©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]
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.
I had so much to give this audiobook. My hopes, my dreams, my time. I ventured out in search of treasure, but, alas, my personal legend was crushed under this lightweight novel like a wicker stool under a very large circus man. Quite possibly the most overrated novel in human history. Brutally redundant. Horrible writing. If you feel the stars may have aligned so that you might listen to or, dare I say, actually read this book, get a new alchemist. I'd rather be forced to read lyrics to the Black Eyed Peas' "Ring-A-Ling" song over and over and over again.
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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.
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.
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!
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.
I know from others who are so inspired that I was supposed to love this book and feel all life-changed by its amazing message, but this fable was just a motivational poster with supernatural nonsense. If I liked self-help books or were religious or didn't know happiness, I might've loved this. Or maybe if I were 12.
Jeremy Irons was nice to listen to.
avid reader, on my way to avid listener. also an employee at Audible.
This one had me all over the place. I liked the book - I loved the book - I hated the book - the book was ok - I liked the book - the book was ok. But by its last words, I had to say that I do love the book. I disliked the constant use of the words, "personal legend", and the awful affectation that Jeremy Irons employs when pronouncing these words in particular.
Though my opinion mixed and spun throughout my listen, that very challenge made the book ever more engaging, ever more interesting. This book is neat, heavily symbolic, heavily allegorical, concise, beautiful, and mystifying. And though the story and words are simple, the philosophy and meaning are challenging. Still, I think almost everything about this book is widely accessible. A friend described it as a "modern myth", and I have to agree with him. It reads like a myth: something ancient and wise, unbelievable and fantastic yet applicable and meaningful. It seems that the author has gathered the unspoken wisdom of a generation and wrapped it into this tight, literary package.
For fiction, this book ranks in the top 20. I only wish there were sequels!
The shepherd boy... because even though I don't herd sheep, I have dreams too.
I wanted to curl up on the couch next to Uncle Jeremy and have him tell me more and more... What is it about the voice of Jeremy Irons? He did a fantastic job with the various characters.
This book was a life changing read for me. I was moved and spiritually uplifted by this remarkable story. I usually only read biographies and non-fiction stories, but this has become my favorite book because of the meaningful lessons that are taught throughout. I can't say enough about this book other than the fact that my children will hear it over and over again and I believe every person should own this book.
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