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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: 9780722532935
  • ISBN-13: 978-0722532935
  • ASIN: 0722532938
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,085 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 234 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

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Ashley Goldman on 18 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this book quite inspirational and it reminded me a little of The Shamanic Prophecy in its style and content. The message I took from this tale was to follow your true destiny and to have hope. We are all on different life journeys and I must say that it wasn't life-changing for me like other people have found it. That being said though I found it a simple and heart-warming tale of the power of dreams. Every one will take a different message from it so just enjoy it and make your own mind up. I wrote this review because I personally feel that a book in itself cannot fundamentally change one's life, but even if you take a small measure of comfort then that's no bad thing is it?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Remus on 2 Jun. 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book reads like an instruction manual for spiritual fulfilment dressed up as a novel. Certainly we are in no doubt of the message the author intends to convey, for he tells us. Repeatedly and explicitly. If you like reading such things as "when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it", then you will probably enjoy this book.

However perhaps Coelho is really trying to get across something quite different, something that he does not put into the lips of every character guide in the book: that we should aspire to wealth. The boy's destiny is to seek out a treasure, and it is rather a disappointment at the end to find out [SPOILER ALERT - but not a very big one] that the treasure really is just that: buried treasure. He worries about buying and selling sheep, whether the deals he makes with characters he meets are financially sound and when [another minor SPOILER ALERT] he has all his money stolen he does not then continue in a life of barter and exchange - no Kim, he - but immediately sets to work, literally, for a wage.

This is a simple tale and easy to read, and it does have some pleasant touches. Coelho writes quite a bit about religious acceptance between Christians and Muslims, appearing to put forward the idea of Ahl al-Kitab (the People of the Book), although he never explicitly says so. I dare say his religious ideas are as flawed as his philosophical ones but he writes in favour of peace and acceptance, and in my view that is a good thing.

If this were any ordinary novel, I would put two stars and advise people to give it a miss. But it has been widely read, and by influential people as well. For that reason, you might like to read it yourself. It won't take long.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ann on 15 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback
I read the Alchemist and for the first time since being a child got lost in this wonderful story.I gave this book to my son whilst he was in a young offenders prison not expecting him to even pick it up( as he was unapproachable and in a very unhappy state of mind at the time).To my amazement he not only read it,he recommended the book to another boy whom he obviously felt needed it.I truly believe it helped him through the worst time of his young life. He said he will always keep it and identifies with the boy in the story, who becomes a man through all his trials and hardships.I believe i was meant to read this book to pass on to my son,thats why i think its special and magical.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Carpe diem on 27 April 2011
Format: Paperback
I bought this book after someone compared its fable style to the wonderful Serendipity's Secret: A novel way to achieve your dreams and find the path to happiness, a book I absolutely loved. Both books tell the story of a journey of self-discovery where the message is all about going after your dreams, listening to your heart and not giving in to your fears. However, whereas 'Serendipity's Secret' is full of practical suggestions about how you can achieve this, the Alchemist left me with a sense of 'So, now what?' at the end of it. Yes, it is certainly an inpiring read and I did enjoy it. However I found it got slightly 'wierd' towards the end, especially when Santiago starts talking to the wind and sand etc. I also couldn't really bond with, care about or root for Santiago in the same way I could for Serendipity, the heroine in 'Serendipity's Secret'. I suppose I like my books to not only inspire but aso give me practical solutions to improve my life so maybe this book was never going to blow me away. I think it's great that so many people love it and I really wish I was one of them. I would, however, recommend it to anyone who needs some inspiration in their life and believe most will feel better for reading it.
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75 of 89 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Aug. 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is a simple gift from the heavens, like so many other things in our world which go un-noticed. Read it in a day, or draw the pleasure out over three and have your life changed irrevocably without even trying. I read this book four years ago the first time, and finished it yesterday the second time. On both occasions, I was inspired into letting myself dream, and more so, to not be afraid to demand that these dreams be realised. Since then, somehow, I've come full circle around the world and into the arms of amazing friends and miraculous opportunities for growth. This book mightn't teach you anything you don't already know, but it's story will inspire you, and remind you of the moments when you feel love within your body, stronger than any other earthly bond known to humankind. That kind of love is what this book is about: it seeks to help us live it for ourselves.
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