©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]
Thoreau's Walden ("Reading") and Ayn Rand's introduction to The Fountainhead (25th anniversary edition) summarize my library well.
While the theme of "creating your personal legend" is a theme that I agree with, I found the text too repetitive. While the narration was technically good, Irons' accent and delivery wasn't to my taste (he certainly had an initial bias from me in his favor, for I have fond memories of a vacation to Andalusia many years ago).
I listened to this title four months prior to writing this review, so some of the story details have faded (which perhaps is the most telling review I could give).
I had no expectations going in so no disappointment there. Considering it was a fable I kept trying to understand the lessons to be learned. The story was very visible in my mind and the turn of events kept me engaged. The narrator presented many characters as almost evil when I believe they were intended to be just gruff. Entertaining!
This book grabbed me from the very beginning! And that doesn't happen too often. It's a book for people who like to dream and think about new ideas. I easily would have listed to straight through if I didn't really have to go to sleep... at two in the morning :) Everything about it is perfect and the narration is wonderful too!
I am a university professor & author. I teach courses in media theory & psychology. I live in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.
Dull & poorly written. Jeremy Irons is a great reader though. The dialogue and plot is extremely shallow and cliche. I would not recommend this book to anyone over the age of 12 or 13.
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