- See Paulo Coelho's 12 favorite South American books for North Americans in our Grownup School feature.
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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 sniff 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 Andalusian 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." --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This inspirational fable by Brazilian author and translator Coelho has been a runaway bestseller throughout Latin America and seems poised to achieve the same prominence here. The charming tale of Santiago, a shepherd boy, who dreams of seeing the world, is compelling in its own right, but gains resonance through the many lessons Santiago learns during his adventures. He journeys from Spain to Morocco in search of worldly success, and eventually to Egypt, where a fateful encounter with an alchemist brings him at last to self-understanding and spiritual enlightenment. 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. The cumulative effect is like hearing a wonderful bedtime story from an inspirational psychiatrist. Comparisons to The Little Prince are appropriate; this is a sweetly exotic tale for young and old alike. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
With all of the good reviews I seen and heard from this book I did have my hopes up for more. The narrative is simplistic and yet the writer manages to make it drag on through a... Read morePublished 12 hours ago by James P. Cooper
I truly enjoyed reading this book. As I had heard nothing but good things, I opted to give it a go. I had gotten a copy from the library, didn't finish in time, and then wanted to,... Read morePublished 12 hours ago by Princess Flowers
The book came in bent in box like it wasn't packed properly. Other than that this book is pretty cool.Published 14 hours ago by michelle martinez
It shows how a boy starts with nothing and starts to follow his dream where he ends up understanding the world.Published 14 hours ago by acinl
And timeless. A must read. It's a simple yet powerful and effective story that reminds us all of the true essence of life: learn to follow your heart.Published 1 day ago by Hayworth Sabala