any of Jeremy Irons’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I will look for other Jeremy Irons audio books based on his fine performance here.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Alchemist and why?

    The Old King is a wonderful character, he is the little difference that is all the difference, after you have listened to the book and look forward and back you will find the Kings lessons are strong in the foundation of life legend, your life legend perhaps too.


    Any additional comments?

    This book has helped many, and it can help you too if you choose to listen, enjoy and benefit. Good Karma and good luck wished to you

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Enjoli Robin Holt New Jersey, usa 01-23-14
    Enjoli Robin Holt New Jersey, usa 01-23-14

    Wade & Enjoli

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful Story"
    What did you love best about The Alchemist?

    The magic of trusting your dreams, getting to know yourself and the world in a new way


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The Boy


    What about Jeremy Irons’s performance did you like?

    Honestly, The voice is almost too soothing, and the accent. I had a hard time listening and getting into the book at times.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Alchemist and why?

    The Boy - He totally let his dream and the world guide him, very inspiring


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Harris Salem, OR USA 01-14-14
    J. Harris Salem, OR USA 01-14-14

    lifelong learner

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A moving story!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Alchemist the most enjoyable?

    It was an engaging story that was skillfully recorded and I couldn't wait to get in my car to listen more. Some recordings have phrases that are accidentally repeated, disturbing the flow of the book, I didn't find this with this book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was inspiring, using themes that were familiar to me but retold.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd Orange, Australia 11-28-13
    Todd Orange, Australia 11-28-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
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    51
    45
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    0
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    "An interesting journey of self-discovery"

    I thought this was a good book. It is well-written and mostly easy to listen to. At times it gets a bit too existential, but the story itself is a good one: A young boy has a dream of a secret treasure and sets out on a long journey to find it. What follows changes him in ways he never would have thought possible.

    Irons' narration is good, fitting for such a deep subject. This is a tale about stepping out of your comfort zone and having faith enough that you will withstand whatever comes after. The book contains parables within parables and most are easy to understand and apply to everyday life. Some are a little more obscure. But the message is clear enough.

    When the book focuses on telling the story of the boy's adventure, it is a delightful listen. It's only when it starts prattling on about the "soul of the world" and speaking the "language of the universe" that it gets a bit too abstract. But it's worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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