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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 (4304 )
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4.5 (2867 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Lois Coldwater, MS, United States 01-30-12
    Lois Coldwater, MS, United States 01-30-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
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    "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
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    1
    1
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    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
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    1
    1
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    "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
  •  
    Lita Santa Maria, CA, United States 01-16-12
    Lita Santa Maria, CA, United States 01-16-12 Member Since 2011

    Lita

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An Uplifting Must Read for Anybody"
    If you could sum up The Alchemist in three words, what would they be?

    Uplifting Must Read


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

    The Kiss


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

    I think this was the best voice over I have heard heard. He distinguishes each character very well, and his story telling skills keep the story easy to follow.


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

    I think the whole story moved me. It just reminded me to dream again.


    Any additional comments?

    Very enjoyable. My workouts lasted 2-hours long because I could not stop listening to the story. I enjoyed it so much, I'm buying all of the author's books.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessamond 01-09-12
    Jessamond 01-09-12

    "Sometimes life is hard, and you have to laugh your way through it." ... Madea by Tyler Perry

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "It's all in the narrator!!"

    What a wonderful thing is to have such a talented actor narrating this amazing book!
    The story completely captured me and it thought me a lot of things. Paulo Coelho is like a wizard, and the ultimate magic of this book is the narrative.
    It had to be an actor! What a way to act, it is as if you are next to him ... Lovely!
    A lot of lessons for my life just within this one book...!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Maple Valley, WA, United States 01-03-12
    Elizabeth Maple Valley, WA, United States 01-03-12 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    "A shining example of the power of your belief's"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I love the journey of the main character and his unfolding realization of the power of the law of attraction.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David New York 12-29-11
    David New York 12-29-11 Member Since 2014

    real aesthete

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Inspiring and highly entertaining"

    I have read this book a couple of times and also gave it away as gifts before. In several years, I have rediscovered it in audible format. It was a delight. I was so grasped that I almost listened to the whole book in one seating.

    I like the story and I find Jeremy's performance very entertaining. Jeremy really put his emotions into the different roles and brings the story to life. I found myself relating to the story more than when I was reading the book, wondering what comes next and smiling when I reach a good part. Jeremy is a great storyteller.

    I'm sure I'll find myself listening to it again sometime. Makes me feel like a child again.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amber Fort Collins, CO, United States 12-27-11
    Amber Fort Collins, CO, United States 12-27-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Terrific narration, the story got old quick"

    Perhaps it was the mood I was in when I listened to this... I've read the book, and wasn't particularly thrilled with it, but the chance to hear Jeremy Irons read it - Couldn't miss that!

    The tale is nice, and the "Personal Legend" is nice enough, but it got very repetitive quickly. I got the gist of the story in the first hour, the reset was just reinforcement with little movement. That being said that actual parts of the story that did go places were lovely.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth WILBUR, WA, United States 12-24-11
    Kenneth WILBUR, WA, United States 12-24-11

    astronut

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    3
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    1
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    "Inspiring!!!"
    Where does The Alchemist rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Near the top.


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

    I used to live in southern Spain so I was immediatly interested.


    What about Jeremy Irons’s performance did you like?

    Great voice!!!


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

    The adventure of it all was fun!


    Any additional comments?

    Follow your dreams!!!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    12-12-11
    12-12-11 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
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    Story
    "Great book to listen to while driving long trips"
    What did you love best about The Alchemist?

    The story line was captivating


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

    finding that what he was looking for was back where he started his journey


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 211-220 of 277 results PREVIOUS121222328NEXT
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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
  • 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
  • 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: 1-10 of 10 results

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