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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 (3602 )
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4.5 (2256 )
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Performance
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  •  
    K.D. Keenan Northern California 03-16-12
    K.D. Keenan Northern California 03-16-12 Member Since 2004

    1emp

    HELPFUL VOTES
    150
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    86
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    "It's OK"

    The story should have enchanted me. It's told like a fairy tale. It's full of interesting situations and characters. It is beautifully written. But for some reason, I just wasn't that into it. Jeremy Irons should have been able to make it gripping, but--for me, anyway--it just kind of fell flat.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amelia Atlanta, GA, United States 03-12-12
    Amelia Atlanta, GA, United States 03-12-12 Member Since 2004
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    33
    2
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    Story
    "One of the best books I have listened to"
    Where does The Alchemist rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top of the list


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

    When the boy travels to Egypt and meets the Alchemist.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When he meets the King and he gets the two stones for fortell his future.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    His love for the girl in the village and his love for his sheep.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved hearing the reader, whose voice is so well known and carries the book to greater heights.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra Jenkins Blacksburg, VA 03-05-12
    Debra Jenkins Blacksburg, VA 03-05-12 Member Since 2010

    Hokie Fan

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "Loved this allegory"
    Where does The Alchemist rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

    A very pleasant listen from Jeremy Irons and the story is very thought provoking. I would recommend this book.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn Gloucester, MA, United States 03-05-12
    Lynn Gloucester, MA, United States 03-05-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Sublime Work of Art/Bad Design of Audio Product"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Alchemist to be better than the print version?

    Jeremy Irons brings this book to life. I listened while reading along and found the combination to be wonderful.


    Any additional comments?

    Audible.com does not take the time to break this selection down into chapters. With this book, you get four hours of material broken into to huge chunks of two hours each. It makes it very hard to navigate through the audio.

    I have purchased other Audible.com selections and found the SAME PROBLEM! HUGE audio files without chapter selections. I have had to wade through hours of audio, making my own notes about chapters, just to be able to navigate the audio.

    I have written to Audible with my concerns about this and have never heard back from them. They might be saving time and money for themselves in the short run, but, it is not fair to the listener to give us such huge audio files without chapter markers.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maurice JONESBORO, GEORGIA, United States 03-01-12
    Maurice JONESBORO, GEORGIA, United States 03-01-12 Member Since 2011

    Achiever Studios

    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    "A Journey Of Wisdom And Pure Gut Instinct"

    I love books that convey important life-lessons artistically molded within the backdrop, or woven within the heart of a great fictional piece. The Alchemist is a story that I found very adventurous, thrilling, and emotionally moving; yet it's packed with those small and big lessons you will learn while on your journey toward any goal you set-out to undertake. With this journey you come face-to-face with various kinds of people, and run into those familiar arch-types you are bound to cross-paths with on that important life-quest. Through out this story, you go with the main character and experience how important it is in anything you do, to follow your heart, and heed both those subtle and powerful urgings you get from your: gut, instinct, intuition, psyche, subconcious, heart - whatever you love to call it. While also making good use of the knowledge and wisdom you gain along the way. You'll love this journey.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher DALLAS, TX, United States 03-01-12
    Christopher DALLAS, TX, United States 03-01-12 Member Since 2012

    Student, husband, youth director

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    44
    4
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    Story
    "Perception of Life"
    What made the experience of listening to The Alchemist the most enjoyable?

    This book provides incredible perspectives on how we as human beings view the world and how we should view the world. Its almost a self help book except it does so in novel form. The characters, the revelations, are all things that anyone can relate to and be transformed by.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite character is the boy. It his journey and self discovery that we as readers get to follow.


    What does Jeremy Irons bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Jeremy Irons was a fantastic reader. His voicing of characters and richness of inflection brings the story to life in a way that is not possible when reading it inside your head.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The Alchemist- Journey to the Soul of the World


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend this book highly.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-26-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    9
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    "This was a surprisingly great listen!!!"

    I really loved the message of the whole book. It is really nice to have a book that teaches a great message as well as entertain at the same time!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark C Walker Toney, AL United States 01-26-12
    Mark C Walker Toney, AL United States 01-26-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    118
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    2
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    "different, but entertaining"
    Any additional comments?

    I wasn't sure what to expect when I downloaded this book and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. The story is different, almost like a parable, and it keeps your interest. The narration is exceptional - I am surprised Jeremy Irons does not narrate more books. I really enjoyed listening to this book and would recommend it.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lane RIO RANCHO, NM, United States 01-16-12
    Lane RIO RANCHO, NM, United States 01-16-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "A beautiful story beautifully told"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Alchemist to be better than the print version?

    Yes, Jeremy Iron's narration is sublime. The story itself being a fable comes to life when told to you. I would consider this the definitive version of The Alchemist.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The pacing was just outstanding. Never preachy or slow the story just flows.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Every scene is outstanding.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Alchemist and why?

    Santiago is a perfectly realized character.


    Any additional comments?

    A perfect audiobook, it's as simple as that.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay Jersey City, NJ, United States 01-13-12
    Jay Jersey City, NJ, United States 01-13-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Everything was perfect about book and recording!"

    The book an an amazing tale of a boy following his dream. It is wonderfully narrated by Jeremy Irons. There is absolutely no way one could not enjoy the story or the recording in my opinion. Terrific work and terrific presentation!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 201-210 of 228 results PREVIOUS120212223NEXT
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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.

    12 of 12 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.

    9 of 10 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
  • 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
  • John F
    London, United Kingdom
    6/25/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable the 2nd time around"
    What made the experience of listening to The Alchemist the most enjoyable?

    I read the story of The Alchemist many years ago, back then, I kind of got the jest of it and that life is a journey. Fast forward several years later and instead of picking up the book, I listened to the book. The audible story transformed me to another place that the book version wasn't able too at that time. I listened to the story over two days and was drawn in with the experiences throughout the book.

    I also suspect that I, myself, was at a place to truly understand the story. Worth the read and worth the thoughts that one has while listening to the story. Recommended Read!


    What does Jeremy Irons bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Jeremy Irons has a good voice that doesn't take away from the words being expressed, he's able to capture the characters and the story where one is intrigued to keep listening and can't quite stop the audiobook.


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

    Emotional reaction, doesn't have to involve laughter or tears, instead I was greeted with a higher awareness of things, daily things, one take for granted. My emotion was more meaningful and one of thought.


    Any additional comments?

    Life is a journey as it has been said many times. This book is about a journey, I believe it can help one to stop and think for a while and observe ones own life. To look at the individual belief system and ask questions that deep down each of us knows the answer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • jen
    Westbury on Trym, United Kingdom
    12/9/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    Crawley, United Kingdom
    11/7/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Uplifting"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Alchemist to be better than the print version?

    its just a different way to absorb the message. Both book and audio were very enjoyable


    What did you like best about this story?

    No one particular part... I liked the whole book


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I liked listening to it during my stretching sessions


    0 of 0 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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alexis
    79a West Drive, Highfields Caldecote, Cambridge, CB23 7RY
    9/5/11
    Overall
    "Very disappointing"

    This book was extremely disappointing. It was very cheesy and sentimental drivel. Badly written, repetitious and juvenile in style. The characters are one dimensional and in being so lacks depth. Despite it crossing various parts of the world, it fails to describe any of the beauties or otherwise of the places. In summary, this is a very badly written self-help book. The only good thing I can say about the book is that it is short ...

    I would not recommend this book to anyone - just a waste of time and money!

    3 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results

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