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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 (5467 )
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4.5 (3833 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Rick Cotacachi, Ecuador 11-02-14
    Rick Cotacachi, Ecuador 11-02-14 Member Since 2013

    In a small, peaceful town on the Equator, the sun always sets at 6, and a good audiobook is always the perfect evening companion.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thoughtful listening"

    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.

    2 of 2 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

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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".


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ninjac Washington, DC, United States 07-25-11
    ninjac Washington, DC, United States 07-25-11 Member Since 2011
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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.

    14 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Micah Woods Cross, UT, United States 08-08-12
    Micah Woods Cross, UT, United States 08-08-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Personally, I did not care for it"

    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.

    30 of 42 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EW Corydon,IN 10-21-11
    EW Corydon,IN 10-21-11 Member Since 2010

    Tell us about yourself!

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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.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn 10-19-11
    Lynn 10-19-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Winston Salem, NC, United States 06-08-11
    William Winston Salem, NC, United States 06-08-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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".

    74 of 110 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Y. Scott 03-19-15
    Y. Scott 03-19-15
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    "Jeremy Iron did a great job, but I hated the story"

    I don't care for the story. The teaching is so superficial and cliche. So shallow and boring. I want my money back!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    April round rock, TX, United States 03-12-15
    April round rock, TX, United States 03-12-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Not my favorite"

    This was a book club book, so I don't really know what I was expecting, but this felt very boring to me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex 02-10-15
    Alex 02-10-15 Member Since 2006
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    "Less profound than I expected"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 412 results PREVIOUS12342NEXT
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  • Bev
    London, United Kingdom
    10/5/11
    Overall
    "Mr Irons makes this reading beautiful"

    Whilst a lot of people may debate aspects of the book and its content in their review, I would like to comment on the extraordinary power and beauty of the reading by Jeremy Irons. His voice made this story a real joy to hear, I am going to search and see if he narrates any more on here. Having read the book before I can honestly say that Jeremy Irons' reading surpassed my reading by far. His dynamic tone and characterisation truly transport you on the magical journey of wonder that this book is all about. Thank you Audible, thank you Mr Irons, a beautiful 4 hours indeed.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • g
    St Helens, United Kingdom
    10/7/11
    Overall
    "Such an inspiring story"

    This was recommended by Will Smilth during an interview on his ideas of success.
    It's a simple and interesting tale with lots of twists and thought provoking ideas.
    Highly recommended to anyone, especially those interested in "the way" or personal development.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • S
    KENT, United Kingdom
    4/4/12
    Overall
    "Great Story - Great Narrator"

    This was recommended to me by a friend and I really enjoyed it. The narration was 1st class.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • jen
    Westbury on Trym, United Kingdom
    12/9/13
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    "This story moved me."
    Would you listen to The Alchemist again? Why?

    This is a wonderful and thought-provoking tale. I wanted to listen again as soon as it was finished! It really invites you to read between the lines and reflect upon your own life story. Highly recommended.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A. Collins
    Southampton, UK
    7/2/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Soft, easy and inspiring"
    What made the experience of listening to The Alchemist the most enjoyable?

    This book is all it's hyped to be. A warming and inspiring story with great characters and intrigue. A nice twist too ;)

    Jeremy Irons really enhanced the story for me too. His accents were apt and sometimes amusing; his voice acting top notch.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The ending, the characters.


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

    I've not.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Irons made the experience absolutely better.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Natalie
    ASHBY DE LA ZOUCH, United Kingdom
    6/24/12
    Overall
    "Beautiful reading"

    As the first audiobook I have listened to, I worried about the narrative voice blurring my own appreciation of a wonderful story. Irons' narration, however, is expressive and clear and brings a real authority to the reading.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Claudia Gomes
    4/14/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "5 *"

    brilliant and inspiring as only Paulo Coelho can be
    outstanding performance by Sir Jeremy Irons

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thomas
    4/14/15
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    Performance
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    "Life changing"

    Just amazing, my life has begun a new chapter, I've quit my job and I'm moving abroad in 3 weeks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. A. Martin
    3/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love it Love it Love it"

    I have listened to this book multiple times and still learn something new about where I am in my journey.
    The book is well written and narrated.
    The book always leaves me thinking about where I am in my life's journey and helps to keep me on course. Whilst it's not a motivation book although some will feel inspired by Santiago's journey I feel it's a book that will enable you to think through your decisions and enable you to make better decisions along the way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Joe
    3/18/15
    Overall
    "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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 15 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

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