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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read.
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.
Published on 7 May 2012 by SallyJ

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dross
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...
Published on 24 May 2010 by Major Tom


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read., 7 May 2012
This review is from: The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic fable, 4 Oct. 2013
By 
A. C. Andrews (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Alchemist (Hardcover)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars The Alchemist Paulo Coelho, 27 Feb. 2014
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and very well-written!, 19 Jun. 2014
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars what a book!, 22 Nov. 2012
By 
J. Wray "Noonie" (ENGLAND) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream (Paperback)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Fable with a message,, 11 Jun. 2011
This review is from: The Alchemist (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
2.0 out of 5 stars Dross, 24 May 2010
This review is from: The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm not sure about this book...., 21 Aug. 2010
By 
Martin Belcher (Hampshire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Alchemist (Paperback)
This is my first foray into Paulo Choelho books and I picked this one as it was recommended as a good starting point.

It was not what I was expecting and having finished it I am a little puzzled....

Going from the reviews and back cover of the book it is supposed to have changed the lives of many people around the world? I might be missing something here, but I don't feel I have gained much from this book at all. I can understand that there are some messages in the book to be gained like following your dreams and learning to listen to your heart but the story is quite simple and a bit boring really and not that extraordinary or revolutionary. Perhaps it is meant to be like this, I don't know. I am sorry if this review puts you off reading it, I am glad I have tried it but it really did not do much for me - sorry!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Savoured by most, savaged by others, 17 Jun. 2005
By 
OEJ - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream (Paperback)
Santiago is an Andalusian shepherd boy who dreams of travelling great distances in search of a worldly treasure as fabulous as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers, and from there into the Egyptian desert, where a fateful encounter with the alchemist awaits him.

Well the story isn't exactly life-changing but it could be described as a kind of contemporary fantasy, with mystical yet convincing characters, and the message I took from it is that we should all have aspirations and we should, in turn, make sacrifices to make those dreams come true. Things won't turn out as we expect, life isn't that simple, but we won't have lost for trying. I too had high expectations of this book (I was already a PC fan) and I wasn't disappointed. This guy can really tell a story.
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49 of 58 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars All is not gold that glitters, 24 Jun. 2004
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This review is from: The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream (Paperback)
First of all: I don't want to offend any of the people who have found a positive message in The Alchemist - just provide a perhaps slightly less enthusiastic comment for those who haven't yet read the book.
Initially, I was charmed by the fairy-tale style of this book - but the more I read on, the less I liked it. A simplistic style can work really well to convey wisdom - just look at "The Little Prince" by St Exupery - but then the philosophy backing the style up needs to be spot-on. I don't know why, but for me Coelho's message echoed a little bit too much of a self-help book. It was a little bit too smug, I suppose.
This book definitely has to be read as an "ideas book" rather than a "character book". None of the characters are real, complex, multi-faceted human beings, and I don't think the author intended them to be. Rather, they serve as symbols to explain the author's world-view, a little bit like "Candide" by Voltaire. The main character, the treasure-hunting shepherd, symbolises the quest for meaning in life, and the voyage we are all on. His beloved Fatima, on the other hand, shows how our quest can be tangled up in another human being, rather than any of our own achievements. (Is it a coincidence that the female character is fulfilled through her feelings for a man, whereas the male character shapes his own destiny? I don't think it is, and I have to admit that riled me a little bit.)
Coelho is taking on a huge task, trying to present us with a philosophy in a fairy-tale, and it's perhaps unfair to criticise him when he fails. I don't regret reading this book, but I can't say it captures the mad, whirling, ambiguous world as well as many other novels I have read (Elliot's "Middlemarch" or Philip Pullman's "Northern Light spring to mind). It reminds me of "Jonathan Livingstone Seagull" (hmm, or whatever it was called) or "Tao for Pooh" or any other whimisical but ultimately forgettable feel-good philosophy book. It's not true, solid gold this book leaves us with, but a sort of glittering imitation.
But hey, you're going to have a better time reading it than you'll have studying Hegel...
So give it a shot, and then come back and tell me that I'm a miserable old cynic!!
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The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream
The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream by Paulo Coelho (Paperback - 8 Mar. 2012)
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