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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

4.2 (3960 )
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4.5 (2570 )
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Performance
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  •  
    William Winston Salem, NC, United States 06-08-11
    William Winston Salem, NC, United States 06-08-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    254
    ratings
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    599
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    Overall
    "Heavy-handed"

    This book was like listening to a long sermon on a hot day, sitting in an uncomfortable pew while someone hits you upside the head with a canoe paddle.

    I suggest drinking a shot every time you hear the word, "omen".

    67 of 98 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed Maximus Kearny, NJ USA 11-13-14
    Ed Maximus Kearny, NJ USA 11-13-14 Member Since 2014

    Living my life one chapter at a time!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    11
    6
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    "A Superb Tale of Finding Your Personal Legend!"
    Where does The Alchemist rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Through four audiobooks, this one was amongst the top of all of them.


    What did you like best about this story?

    What I liked best was the main character's interactions with the different characters he met along his journey.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite scene was when the boy tried to tell Fatima the reason why he loved her and she stopped him and told him he didn't need to.


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

    Realizing Your Legacy.


    Any additional comments?

    The narration was perfect.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hanifah Wilson 11-01-14 Member Since 2014

    "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." -Nelson Mandela

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ""5 Stars Across The Board""
    Would you listen to The Alchemist again? Why?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Alchemist?

    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.


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

    I have never listened to any of his other performances, but I do remeber his role as Scar in "The Lion King".


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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".


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    claudia OREM, UT, United States 10-08-13
    claudia OREM, UT, United States 10-08-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    Story
    "Simple, Powerful, Thought Provoking"
    Any additional comments?

    A lot of people complain that the story is very basic and predicatable. I agree but I think thats what makes this book great. We tend to over complicate our lives, question why bad things happen to good people, we blame others for what happens in our lived. I feel like this book brings you back to the basics which is always a good place to start or restart. I recommened it to everyone who feels like they can't get a grip on their life. If you're looking for a new prospective...this book won't be a waste of your time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ninjac Washington, DC, United States 07-25-11
    ninjac Washington, DC, United States 07-25-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narration adds to ho-hum story"

    I joined a book club and this was the first book they chose to do. I wouldn't have read this book otherwise. But I really enjoyed Jeremy Irons reading this. You will like this book if you like new age religious themes.

    11 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn 10-19-11
    Lynn 10-19-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    715
    ratings
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    161
    144
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    "Entertaining"

    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.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cienne 02-26-12
    Cienne 02-26-12

    Cienne Aubryne

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    4
    4
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    Story
    "Too Dull"
    What would have made The Alchemist better?

    This would probably be better if you read it yourself, rather than an audible. It just didn't capture my interest. I didn't care about the characters and since finishing it, can't remember much about it.


    Would you recommend The Alchemist to your friends? Why or why not?

    I wouldn't recommend the Audible version because it just didn't grab me, make me want to find out more.


    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EW Corydon,IN 10-21-11
    EW Corydon,IN 10-21-11 Member Since 2010

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Eh....."

    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.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Minola Clark Manson San Diego, California United States 03-27-12
    Minola Clark Manson San Diego, California United States 03-27-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    18
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    "Poorly written overworked "fable""
    What disappointed you about The Alchemist?

    The story was too poorly veiled. Too chauvinistic. the concept was not new original. Therefore the information should be presented very well. It was not.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Paulo Coelho again?

    no


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Jeremy Irons?

    Absolutely


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Alchemist?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    no

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kent Springfield, VA, United States 03-20-12
    Kent Springfield, VA, United States 03-20-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    104
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    13
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    "What a nice little allegory!"

    This is a pleasant little story. And, it's one of those books that bears re-reading (or re-listening, if you did the audiobook format, such as I did)! I has the same sort of feel as "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran, or "Siddhartha" by Herman Hesse - and similarly carries a lot of subtle and overt life-messages in it's concise text. It is one of those stories that I'll ponder for quite a long time!
    Jeremy Irons did a fantastic job with the narration - lots of variety in voices, and LOTS of emotion and feeling in the emphasis of dialogue!
    This was a short, quick, and easy listen, and was very much worth my time!

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
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