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The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream Paperback – 1 Jan 1995
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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."
‘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 CROWESee all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
I guess those who like books that challenge and encourage them will be greatly satisfied.
It may be described as a fable, but it is a metaphore about life and the way we live it.
I hope you will love as much as I do.
What it is, is a spiritual/faith/I-believe-in-God book.
Which is all very nice, but being an engineer and practically minded its a load of cobblers.
I did read it to the end, only because it was so short.
Look before you leap, I wish I had.
Put simply this is one of the most abject books I have ever read. Anyone who takes a positive, life affirming message from Coelho's prose has completely misunderstood the message it unintentionally broadcasts. Despite what the author and Richard and Judy would have you believe, what The Alchemist does espouse is a barely updated version of Leibnitzian Optimism which occasionally blunders over the line into full blown Fatalism. The very same philosophical position in fact that was so mercilessly torn apart and held up to the light of reason and absurdity by Voltaire over 200 years ago. Rather than a positive message, the book is overwhelmingly negative for anyone who believes in free will or our own ability to make our own choices. As Voltaire realised, the problem with Optimism/Fatalism (above and beyond its complete refusal to accept that bad things happen unless it was for 'a higher reason' or 'the greater good' or 'part of God's plan) is that when you work it all the way through to its logical conclusion you are forced to accept that free will can not exist and that we are all merely pawns in a larger game over which we have no control. How people manage to extract a positive message from being told that happiness is to be found in blindly following a destiny that is laid out before you is utterly beyond me.Read more ›
Now some people may not understand this book at all and I see a couple of 1 star ratings. Some people actually seem quite angry with it. In my opinion these people are reading the book from the perspective of the ego. If you step away from the ego then you can see that the book delivers lessons on enlightenment. I was already down this path so I could immediately identify with some of the profound lessons.
I'm now beginning to suspect that you cannot awaken people simply by telling them or lecturing to them. They have to take the journey themselves and slowly start to activate parts of their conciousness that enables them to see beyond the ego and understand a book like this for the important lessons it delivers. Without activating these parts no amount of preaching and lecturing can make them "see" past their current ego limitations. I suspect this is why there is so much anger by some towards this book (one guy said he actually tore it up and threw it in the bin!). They simply cannot see what some of us can see in it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a decent read with good life lessons and theme running throughout. Wasn't as blown away as others but still worth a read.Published 12 hours ago by marc
The quality is amazing. And mine was also signed by the author!Published 22 hours ago by Amazon Customer
I have read this book several times. Each time I find something different in it. There are so many quotes that you can use for different aspects in life. Read morePublished 1 day ago by rainy_rocks
Liked it, I have to confess, I'm not much of a reader, and I usually get easily distracted from finishing a book.. but did finish this one in about less than 4days.Published 8 days ago
I am totally inspired by this book and have taken what knowledge I have gained from reading it and used it in my everyday life. Read morePublished 13 days ago by James Phillips