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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

Critic Reviews

"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)

"It is short, but certainly packs a wallop. What makes the story even better is Jeremy Irons's unforgettable narration.... Irons's voice is crystal clear, and every word is given its own starring role in the text. He creates wondrous characters, male and female, that stay with us." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Judi
  • Portland, OR, USA
  • 01-07-07

A Timeless Tale

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.

175 of 185 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • Carmichael, CA, USA
  • 02-02-07

Marvelous Book & Expressive Reader

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.

117 of 128 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • tallevast, FL, United States
  • 12-30-13

Made me think about my own dreams not followed

I was given this book as a gift. Because it falls under the category of a "Fable" with a hint of fantasy, I probably would not have got it for myself. I really liked this book through and through. It really made me stop and think about how I have let a busy life and possibly some fears stop me from pursuing things I want to accomplish - Not need to accomplish.

Jeremy Irons was obviously Jeremy irons and told the story very well. It was a great story and I am glad I listened to it.

J

34 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A must for every young person

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.

94 of 104 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Superb Tale of Finding Your Personal Legend!

Where does The Alchemist rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Through four audiobooks, this one was amongst the top of all of them.

What did you like best about this story?

What I liked best was the main character's interactions with the different characters he met along his journey.

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite scene was when the boy tried to tell Fatima the reason why he loved her and she stopped him and told him he didn't need to.

If you could rename The Alchemist, what would you call it?

Realizing Your Legacy.

Any additional comments?

The narration was perfect.

31 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • DIANE
  • Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada
  • 07-28-14

Very special... a keepsake.

This book is one that I will read (listen to) over and over. The lessons one learns from this book are very similar to those one understands when studying Law of Attraction. The principles are sound and the story is a wonderful one. Jeremy Irons does a fabulous narration. Some chide me for not "reading" books... but when one can have the treat of hearing a talented actor such as Jeremy Irons do a rendition of such a special book, it's a win win as far as I'm concerned. I am now anxious to read other books by Paulo Coelho!

29 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jo
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 11-16-12

A quest for dreams come true

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.

46 of 52 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ooopsie!
  • WEST NEW YORK, NJ, United States
  • 01-24-13

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...:)

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant story

I am completely in love with this story. I actually plan to listen to it again very soon because I expect it to be something that you get something different from it each time you hear it. Many important thoughts and lessons are throughout the book, and it is a great story too with wonderful characters.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Micah
  • Woods Cross, UT, United States
  • 08-08-12

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.

141 of 177 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Thomas
  • 04-14-15

Life changing

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

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Bev
  • 10-05-11

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.

30 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • A. Collins
  • 07-02-13

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Miss B
  • 07-13-17

Absolutely loved it

I had just listened to 5 second rule by mel robbins who in her book suggested this book i am so glad i decided to listen to this. Such a beautiful & inspiring story with a lot of spiritual meanings. I listened to it in 1 day i just couldnt put it down. I have now ordered 2 of the paperback books for my children to read. This is a must on any book shelf :)

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • jen
  • 12-09-13

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Scharfschutze
  • 10-19-15

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.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • N. Drennan
  • 07-10-16

Fantastic read ( and listen)

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

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • g
  • 10-07-11

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.

18 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Alison Readhead
  • 12-24-16

I don't understand the fuss over this

Jeremy Irons was great. However I am either not intelligent enough to 'get' this story or it's just a case of the emperor's new clothes. I found it hard to want to listen to it so took a while to finish it. I haven't really taken much from it. It did have a certain dreamlike style.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-26-17

Oh Jeremy and your dodgy accents!

Sadly his Dodgy accents often took me out of my imagination. Sometimes I didn't even know which character he was supposed to be....

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ..hagun..
  • 02-13-15

Love it

So many life lessons contains in this small book.
I would really recommend this book to whoever willing to learn about life.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anthony
  • 12-08-17

Finished rather abruptly but otherwise a nice book

Certainly worth a look.

Narrative is well done. Story is good with a nice message. My only negative is it felt like the ending was wrapping up and then it ended before conclusion.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Larissa Scrbak
  • 09-04-17

wouldn't recommend

i found this book to be frustrating. "personal legends" "language of the universe" "following omens" ... while the boys story might have been somewhat interesting; learning that life may not always be what you expect, and to be open to opportunities.. the idea that we all have personal legends and the means to be able to learn the language of the universe is utter rubbish to me. i found this book to be void of substance, irritating and a bit pretentious. it also sounded a like a kids book toward the end. the boy "talks to the wind" and "talks to the sun" and the wind and the sun talk back to him. when they speak back, what they say is embarrassing.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 12-12-17

Awesome.

Awesome! Great story. Well read. I loved it. I will listen to this many times!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jeremy
  • 12-03-17

Interesting story

The story never got boring, it has life lessons that it teaches you through the travels of the main character.
It has a mystical, spiritual theme about it that i think is refreshing compared to other books in the self improvement genre.
Jeremy Irons was a good narrator, his coarse voice fit the book perfectly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 11-26-17

Philosophy In An Adventure

The performance in this was exceptional and captivating in the same. Enjoyed beyond measure.
10/10

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew
  • 11-18-17

Amazing!

What an amazing book! Loved every minute! Full of inspiration, romance and general awesomeness ☺️. A must read!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Alicia
  • 09-04-18

I still don't understand the point of the book.

This was recommended to me, and as I sit here having just finished it .... I am confused. What a waste of my life.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Nicole
  • 08-29-18

Overrated

I'm surprised by how many good reviews this book has. I found it to be sexist, ableist and self-congratulatory. If you believe in fate, destiny and a higher power you may enjoy this book and be inspired by it. Otherwise you will find yourself rolling your eyes and wondering if it is satire.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Yifu
  • 07-24-18

Best story I've ever heard

Finished in one day! couldn't stop listening till the end !After the first time ,I wanted to listen to it again!