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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 (3399 )
5 star
 (1773)
4 star
 (876)
3 star
 (488)
2 star
 (164)
1 star
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Overall
4.3 (2090 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
 (115)
1 star
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Story
4.5 (2065 )
5 star
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4 star
 (539)
3 star
 (191)
2 star
 (43)
1 star
 (16)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jack Corunna, MI, United States 08-12-11
    Jack Corunna, MI, United States 08-12-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Greatest Story Ever"

    This book gives me more incites into life every time I read or hear it. I listened to this book 6 times now.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shannon Miami, FL, United States 07-27-11
    Shannon Miami, FL, United States 07-27-11 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    "A Must Hear"

    The Alchemist is a wonderful story that you can listen to over and over again no matter where you are on you life's journey. ...and Jeremy Irons tells it well.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna Genoa, IL, United States 06-12-11
    Anna Genoa, IL, United States 06-12-11 Member Since 2008

    I love books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    118
    37
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent listen!"

    I already loved this story after reading it years ago. Jeremy Irons narrates this story absolutely perfectly, and hearing it read aloud made it even better for me. It is not very long, but I would highly recommend this to nearly everyone.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Ann Arbor, MI, United States 04-26-11
    Robert Ann Arbor, MI, United States 04-26-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
    Overall
    "Possibly the best book ever!!!"

    I loved this book. It is short but crams all kinds of wisdom into it. Highly regarded!!!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GABRIELA Miami, FL, United States 04-18-11
    GABRIELA Miami, FL, United States 04-18-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    16
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Simply magical!"

    I have read the book many times in the past and never thought I could catch the energy of the book on audio. Well, I could not have been more wrong! Jeremy Irons simply sings the story and transports you through word by word. I have listen to it now more than I have read it before. It is simply magical!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheryl DECATUR, GA, United States 03-11-11
    Sheryl DECATUR, GA, United States 03-11-11 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    1
    Overall
    "Good Story"

    The narrator's voice lulled me to sleep in a couple of places but the story was interesting enough to keep me awake through most of the book.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RNeill 01-31-11
    RNeill 01-31-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    29
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    3
    Overall
    "Beautifully told and beautifully read."

    I first heard this version about 4 years ago, and have listened to it many times since. It is a such a wonderful tale and Jeremy Irons voice makes it all the more wonderful. Enjoy!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Red Skokie, Illinois, United States 11-01-10
    Red Skokie, Illinois, United States 11-01-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "inspiring, motivating me to embark on my own legen"

    this has inspired me to continue in my journey to realize my dream and to find myself in a journey of knowing myself...it has inspired me to hold on my goals and dreams amidst all the opposition, trials and challenges. great book especially that the reader is able to tell the story well with his great voice. its like you're watching a movie within your mind when you listen to this.

    its really the joy of listening to audiobooks..i just hope audiobooks get a little cheaper...

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr. Free 10-26-10
    Dr. Free 10-26-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    3
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    0
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    Overall
    "Liked reading it...loved hearing it"

    Let me just state that I recognize that the story is a bit preachy. So what! I love this book, it's beautiful and a wonderful reminder of just how to be true to yourself, your love ones, and to the universe. In this world of violence and apathy, this book is just the kind of "pick me up" you need.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phillip Elkridge, MD, United States 08-17-10
    Phillip Elkridge, MD, United States 08-17-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Inspiring"

    This was a great story about going after your dreams. It's very well narrated and kept my interest on my commutes home.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 201-210 of 218 results PREVIOUS1202122NEXT
Sort by:
  • 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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