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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

4.3 (5073 )
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4.5 (3505 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Larry T Ricell Brandon, Fl United States 03-07-13
    Larry T Ricell Brandon, Fl United States 03-07-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stories read and heard."
    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The story is a long fable for me. It could have been shorter and keep its value.


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

    Satisfactorily read, although I think Jeremy Iron did a better job in Casual Vacancy.


    Was The Alchemist worth the listening time?

    The story did worth the time spent in it. I bought it in Kindle and Audible and part of it was a reading experience, parts of it a listening. I can squeeze better the meanings when reading, but appreciate having someone reading to me. I feel pampered.


    Any additional comments?

    It goes easy with the Audible version. Fast and clean.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Belimcdowell Liberty Township, OH, United States 03-02-13
    Belimcdowell Liberty Township, OH, United States 03-02-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    9
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    "Great Story"
    Where does The Alchemist rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I really enjoyed this story. The performance is spot on and the story is colorful, intriguing and full of adventure.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori SANTA ROSA, CA, United States 02-25-13
    Lori SANTA ROSA, CA, United States 02-25-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "Intriguing"
    Would you listen to The Alchemist again? Why?

    Yes, it had many little life lessons to learn and re-learn


    What did you like best about this story?

    The simple concept of wisdom


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 02-24-13
    John 02-24-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Didn't meet my expectations.."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I think several reviewers have already said that this book would be enjoyed more if read in print. I didn't feel like I wasted my time, but I just couldn't get engaged with the story. I wanted to care about the characters, but found myself having a very difficult time doing so. I had heard really good things, so I was quite disappointed...


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Probably. I think it would translate easily to film.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Arizona 02-18-13
    Jennifer Arizona 02-18-13
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    "WOW!!! I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!"
    Would you listen to The Alchemist again? Why?

    I have now listened to this book about 4 times, it reasonates with my soul.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Everything!!! The theme about following your dreams literally and finding your personal legend.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Wappingers Falls, NY, United States 02-01-13
    Greg Wappingers Falls, NY, United States 02-01-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Very wll written story of follow your dreams"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Alchemist to be better than the print version?

    Not better, but a new dimension. A voice to your imagination.


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

    The realization that his treasure was always right in front of him.


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

    No, but I plan to.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ooopsie! WEST NEW YORK, NJ, United States 01-24-13
    Ooopsie! WEST NEW YORK, NJ, United States 01-24-13 Member Since 2011

    I just follow the signs!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Life changer !"

    I read this book by chance before leaving on my Euro tour. It changed my life. Kept looking for signs and found them all over. had the most magical tour. Now still have the magical life...:)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marion Mordialloc, Australia 01-03-13
    Marion Mordialloc, Australia 01-03-13
    ratings
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    23
    3
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    Story
    "one of the best little book in the world"
    What did you love best about The Alchemist?

    The fact, that diamonds of life wisdoms were wrapped up in a beautiful, cute and easy little story.


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

    When he, the boy, took the opportunities in the crystal shop.


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

    No I haven't, but he performs wonderful.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but then I want to listen to it again and again, in bits, so I can "get it" .


    Any additional comments?

    This book is on the same line as "the richest man in Babylon " and " Who moved my cheese"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Coleen Newark, NJ 12-18-12
    Coleen Newark, NJ 12-18-12

    Hi dudes!

    ratings
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    6
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    "Really gives you some food for thought."

    People have been telling me to read this book for years and years and years. I've purchased a paperback copy even but just never found the time.

    WELL, I finally purchased it from Audible and listened to it last week and LOVED it. This book is for sure not necessarily a page-turner so for those looking for a thrill ride, you'll have to look elsewhere. This book is a slow-burn fable about the importance of being your best self and following your dreams. Without giving away too much, the main character sets out on a pretty shallow journey but along the way meets people, sees things and goes places that deepen his understanding on the way the world works, his place in it and gives him a spiritual awakening. Basically, a person's end goal isn't as important as what you gain along the way when you just TRY for the things that you want. Even if you don't achieve what you originally set out to achieve, it's the TRYING that brings you fulfillment and gets you closer to understanding yourself. Also, most importantly, he learns a ton from the people he meets along the way. If he hadn't tried to follow his dreams, he wouldn't have been on the path to meet people who imparted incredible wisdom to him.

    In short (too late!), if you have ever had a dream that you are a) afraid to go after, b) have tried to go after but have fallen short or c) have achieved your dream, this book is for you. For me, it put into perspective the last few years that I have been chasing a dream. If I were pessimistic, I would say it didn't work out how I intended. If I'm realistic, I gained so much from the experience that I don't have the right to complain. This book helped to underline that I should remain realistic and realize that I really need to remain grateful.

    Basically, everyone should give this book a listen at least once. Also, Jeremy Irons' narration was superb. He really brought a gravitas to the book that added to the beautiful story. Recommend!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GeekyGal 12-18-12
    GeekyGal 12-18-12

    GeekyGal

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Little Prince, it's not"
    If you could sum up The Alchemist in three words, what would they be?

    Self-discovery fable falls.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Heavy handed, actually.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I loved the meeting with the King, and the crystal shop.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. From reviews, I had rather expected to find another Little Prince gem of a story. This was more obvious and less charming than I was looking for.


    Any additional comments?

    WONDERFUL narration. Jeremy Irons could read a grocery list and I'd want to hear him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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