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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 (3971 )
5 star
 (2106)
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3 star
 (553)
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4.3 (2614 )
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4.5 (2580 )
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 (654)
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2 star
 (54)
1 star
 (29)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Matt KobukDad2, IN, United States 10-13-11
    Matt KobukDad2, IN, United States 10-13-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great read and re-read"

    Just read this book, The Alchemist, for the second time. The first time was about 18 years ago. It is even better the second time around. I highly recommend it. Read each line and think about what that line is teaching you!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt McKillip Kokomo, IN USA 10-13-11
    Matt McKillip Kokomo, IN USA 10-13-11 Listener Since 2009

    I read a lot and on most any subject!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    40
    15
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great read and re-read"

    Just read this book, The Alchemist, for the second time. The first time was about 18 years ago. It is even better the second time around. I highly recommend it. Read each line and think about what that line is teaching you!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RBL Millar Victoria, BC, Canada 09-26-11
    RBL Millar Victoria, BC, Canada 09-26-11 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho"

    Such a good book. I loved it. Jeremy Irons is a fantastic narrator. The book has such wonderful and subtle teaching moments about life and your own personal legend. Paulo Coelho is a great story teller.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Tigard, OR, United States 09-17-11
    Carol Tigard, OR, United States 09-17-11

    Say something about yourself! Is this person the same as Carol James of Tigard Oregon? See below

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Alchemist"

    A gripping tale of love and honor and wonder. At times I was moved to tears. Beautiful language. Moves along apace. Well read by Jeremy Irons.

    However, the narrator has an occasional whistle in his voice that sometimes brings one up short. Tends to distract the reader.

    Carol James

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kapfer Burnsville, MN, United States 09-16-11
    Kapfer Burnsville, MN, United States 09-16-11

    Faeryll

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A journey worth taking"

    I was quite sceptical about this title when I downloaded it, but glad that I did. A mix of the modern and the mystical, it had me engaged throughout. Irons delivers a very good reading and found myself listening to the whole in one sitting. If you have four hours to spend watching the newest Potter movie, then you have enough time to polish off this little gem.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MBrown Highlands Ranch, CO, United States 09-05-11
    MBrown Highlands Ranch, CO, United States 09-05-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
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    7
    3
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    1
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    "Excellent short story"

    This is a great short story. I read this book several years ago and saw it on Audible so I had to grab it since I remembered I had liked it so much when I was younger. This is such a great story for younger people and kids as well since it teaches values and how to respect others along the way with finding your own path in life.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie Downey, CAlifornia, United States 06-10-11
    Leslie Downey, CAlifornia, United States 06-10-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    2
    Overall
    "a beautiful parable"

    My favorite bedtime book. I go back to this every now and then and find something new and inspiring every time. This is book is one of my favorite gifts to give.

    Jeremy Irons is an excellent narrator and does a terrific job capturing your attention and anticipation for the adventures to come to the young shepherd, Santiago. His voice reverberates the simple yet complex messages throughout the book making it an even more powerful story.

    I highly recommend the book AND the audio book so that this story can be with you at any convenience. As much as I enjoy Jeremy Irons' narration, I also enjoy highlighting and writing in the margins. :)

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lindamarie Palo Alto, CA 02-19-10
    lindamarie Palo Alto, CA 02-19-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
    ratings
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    168
    36
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    1
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    Overall
    "A Fable"

    This story has the characteristics of a fable with the proverbial and valuable life search for values. It was a preachy but enjoyable listen.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lady of the Lake Ohio's Grand Lake 11-27-08
    Lady of the Lake Ohio's Grand Lake 11-27-08 Member Since 2007

    ladyofthelakestudio

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    1
    Overall
    "Support in Days of change"

    I love this book, it has helped me through a very difficult time and help me move forward to much better things

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Qasim Mohammad Rockville,MD 11-25-08
    Qasim Mohammad Rockville,MD 11-25-08 Member Since 2010

    AQMAISNIAME

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    Overall
    "magnificent"

    a simple story of living life to its fullest
    was told by someone very close to me (Lauren Mara Freiman) that this was one of her favorite books of all time. I finally read it and completely understand why she was so captured by the book. It's a book that belongs in every persons personal library. It's meant to be read and re-read over various times in ones life. It reminds one to stay the course and live life happily, going for what you really want out of life. I really loved the way the author took a simple story into something that has truly been explained in so many complex ways. My grandfather, Jose Antonio Armijo, was a sheepherder--and so, I took the story to heart.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 201-210 of 247 results PREVIOUS120212225NEXT
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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.

    13 of 13 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
  • 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
  • Amazon Customer
    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
  • 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
  • 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 20 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results

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