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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

4.4 (7066 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.4 (5260 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.6 (5222 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (41)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    William 04-10-15
    William 04-10-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "Simply terrific"

    A great story about staying on your path and never giving in to doubt or fear.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana 04-10-15
    Diana 04-10-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    478
    ratings
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    269
    186
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    FOLLOWING
    55
    9
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simple, good for a family car trip - not too silly"

    Based on what looked like 4.5 stars, and of course, I forgot that the great reviews are on the first page and the not-so-great reviews are on the following pages . . . I spent my time listening to this book . . . wondering what was so great about it.

    I reached the end and realized I had just listened to a basic story, and there was no spiritual deep meaning beyond what would be normal to a story . . . dreams that come true etc etc.

    I should have read the second page of reviews and saved time. Basically it's a fairy tale that an adult can listen to, and kids too because it's clean without being silly. So, it's good for a family car trip, but maybe an adult wouldn't want to pick this over other books otherwise.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BLufirespirit 04-09-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    2
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "It left me hanging with NO ENDING."
    What disappointed you about The Alchemist?

    The story just ended with no ending mid word


    What did you like best about this story?

    the story was a wonderful sense of journey and purpose.


    Have you listened to any of Jeremy Ironsโ€™s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jodie Middletown, NY, United States 04-09-15
    Jodie Middletown, NY, United States 04-09-15 Member Since 2014

    I have a rather eclectic love of books. I know what I like and I tend not to be a severe critic. If I enjoyed it, it gets 4 or 5 stars.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    57
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    116
    115
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    5
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    "Inspirational!"

    I had heard this book mentioned several times and was curious about it - I am so glad I bought it! It is a fable with a spiritual message - lesson to your instinct and watch for the signs your spirit guides, God, the angels..whom ever you believe it...send you. I will listen to this book again and again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Billie-jean 04-09-15
    Billie-jean 04-09-15 Member Since 2015
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    3
    2
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    Story
    "a must read"

    I loved the narrator. If you pay attention this book is life changing. loved it!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rich 04-08-15
    Rich 04-08-15 Member Since 2014

    Thoreau's Walden ("Reading") and Ayn Rand's introduction to The Fountainhead (25th anniversary edition) summarize my library well.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "A Decent Message, but Repetitive"
    Any additional comments?

    While the theme of "creating your personal legend" is a theme that I agree with, I found the text too repetitive. While the narration was technically good, Irons' accent and delivery wasn't to my taste (he certainly had an initial bias from me in his favor, for I have fond memories of a vacation to Andalusia many years ago).

    I listened to this title four months prior to writing this review, so some of the story details have faded (which perhaps is the most telling review I could give).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise 04-08-15
    Denise 04-08-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "An Adult Fable"

    I had no expectations going in so no disappointment there. Considering it was a fable I kept trying to understand the lessons to be learned. The story was very visible in my mind and the turn of events kept me engaged. The narrator presented many characters as almost evil when I believe they were intended to be just gruff. Entertaining!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan M. Gapen San Diego 04-07-15
    Ryan M. Gapen San Diego 04-07-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Exceptional"

    This book grabbed me from the very beginning! And that doesn't happen too often. It's a book for people who like to dream and think about new ideas. I easily would have listed to straight through if I didn't really have to go to sleep... at two in the morning :) Everything about it is perfect and the narration is wonderful too!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nick 04-07-15
    Nick 04-07-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    1
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    "One of my favorites, even better with Mr. Irons"

    One of my top 10 books of all time, I read it once a year. And now I can listen to it once a year

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew T. Giobbi 04-06-15 Member Since 2015

    I am a university professor & author. I teach courses in media theory & psychology. I live in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    0
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    Story
    "Bland"

    Dull & poorly written. Jeremy Irons is a great reader though. The dialogue and plot is extremely shallow and cliche. I would not recommend this book to anyone over the age of 12 or 13.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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.

    15 of 15 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 Ironsโ€™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
  • Emma
    8/17/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜"

    Loved every moment of this journey and have stolen a few quotes and life lessons.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Luke Mooney
    7/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The power of belief"

    Exceptional story which relates strongly to the power of self belief and realisation. Throughly enjoyed this audio book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hannah Jackson
    6/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exceptional, beautiful and really helpful"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book as I'm totally down on my luck at the minute and in search of my own personal legend. I happened by chance to fall upon The Alchemist and after realising it was narrated by the legendary Jeremy Irons knew it was a must buy! A life changing book for sure!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brendan
    5/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Now one of my favourite ever books!"

    Insightful and philosophical. This book has helped me look at my woes as a necessary evil on the road to my personal legend lol. Loved it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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