©1988 Paulo Coelho; (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers
"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]
No better choice to read this magnificent book by Paul Coelho than Jeremy Irons. It is exceptionally well read, with great expression, and wonderful adaption of voice to characters. I have had it on audio cassette since it was first released in that format and was delighted to find it available in audio-book format at CD quality. It's truly a must have and is suitable for all ages. The book is also most profound yet told simply with grace and depth.
I've been listening to Audible books for years, but this is the first one that, after finishing it, I immediately bought a hard copy. In fact, I bought TWO!! One for me to (re)read and mark up with highlights and notes, and one to pass around to my family and friends! This story is an amazing parable, richly layered with insights for finding and living a richer, more grounded, more meaningful life. Never "preachy", this is an allegorical story written in lyrical language that stands beautifully on its own. Add the richness that Jeremy Irons's delivery brings to this Audible edition, and it becomes a transcendent experience.
I really enjoyed this book. While it is not necessarily the enthralling Hero's journey that I thought it would be, this book should be on every high school and college student's reading list. It helps to put your "personal legend" or life's mission into perspective. While it isn't nearly a basis for theology, it touches on the many issues that people face as they embark on their life's journey. I especially liked the Alchemist's advice about not giving up on your life's mission for love. While admirable and definitely worth while, if one ends their life journey to pursue love, they will regret it and eventually resent the one they love. On the other hand if that significant other truly loves you, they will encourage you to pursue your personal legend and even wait for you if need be. To stand in the way of another person fulfilling their purpose does an injustice to that person, but is also self detrimental. Each person is on this earth for a purpose. It is up to each of us to be open enough to God's plan to find and pursue that purpose. Then we can truly live rich and fulfilling lives.
I know from others who are so inspired that I was supposed to love this book and feel all life-changed by its amazing message, but this fable was just a motivational poster with supernatural nonsense. If I liked self-help books or were religious or didn't know happiness, I might've loved this. Or maybe if I were 12.
Jeremy Irons was nice to listen to.
This book was very little story surrounded by lots of rather ill-conceived philosophy. The little story there was is very simple with every small conflict easily resolved within a few 'pages'.
I also did not agree with several aspects of the 'follow your dreams at all costs' theme that the writer espoused. I don't want to put in any 'spoilers' but the writer put way too much emphasis on the 'personal legend'. I was sick of that phrase by the end...
Be warned it is VERY judeo-christian based, so if that kind of thing offends you, then stay away. I am a Christian, but still found the way the author used religion to be heavy-handed.
Perhaps if you are looking for inspiration you might enjoy it, but I left it feeling uninspired and wishing I had spent my credits elsewhere.
PS: Jeremy Irons did a good job with the reading, no complaints there.
This book was like listening to a long sermon on a hot day, sitting in an uncomfortable pew while someone hits you upside the head with a canoe paddle.
I suggest drinking a shot every time you hear the word, "omen".
Jeremy Irons does a wonderful job narrating this work. The story is an easy listen. It is packed with lots of meaning and there were times I wanted to stop the audio just to think about what was being said. Lessons on life, love and the way we see the world can be found in this wonderful story.
A lot of people complain that the story is very basic and predicatable. I agree but I think thats what makes this book great. We tend to over complicate our lives, question why bad things happen to good people, we blame others for what happens in our lived. I feel like this book brings you back to the basics which is always a good place to start or restart. I recommened it to everyone who feels like they can't get a grip on their life. If you're looking for a new prospective...this book won't be a waste of your time.
Traveler. Artist. Dreamer.
Santiago is a young man who proceeds in literally making his dreams come true. He is an ordinary man, full of doubts and fears, like you and me, but he has this drive inside of him and a courage to continue on his path. This is a fantastic fable filled with unsurmountable challenges and life changing choices. I do agree with a previous reviewer in that Paulo over uses "omen", but it's kind of funny when you expect it. Jeremy Irons does an amazing job with changing voices to match each character (his voice does get low at points though). This is, hands down, my favorite book.
"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.
"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.
"Great Story - Great Narrator"
This was recommended to me by a friend and I really enjoyed it. The narration was 1st class.
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.
"This story moved me."
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.
its just a different way to absorb the message. Both book and audio were very enjoyable
No one particular part... I liked the whole book
No, I liked listening to it during my stretching sessions
"Soft, easy and inspiring"
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.
The ending, the characters.
Irons made the experience absolutely better.
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!
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