©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]
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
Jeremy Irons does a wonderful job narrating this work. The story is an easy listen. It is packed with lots of meaning and there were times I wanted to stop the audio just to think about what was being said. Lessons on life, love and the way we see the world can be found in this wonderful story.
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
...the narration by Jeremy Irons. I was not disappointed; the narration is magnificent. The Alchemist is readily available at no cost on the web. The book has a beauty, but that beauty is in the lyrical language rather than in its message. The real wonder is in the quality of the English translation from the original Brazillian Portuguese. The philosophy expressed in The Alchemist is ill conceived and is internally inconsistent. The mysticism of discussing ones thoughts with the sun and the wind is off-putting to me. Finally, the very thought of having a life's dream/purpose of visiting the pyramids is intellectually shallow.
A musician and songwriter from the Boston area. I like "Regular Guy" books. No chick Lit, no zombies, or vampires please. No politics.
This is a book that tries hard to be full of inspirationally motivated lessons in life. The narration was good, but the story itself was geared more to an adolescent mindset. I had hoped for some sort of spiritual uplifting, but it just didn't accomplish that for me.
Nothing profound here.
I'd say it's overrated, and a bit long.
It's pleasant enough to read and these simplistic fables and philosophies are nice to think about, but as a story it's not too exciting.
"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.
"Pregnant with wisdom"
The Alchemist stirred questions within me. It revealed wisdom that had been staring me in the face, which I had failed to recognise.
The story of the Centurion struck a deeply personal nerve, at a most vulnerable time, bringing tears to my eyes .
Jeremy Irons made the words leap of the page, as though they have a life of their own. I would recommend this book to anyone who is afraid of failure.
Just amazing, my life has begun a new chapter, I've quit my job and I'm moving abroad in 3 weeks.
"This story moved me."
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.
"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.
"Soft, easy and inspiring"
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.
The ending, the characters.
Irons made the experience absolutely better.
"Fantastic read ( and listen)"
What a fantastic book. A really complete story. Fantastic detail and insight into a world of mystery. Highly recommended .
"Excellent - definitely recommend"
totally engrossing, brilliantly narrated and I would recommend this to anyone with a bit of time on there hands. it's a short story with a big impact.
"I don't understand the fuss over this"
Jeremy Irons was great. However I am either not intelligent enough to 'get' this story or it's just a case of the emperor's new clothes. I found it hard to want to listen to it so took a while to finish it. I haven't really taken much from it. It did have a certain dreamlike style.
"Not a book for feminists!"
This is a really unusual and imaginative book which is very well read by Jeremy Irons. I enjoyed a lot of the story and the overall idea, but I found the story horribly sexist.
The whole story is based around a boy who goes in search of his personal legend (basically his life purpose) this involves many adventures, exciting discoveries, meeting new people (almost exclusively men) who help him discover new aspects of himself and life.
Meanwhile he meets a grand total of two women. We aren't told anything about the life purpose of the first woman but the second does have a life purpose. It is to sit at home and wait until a man comes along to complete her and then to wait (at home) while he goes and pursues his dreams!!!!!!! The very fact that she has met him means her life is complete, even if he doesn't bother to come back.
On top of that the whole story is filled with lines like "when a man goes in search of his dreams . . ." "a man must follow his destiny . . ." I'm really not sure if the author actually meant this only applies to men or if he was using "men" when he should have said people. Either way I was getting angrier and angrier listening.
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