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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 (4944 )
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4.5 (3405 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jennifer Arizona 02-18-13
    Jennifer Arizona 02-18-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "WOW!!! I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!"
    Would you listen to The Alchemist again? Why?

    I have now listened to this book about 4 times, it reasonates with my soul.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Everything!!! The theme about following your dreams literally and finding your personal legend.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Wappingers Falls, NY, United States 02-01-13
    Greg Wappingers Falls, NY, United States 02-01-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "Very wll written story of follow your dreams"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Alchemist to be better than the print version?

    Not better, but a new dimension. A voice to your imagination.


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

    The realization that his treasure was always right in front of him.


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

    No, but I plan to.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ooopsie! WEST NEW YORK, NJ, United States 01-24-13
    Ooopsie! WEST NEW YORK, NJ, United States 01-24-13 Member Since 2011

    I just follow the signs!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    "Life changer !"

    I read this book by chance before leaving on my Euro tour. It changed my life. Kept looking for signs and found them all over. had the most magical tour. Now still have the magical life...:)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marion Mordialloc, Australia 01-03-13
    Marion Mordialloc, Australia 01-03-13
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    23
    3
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    "one of the best little book in the world"
    What did you love best about The Alchemist?

    The fact, that diamonds of life wisdoms were wrapped up in a beautiful, cute and easy little story.


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

    When he, the boy, took the opportunities in the crystal shop.


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

    No I haven't, but he performs wonderful.


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

    Yes, but then I want to listen to it again and again, in bits, so I can "get it" .


    Any additional comments?

    This book is on the same line as "the richest man in Babylon " and " Who moved my cheese"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Coleen Newark, NJ 12-18-12
    Coleen Newark, NJ 12-18-12

    Hi dudes!

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really gives you some food for thought."

    People have been telling me to read this book for years and years and years. I've purchased a paperback copy even but just never found the time.

    WELL, I finally purchased it from Audible and listened to it last week and LOVED it. This book is for sure not necessarily a page-turner so for those looking for a thrill ride, you'll have to look elsewhere. This book is a slow-burn fable about the importance of being your best self and following your dreams. Without giving away too much, the main character sets out on a pretty shallow journey but along the way meets people, sees things and goes places that deepen his understanding on the way the world works, his place in it and gives him a spiritual awakening. Basically, a person's end goal isn't as important as what you gain along the way when you just TRY for the things that you want. Even if you don't achieve what you originally set out to achieve, it's the TRYING that brings you fulfillment and gets you closer to understanding yourself. Also, most importantly, he learns a ton from the people he meets along the way. If he hadn't tried to follow his dreams, he wouldn't have been on the path to meet people who imparted incredible wisdom to him.

    In short (too late!), if you have ever had a dream that you are a) afraid to go after, b) have tried to go after but have fallen short or c) have achieved your dream, this book is for you. For me, it put into perspective the last few years that I have been chasing a dream. If I were pessimistic, I would say it didn't work out how I intended. If I'm realistic, I gained so much from the experience that I don't have the right to complain. This book helped to underline that I should remain realistic and realize that I really need to remain grateful.

    Basically, everyone should give this book a listen at least once. Also, Jeremy Irons' narration was superb. He really brought a gravitas to the book that added to the beautiful story. Recommend!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GeekyGal 12-18-12
    GeekyGal 12-18-12

    GeekyGal

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Little Prince, it's not"
    If you could sum up The Alchemist in three words, what would they be?

    Self-discovery fable falls.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Heavy handed, actually.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I loved the meeting with the King, and the crystal shop.


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

    No. From reviews, I had rather expected to find another Little Prince gem of a story. This was more obvious and less charming than I was looking for.


    Any additional comments?

    WONDERFUL narration. Jeremy Irons could read a grocery list and I'd want to hear him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holly Punta gorda, FL, United States 12-12-12
    Holly Punta gorda, FL, United States 12-12-12 Member Since 2012

    Business and self improvement book junkee

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A must read for anyone!"
    What did you love best about The Alchemist?

    The story breaks down a life changing lesson that anyone can remember.


    Any additional comments?

    This is certainly not a literary work in terms of character development and depth of story, however it makes up for it in the power of this life-changing lesson. This book has made a huge difference in the way i see courage and what I thought was selflessness. We all have a purpose and it is your duty to fulfill it. Great lesson.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Long Valley, NJ, United States 12-11-12
    Kelly Long Valley, NJ, United States 12-11-12 Member Since 2007
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    1
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    "An interesting read"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Alchemist to be better than the print version?

    It was read by Jeremy Irons so....yeah, I'd think so!!! Seriously, I wouldn't have read this book in the print version.


    What other book might you compare The Alchemist to and why?

    I would say that this book reminded me of books like Conversations With God, or maybe books by Daniel Quinn. It was more of an allegory than a story really, the plot wasn't that compelling, it was more of a character-driven book.


    What about Jeremy Irons’s performance did you like?

    What's not to like about Jeremy Irons? He is extremely easy to listen to in general, and given that there are so few characters in the book his ability to make each one distinct and interesting in his or her own right was really fantastic. Sometimes my mind did wander because the plot was a little thin, but I was willing to go back and listen to parts I missed.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherwyn 11-24-12
    Sherwyn 11-24-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
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    Story
    "The journey was marvelous, i learnt alot!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes i would because everyone has a dream!


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like the higher perspective of things in the story.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    my favourite scene is where he worked temporary, doing what needs to be done to pursue his dream no matter how long it took.


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

    i would pick the old king or the alchemist (and it wouldn't be for dinner probably to a bar or somewhere recreational), because they say things to make u think and travel through your mind.


    Any additional comments?

    my money well spent!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Brentwood, TN, United States 11-21-12
    Barbara Brentwood, TN, United States 11-21-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointed"

    After hearing about how many people love this author and reading the reviews of this book maybe I was expecting too much. I did not find the story all that uplifting or inspiring. I did listen to the whole book hoping it would get better by the end but it didn't. Very disappointing.

    However I did like Jeremy Irons narration very much and that's what kept me listening through to the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 201-210 of 355 results PREVIOUS120212236NEXT
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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.

    14 of 14 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
    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.


    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
  • 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
  • Clay
    2/18/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great!"

    Will Smith told me to read this book and now I see why. Awesome!! Find your personal legend and don't stop fighting for it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Maria
    London, United Kingdom
    1/5/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story, shame about the performance."

    I love this story, read it a few times. It's one of my favourite books. However, the performance spoilt it for me. It was not very good. Some of the characters accents was not fitting with the back drop of the environment and the setting of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 13 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

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