©1988 Paulo Coelho; (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers
"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]
Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.
This modern parable is a beautifully simple tale, beautifully read by Jeremy Irons. If you've read this before, then you won't be disappointed by this production. If you've not read it before, then do yourself a favour and listen to it now. Yes, it has a deep religious undercurrent, but you can take that in or just be swept along on the top of the wave of poetic language. So graceful. So peaceful. Truly enduring.
I don't care for the story. The teaching is so superficial and cliche. So shallow and boring. I want my money back!
This was a book club book, so I don't really know what I was expecting, but this felt very boring to me.
In a small, peaceful town on the Equator, the sun always sets at 6, and a good audiobook is always the perfect evening companion.
Paulo Coelho's tightly crafted little fable has become something of a contemporary classic in the nearly twenty years since it first appeared. It's a thought-provoking, somewhat mystical perspective on values--what really matters in life, and what really doesn't. The obvious things, it turns out, really don't, and anyone who pays close attention is likely to be better for the experience. The reading in the velvety voice of Jeremy Irons is perfect.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." -Nelson Mandela
I would definitely listen to the title for a second time. It is a compelling novel about following your dreams no matter the hardships that come along with trying to achieve them. In the novel, Santiago dreamt of a life of travel and treasure, and made strides toward achieving both although he experienced some stumbling blocks along the way, including loosing all of his possessions to a street their and traveling the deserts during a time of war.
The most memorable moment for me was when Santiago met Fatimah. This part of the novel intrigued me because it spoke of two beings in love with never having known each other before hand. Santiago speaks of knowing he would love her before he ever even knew her and believes that they both loved one another at first sight, because they understood the language of the universal language of the world.
I have never listened to any of his other performances, but I do remeber his role as Scar in "The Lion King".
One moment in the book that really moved me was when Santiago met the old King. During their interaction, the old King said something that will stick with me for eternity. It read, "when you want something, the universe conspires in helping you achieve it".
If you are interested in classical literature that will keep its value, this book isn't it. If you want deeply drawn characters, this will disappoint. If you want an entertaining listen for a long drive, this may well be your choice! It is filled with thoughtful moments and insights into the human condition. It is filled with "religious" references, but that will not kill the story, but add to it. It is just a good listen.
Tell us about yourself!
Well I thought I would really like this book but didn't like it much at all. The story on the surface is very plain. The plot takes the main character in a big circle and back to square one with no "happy" ending (really it feels like no ending at all). It does have a deeper meanings that you can read into some but still not an exciting read. If I hadn't been one of those people who has to finish a book once it is started I would have put it down early rather than finishing.
This book was very little story surrounded by lots of rather ill-conceived philosophy. The little story there was is very simple with every small conflict easily resolved within a few 'pages'.
I also did not agree with several aspects of the 'follow your dreams at all costs' theme that the writer espoused. I don't want to put in any 'spoilers' but the writer put way too much emphasis on the 'personal legend'. I was sick of that phrase by the end...
Be warned it is VERY judeo-christian based, so if that kind of thing offends you, then stay away. I am a Christian, but still found the way the author used religion to be heavy-handed.
Perhaps if you are looking for inspiration you might enjoy it, but I left it feeling uninspired and wishing I had spent my credits elsewhere.
PS: Jeremy Irons did a good job with the reading, no complaints there.
I found the insights offered by Mr. Coelho to mostly skim the surface and romanticized. This may be the secret to the book's wide popularity. I would suggest works by Eckhart Tolle (Power of Now, etc) or Baha'i writings, or even Rumi, although Rumi requires more persistence.
A very old fashioned fable, beautifully read. A nice bedtime story for children. Definitely not for adults.
"A beautiful and reflective story"
Amazing read. Consider your own life while read and you will be amazed at what you find. I listen regularly
Will Smith told me to read this book and now I see why. Awesome!! Find your personal legend and don't stop fighting for it
"Great story, shame about the performance."
I love this story, read it a few times. It's one of my favourite books. However, the performance spoilt it for me. It was not very good. Some of the characters accents was not fitting with the back drop of the environment and the setting of the story.
"Enjoyable the 2nd time around"
I read the story of The Alchemist many years ago, back then, I kind of got the jest of it and that life is a journey. Fast forward several years later and instead of picking up the book, I listened to the book. The audible story transformed me to another place that the book version wasn't able too at that time. I listened to the story over two days and was drawn in with the experiences throughout the book.
I also suspect that I, myself, was at a place to truly understand the story. Worth the read and worth the thoughts that one has while listening to the story. Recommended Read!
Jeremy Irons has a good voice that doesn't take away from the words being expressed, he's able to capture the characters and the story where one is intrigued to keep listening and can't quite stop the audiobook.
Emotional reaction, doesn't have to involve laughter or tears, instead I was greeted with a higher awareness of things, daily things, one take for granted. My emotion was more meaningful and one of thought.
Life is a journey as it has been said many times. This book is about a journey, I believe it can help one to stop and think for a while and observe ones own life. To look at the individual belief system and ask questions that deep down each of us knows the answer.
its just a different way to absorb the message. Both book and audio were very enjoyable
No one particular part... I liked the whole book
No, I liked listening to it during my stretching sessions
This book was extremely disappointing. It was very cheesy and sentimental drivel. Badly written, repetitious and juvenile in style. The characters are one dimensional and in being so lacks depth. Despite it crossing various parts of the world, it fails to describe any of the beauties or otherwise of the places. In summary, this is a very badly written self-help book. The only good thing I can say about the book is that it is short ...
I would not recommend this book to anyone - just a waste of time and money!
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