The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream Audiobook | Paulo Coelho | Audible.com
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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 (3127 )
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4.3 (1832 )
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4.5 (1814 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    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
  •  
    J Lewisville, TX, United States 06-28-11
    J Lewisville, TX, United States 06-28-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
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    "This book ruined my personal legend"

    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.

    33 of 49 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
    6
    ratings
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    50
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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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    10
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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
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    Story
    "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
  •  
    Lynn BEAUMONT, TX, United States 10-19-11
    Lynn BEAUMONT, TX, United States 10-19-11 Member Since 2005
    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.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gobby UK 05-26-13
    Gobby UK 05-26-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    3
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    "Painful"
    What disappointed you about The Alchemist?

    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.


    Has The Alchemist turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Jeremy Irons was nice to listen to.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank Newark, NJ, United States 08-02-12
    Frank Newark, NJ, United States 08-02-12 Member Since 2012

    avid reader, on my way to avid listener. also an employee at Audible.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It Really Was Very Good"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kirstin Atlanta, GA, United States 07-29-12
    Kirstin Atlanta, GA, United States 07-29-12 Member Since 2010

    I am a grower. A tangle of vines weaving round myrtle branch fences. Rusty metal, soft stone, and worn wood. Unkempt curls and knees covered in clay. I listen.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awe is contagious..."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I would recommend this audiobook to friends. It is a beautiful story that at its core teaches us to have faith in the flow of life and trust in the whispers of our own heart.


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

    My favorite part was when the boy must become the wind.


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

    No I have not


    If you could take any character from The Alchemist out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    The old king. I would have many questions to ask.


    Any additional comments?

    I love this timeless story of following your heart!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Cedar Hills, UT, United States 07-09-12
    Jennifer Cedar Hills, UT, United States 07-09-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    5
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    "Jeremy Irons brings the book to life"
    Where does The Alchemist rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    For fiction, this book ranks in the top 20. I only wish there were sequels!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The shepherd boy... because even though I don't herd sheep, I have dreams too.


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

    Melchizedek



    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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