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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 (4632 )
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4.5 (3150 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Eric Maui, Hawaii, United States 08-22-11
    Eric Maui, Hawaii, United States 08-22-11 Member Since 2011

    Audiobooks Make Weed Wacking a Pleasure

    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
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    13
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    Overall
    "75% Self Improvement, 25% Harry Potter."

    This is an enjoyable audiobook, and Jeremy Irons does an excellent job narrating. It's a simple, almost children's book with a herky jerky prose, probably due to being translated. The Alchemist contains many familiar new-age self-help themes, which seem to be invalidated by the magical sourcery. No, The Alchemist isn't a metaphor - the book really has a character that uses a magic potion to turn lead into gold. So much for taking responsibility and empowerment.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gilbert Torrance, CA, USA 10-09-09
    Gilbert Torrance, CA, USA 10-09-09 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    114
    3
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    Overall
    "better then average"

    This book has a great message, but by about the midway point it starts to veer away from a subtle message and becomes preachy. OK I get it, lets focus back on the story and less preaching.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Milford, PA, USA 04-05-09
    Paul Milford, PA, USA 04-05-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    18
    1
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    "The greatest treasure"

    The Alchemist is a true jewel wrapped in a childrens fable. This by far is the best book I come across in a long time.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Jarvie, Alberta, Canada 10-16-08
    Sarah Jarvie, Alberta, Canada 10-16-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Fantastic"

    A thought provoking look into your own soul, a self help book and vivid novel wrapped into one. Right from the start Jeremy Irons draws you in with his smooth melodic voice. After listening to this novel it felt like someone took a brilo pad and soap to my soul and I came out feeling fresh and on track, focused on whats important. Well done.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Donigan Torrance, Ca USA 05-15-09
    L. Donigan Torrance, Ca USA 05-15-09 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
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    117
    7
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    "Boring and Stupid!!"

    I'm sorry but I just didn't get it. The story just kept going on and on about nothing. Did he even find his treasure? I just finished listening to it and for the life of me I cant remember what this book was about. Oh yeah NOTHING! I can't remember the name of any of the characters... Hmmm.. This was a huge waste of time and money.

    5 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johnny Myerstown, PA, United States 11-22-09
    Johnny Myerstown, PA, United States 11-22-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
    ratings
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    82
    12
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    "Cheesy Self-Help Book Meets Tacky Plot"

    Awful. Bad writing, worse characterization. I have no idea why this book has done so well. It reads a like a tacky junior high story super-imposed on a self-help for dummies book. The characters' way of thinking and talking in this book is anachronistic to say the least. It almost made me feel awkward listening to the painfully tacky writing. Besides it was boring. Perhaps my opinion is skewed after reading G.K. Chesterton's brilliant "The Man Who was Thursday," though.

    7 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mark Melbourne, Australia 09-10-12
    mark Melbourne, Australia 09-10-12 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Life's continuing lessons....."
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    This rank's in my top 5 'listened' books.


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    Yes - the basic teachings and life reflections are always part of our journey.


    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    Fine narrator - easy, warm style but with professional character and depth when needed.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carmen mexico city, Mexico 09-10-12
    Carmen mexico city, Mexico 09-10-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    12
    6
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    0
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    Story
    "EXPECTATIONS"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    NO. I BELIEVE TO ENJOY IT COMPLETELY, YOU WOLD HAVE TO BE BETWEEN 10 AND 14 YEARS OLD.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I WOULD NOT HAVE CHANGED THE STORY.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    GETTING TO THE OASIS.


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

    NO


    Any additional comments?

    NO

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott BRIGHTON, MA, United States 09-10-12
    Scott BRIGHTON, MA, United States 09-10-12 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    1
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    "A Must Read!!!"
    Where does The Alchemist rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Absolutely loved it! Definitely great for all ages! Highly recommend this book!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The back and forth between present day and the future.


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

    Easier to imagine the state of mind of the characters.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Alchemist and why?

    The Old Wise Man, he's a God-like figure.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marion Cronulla, Australia 09-05-12
    Marion Cronulla, Australia 09-05-12 Member Since 2014

    Am now 80 and been avid reader since childhood. Have 3 children, 7 grandchildren. Narrated Talking Books for Vision Australia 35 yrs.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Classic story narrated by a master"

    I have to admit I am not a patient reader of long descriptive passages in any book or even of 'fables' per se, but when narrated in the mellifluous tones of Jeremy Irons, I was transported and listened avidly to the end, enjoying this gentle story. I would defy anyone to turn him off.

    That is why I am such a fan of listening as opposed to reading as I carry my phone everywhere I go and turn it on at every opportunity plus am offered such a diverse variety of choices. There is never time to actually sit and read during the day so can get most chores done without guilt. Thank you.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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