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The Alchemist Audiobook

The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream [Audiobook]

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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

4.6 (19876 )
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4.6 (16789 )
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4.7 (16756 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Lynn 10-19-11
    Lynn 10-19-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    880
    ratings
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    144
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    "Entertaining"

    If you are interested in classical literature that will keep its value, this book isn't it. If you want deeply drawn characters, this will disappoint. If you want an entertaining listen for a long drive, this may well be your choice! It is filled with thoughtful moments and insights into the human condition. It is filled with "religious" references, but that will not kill the story, but add to it. It is just a good listen.

    18 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Micah Woods Cross, UT, United States 08-08-12
    Micah Woods Cross, UT, United States 08-08-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Personally, I did not care for it"

    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.

    112 of 143 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kyria Astoria, NY, USA 01-04-06
    Kyria Astoria, NY, USA 01-04-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful!"

    This is everything you want in an audiobook: a gorgeous story, beautifully read. I could listen to Jeremy Irons for hours... in fact, I did!

    54 of 69 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ninjac Washington, DC, United States 07-25-11
    ninjac Washington, DC, United States 07-25-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Narration adds to ho-hum story"

    I joined a book club and this was the first book they chose to do. I wouldn't have read this book otherwise. But I really enjoyed Jeremy Irons reading this. You will like this book if you like new age religious themes.

    29 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kent Springfield, VA, United States 03-20-12
    Kent Springfield, VA, United States 03-20-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a nice little allegory!"

    This is a pleasant little story. And, it's one of those books that bears re-reading (or re-listening, if you did the audiobook format, such as I did)! I has the same sort of feel as "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran, or "Siddhartha" by Herman Hesse - and similarly carries a lot of subtle and overt life-messages in it's concise text. It is one of those stories that I'll ponder for quite a long time!
    Jeremy Irons did a fantastic job with the narration - lots of variety in voices, and LOTS of emotion and feeling in the emphasis of dialogue!
    This was a short, quick, and easy listen, and was very much worth my time!

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hanifah Wilson 11-01-14 Member Since 2014

    "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." -Nelson Mandela

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ""5 Stars Across The Board""
    Would you listen to The Alchemist again? Why?

    I would definitely listen to the title for a second time. It is a compelling novel about following your dreams no matter the hardships that come along with trying to achieve them. In the novel, Santiago dreamt of a life of travel and treasure, and made strides toward achieving both although he experienced some stumbling blocks along the way, including loosing all of his possessions to a street their and traveling the deserts during a time of war.


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

    The most memorable moment for me was when Santiago met Fatimah. This part of the novel intrigued me because it spoke of two beings in love with never having known each other before hand. Santiago speaks of knowing he would love her before he ever even knew her and believes that they both loved one another at first sight, because they understood the language of the universal language of the world.


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

    I have never listened to any of his other performances, but I do remeber his role as Scar in "The Lion King".


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

    One moment in the book that really moved me was when Santiago met the old King. During their interaction, the old King said something that will stick with me for eternity. It read, "when you want something, the universe conspires in helping you achieve it".


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arnold North Ridge, CA, USA 04-24-06
    Arnold North Ridge, CA, USA 04-24-06
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    "A Meanigful Listen"

    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.

    25 of 36 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EW Corydon,IN 10-21-11
    EW Corydon,IN 10-21-11 Member Since 2010

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Eh....."

    Well I thought I would really like this book but didn't like it much at all. The story on the surface is very plain. The plot takes the main character in a big circle and back to square one with no "happy" ending (really it feels like no ending at all). It does have a deeper meanings that you can read into some but still not an exciting read. If I hadn't been one of those people who has to finish a book once it is started I would have put it down early rather than finishing.

    14 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher V Baker 10-13-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good"

    A self help tale based on superstition and fairy tales. One of my must reads.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marianne Murphy Zarzana 09-23-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Beautiful, empowering fable."

    I enjoyed listening to Jeremy Irons tell this beautiful, empowering fable. Paolo Coelho is a master storyteller.

    1 of 1 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.

    28 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • Thomas
    4/14/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Life changing"

    Just amazing, my life has begun a new chapter, I've quit my job and I'm moving abroad in 3 weeks.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Scharfschutze
    10/19/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pregnant with wisdom"

    The Alchemist stirred questions within me. It revealed wisdom that had been staring me in the face, which I had failed to recognise.

    The story of the Centurion struck a deeply personal nerve, at a most vulnerable time, bringing tears to my eyes .

    Jeremy Irons made the words leap of the page, as though they have a life of their own. I would recommend this book to anyone who is afraid of failure.

    7 of 7 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.


    5 of 5 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.


    4 of 4 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.

    17 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • lilac
    uk
    12/3/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not a book for feminists!"

    This is a really unusual and imaginative book which is very well read by Jeremy Irons. I enjoyed a lot of the story and the overall idea, but I found the story horribly sexist.

    The whole story is based around a boy who goes in search of his personal legend (basically his life purpose) this involves many adventures, exciting discoveries, meeting new people (almost exclusively men) who help him discover new aspects of himself and life.

    Meanwhile he meets a grand total of two women. We aren't told anything about the life purpose of the first woman but the second does have a life purpose. It is to sit at home and wait until a man comes along to complete her and then to wait (at home) while he goes and pursues his dreams!!!!!!! The very fact that she has met him means her life is complete, even if he doesn't bother to come back.

    On top of that the whole story is filled with lines like "when a man goes in search of his dreams . . ." "a man must follow his destiny . . ." I'm really not sure if the author actually meant this only applies to men or if he was using "men" when he should have said people. Either way I was getting angrier and angrier listening.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • N. Drennan
    Cheshire , England
    7/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic read ( and listen)"

    What a fantastic book. A really complete story. Fantastic detail and insight into a world of mystery. Highly recommended .

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • EGR
    Kefalonia, Greece
    9/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Trite"

    Zero characterisation, pedestrian writing, and the "lessons" it pretends to teach are trite. The reading wasn't bad though.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    2/8/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "General new age BS"

    I don't understand why this book is so popular. It's just a load of trite statements thrown together.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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