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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 (4261 )
5 star
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4.3 (2868 )
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Story
4.5 (2830 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Michael Salem, OR, United States 02-15-12
    Michael Salem, OR, United States 02-15-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well read. A great listen."
    Would you listen to The Alchemist again? Why?

    Jeremy Irons does a great job. He brings all the characters to life. It is an interesting story
    that I only read because of other listeners gave it great reviews. Not sorry at all.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rey plantation, FL, United States 02-14-12
    rey plantation, FL, United States 02-14-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Must Read"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, This is a must read for all those looking for something within.


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

    The change within the boy as the story moves forward.


    What about Jeremy Irons’s performance did you like?

    Excellent speaker. His performance makes you feel like your hearing a story and not just hearing a book being read.


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

    The Journey of Inner Dreams.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicolette Irene, South Africa 02-13-12
    Nicolette Irene, South Africa 02-13-12 Member Since 2011

    An audible addict:)

    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    77
    54
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    13
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"
    What did you like best about this story?

    The fact that all people can associate with this book


    Any additional comments?

    This book compares with the Dreamgiver by Bruce Wilkinson

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin North York, Ontario, Canada 02-13-12
    Kevin North York, Ontario, Canada 02-13-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Book"
    What did you love best about The Alchemist?

    I love the story and how it was read.


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

    I dont think i can compare any book i have read so far to The Alchemist because this a story with everything from love to passion to your personal legend. Just a great book


    What about Jeremy Irons’s performance did you like?

    How he read the whole book and changed his voice and made it seem like i was in the story.


    If you could rename The Alchemist, what would you call it?

    The Greatest Book Ever Written


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Houston, TX, United States 02-13-12
    Sharon Houston, TX, United States 02-13-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    66
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The book that changed my life"
    Would you listen to The Alchemist again? Why?

    Absolutely! Because the message touches your soul


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The shepherd because he listened to his soul and not his head even against all things logical.


    What about Jeremy Irons’s performance did you like?

    I cannot imagine any one else reading this tale of transformation


    If you could rename The Alchemist, what would you call it?

    There is no other name for it. Would you change the name of the statue of David?


    Any additional comments?

    Everyone who is struggling with matters of the soul should read this miraculous tale

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GINA ORANGE, CA, United States 02-06-12
    GINA ORANGE, CA, United States 02-06-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    41
    22
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I am SO glad I read it!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Alchemist to be better than the print version?

    YES!!!!


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

    Jeremy was PERFECT for this!


    Any additional comments?

    I had really no idea why I selected this book - it's not what I normally go for (I thought) but I couldn't put it down and at the end - I totally GOT IT & it WAS all I wanted & SO MUCH MORE!! I LOVE books with meaning!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Kirwan, Australia 02-01-12
    Julie Kirwan, Australia 02-01-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A wonderful journey"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Alchemist to be better than the print version?

    Having not read the book version I purchased, I did enjoy the audio edition narrated by Jeremy Irons which made it very enjoyable to listen to


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

    THe selling of his flock


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

    A beautiful voice, full of expression and depth


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

    This book had many moving moments, I would recommend this audio book as a good listen!


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lois Coldwater, MS, United States 01-30-12
    Lois Coldwater, MS, United States 01-30-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thought provoking life lessons"
    Where does The Alchemist rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I have only listened to a few audiobooks, but this has hooked me for more. So I would rank it in the top 5


    What did you like best about this story?

    The mystery of the


    Which scene was your favorite?

    It's hard to name a favorite scene since so many are compelling. However if I had to pick one I would say the meeting with the old man that sets him on his journey stayed with me throughout the book.


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

    The most memorable character aside from the narrator was the man who convinces the narrator to go on the journey for his personal legend.


    Any additional comments?

    The reader, Jeremy Irons, made all the difference. I don't typically like to be read

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frederick West Tisbury, MA, United States 01-30-12
    Frederick West Tisbury, MA, United States 01-30-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A lyrical parable"
    Would you listen to The Alchemist again? Why?

    Probably not. It's power is in its first expression and the revelations it brings to light. The prose is soothing and rhythmical, but not beautiful in and of itself.


    Would you recommend The Alchemist to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would recommend it to friends who show and live a strong spiritual side. This is not a story for pragmatists. It is a beautiful philosophy that unfolds from layers to offer some sense in looking at the great questions of life. It doesn't preach; it doesn't proselytize; it isn't facile or have all the answers. It simply helps calm the noise in our heads.

    Separately, Jeremy Irons' performance is as mystical and engaging as the story itself.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Don't want to reveal it.


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

    The Boy is both hero and messenger in a book that builds a philosophical foundation for living amid the world's chaos.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah 01-29-12
    Deborah 01-29-12 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome!"
    Where does The Alchemist rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Master tale! Jeremey Irons was superb voicing the different characters of the book. I imagined, as the book went on, what it must have felt like to have listened to storytellers of old - around a campfire.


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

    Beowoulf. Searching for ...


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

    The emotions of the characters. The boy's voice, the gruffness of those left behind, and the gentleness of Fatima.


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

    The main character. His perserverence and belief in what he was doing - following his personal legend - was wonderful.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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