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The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream Paperback – 8 Mar 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New edition (Reissue) edition (8 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0722532938
  • ISBN-13: 978-0722532935
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (908 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947. He has become one of the most widely read and loved authors in the world. Especially renowned for The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes, he has sold more than 100 million books worldwide and his work has been translated into 67 languages. The recipient of numerous prestigious international awards, amongst them the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum and France's Legion d'Honneur, Paulo Coelho was inducted into the Brazilian Academy of Letters in 2002. He writes a weekly column syndicated throughout the world.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Like the one-time bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, The Alchemist presents a simple fable, based on simple truths and places it in a highly unique situation. And though we may sense a bestselling formula, it is certainly not a new one: even the ancient tribal storytellers knew that this is the most successful method of entertaining an audience while slipping in a lesson or two. Brazilian storyteller Paulo Coehlo introduces Santiago, an Andalucian shepherd boy who one night dreams of a distant treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. And so he's off: leaving Spain to literally follow his dream.

Along the way he meets many spiritual messengers, who come in unassuming forms such as a camel driver and a well-read Englishman. In one of the Englishman's books, Santiago first learns about the alchemists--men who believed that if a metal were heated for many years, it would free itself of all its individual properties, and what was left would be the "Soul of the World." Of course he does eventually meet an alchemist, and the ensuing student-teacher relationship clarifies much of the boy's misguided agenda, while also emboldening him to stay true to his dreams. "My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy confides to the alchemist one night as they look up at a moonless night.

"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself," the alchemist replies. "And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity."

Review

‘His books have had a life-enhancing impact on millions of people.’ THE TIMES

‘One of the few to deserve the term Publishing Phenomenon.’ INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

‘Coelho’s writing is beautifully poetic but his message is what counts… he gives me hope and puts a smile on my face.’ DAILY EXPRESS

‘I love The Alchemist.’ OPRAH WINFREY

‘The Alchemist is a beautiful book about magic, dreams and the treasures we seek elsewhere and then find on our doorstep.’ MADONNA

"I feel like the luckiest man on the planet. It's a dream come true for me," to be able to direct and star and bring Coelho's book to the screen." LAURENCE FISHBURNE on the upcoming film adaptation of The Alchemist

"One of my favourite books is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, and I just believe that…I can create whatever I want to create. If I can put my head on it right, study it, learn the patterns…I feel very strongly that we are who we choose to be." WILL SMITH

"When I'm on the set with young actors and sometimes you meet people in life who you feel they are a little confused and they want to be re-centered, there are two books that I always recommend. One of them is Siddhartha, and the other is The Alchemist. RUSSELL CROWE


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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By SallyJ on 7 May 2012
Format: Paperback
I didn't expect this book to change my life but I really enjoyed sharing Santiago's journey.
If you like a magical read then this is one for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. C. Andrews on 4 Oct. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'll start off this short review by saying that I'm not usually someone who is perceived as 'spiritually in tune' with either himself or his surroundings. This book, however, spoke to me on a level I am not accustomed to in the majority of literature I have read recently.

The Alchemist is a modern day fable with layers of meaning and spiritual subtext woven within a fairly simple plot. A big mistake would be to assume because of its relatively simple story, the themes are small or insignificant. Not in the slightest: its underlying principles and messages are epic in scope but really only speak to those of us who have questioned our place in the greater scheme of things. If you have ever dreamed of a calling beyond what you have achieved or felt an unfulfilled pull in a direction you wished you'd taken but not pursued, this book is for you.

Cynics will tell you that unfulfilled wishes and stunted dreams are part of human nature but I would humbly suggest that this is the negative side of the coin. The Alchemists beauty is found on the other, positive side of the piece. The best part and the true meaning of the book is to inspire hope; to motivate the reader to strive to achieve more. To ensure that through extra, positive attitude you can aspire to better yourself and your situation in life. If you are brave enough to believe that simply by trying and following your dreams you can attain what you want.

The story is simple, but the message is beautiful and the tale inspires strength and hope, which in this day and age is a rare thing indeed.

Highly recommended.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Lily Ley on 27 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
At a time in my life where I have had so many life changing things happen, not all my choice, I had naturally felt low and out of spirits and hope, and an endless fear of not knowing what to expect with my future, The Alchemist has given me hope once again to not be afraid and to believe in the power of dreams. I found this to be exactly what I needed, at a time I needed it the most.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Manchester on 19 Jun. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having felt a little lost and somewhat gloomy recently I came across an inspirational and thought-provoking book called The Shamanic Prophecy: The past will set you free. I had heard that The Alchemist was another book with a powerful message to convey, and I certainly wasn't disappointed. Although, I don't think that any book has the power to transform your life, I found the message to be comforting and life-affirming, just when I felt in the need for a `pick-me-up'!
Small, but powerful, The Alchemist is a great tonic for those days when life just becomes too much and when all you want to do is pull up the drawbridge and shut out the world
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Wray on 22 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book read it in one go even took it to bed on the afternoon to complete it...buy it now for snowy afternoons coming ready...I loved it I usually read the end of a book naughty yes but I do it...glad I didn't in this case so be warned anyone who does this don't spoil the story...enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LindyLouMac on 11 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
This fable reinforces my philosophy that in this life one should try to overcome difficulties to follow your dreams.

A modern classic which was first published in 1988 in Portuguese, which has since been translated into seventy-one languages, making it the most translated book by a living author. It has sold more than sixty-five million copies in more than one hundred and fifty countries, making it one of the best selling books in history.

The Alchemist is not a complicated story, just a fable with a message about overcoming difficulties to enable you to follow your dreams. It is the story of Santiago a young shepherd from Andalusia who dreams of travelling the world in search of treasures. In his travels to Tangiers and Egypt he meets people with wisdom to impart, including an Englishman from whose books Santiago first learns about alchemists. Later he actually meets an alchemist who teaches him that the reason we remain unfulfilled in our lives is caused by the fear of failure.
This novel appeals to so many people as its outlook is so optimistic, telling us everything is possible if we really want it to happen. Everyone wants to think that the things we aspire to in this life, but never thought attainable may just be so after all. Therein I think lies the secret of the success of this best selling novel.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Major Tom on 24 May 2010
Format: Paperback
I am not religious, but I am certainly not averse to reading allegorical fiction. It can be sweet, moving and magical. But the vital, golden ingredient in this sort of novel is - always - a lightness of touch. Don't be heavy-handed with your message, don't force it down your reader's throat, don't patronise them. The really good allegorical novels are even brave enough to allow for alternative readings - and then to let you decide.
Unfortunately The Alchemist gets this vital ingredient horribly wrong. The story is a sweet one about a boy going on a journey, both literal and spiritual, and discovering a precious, personal treasure. The message I am fine with: that underlying the world is a universal Language and Soul - signs of God - that if you attune yourself to and follow will help you to fulfil your dreams.
It is the way this message is conveyed that is the problem. On virtually every page (no exaggeration) the central message is referred to and repeated, as if it were a mindless mantra. By the end I felt brow-beaten. As for any thoughts of there being an alternative reading - quite simply there just isn't space for one. There's an almost desperate single-mindedness to this book, and it's sad, because in the end it frankly looks rather pathetic, and only serves to make religious people look desperate and pathetic - which generally is a view I don't agree with at all.
If you want to read a similar sort of book that possesses the confidently subtle, skilfully daring and seductive quality that I'm talking about, and shows religion in a good light, read Life of Pi. Avoid this.
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