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The Alchemist Paperback – April 25, 1993
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“An adventure story full of magic and wisdom.” (Rudolfo Anaya, author of Bless Me, Ultima)
“A touching, inspiring fable.” (Indianapolis Star)
“A magical little volume.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“[This] Brazilian wizard makes books disappear from stores.” (New York Times)
“[His] books have had a life-enchanting effect on millions of people.” (London Times)
“A beautiful story with a pointed message for every reader.” (Joseph Girzone, author of Joshua)
“As memorable and meaningful as Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince.” (Austin American-Statesman)
“A sweetly exotic tale for young and old alike.” (Publishers Weekly)
“A most tender and gentle story. It is a rare gem of a book.” (Gerald G. Jampolsky, M.D., co-author of Change Our Mind, Change Your Life)
“An entrepreneurial tale of universal wisdom we can apply to the business of our own lives.” (Spencer Johnson, M.D., co-author of The One-Minute Manager)
“A remarkable tale about the most magical of all journeys: the quest to fulfill one’s destiny.” (Anthony Robbins, author of Awaken the Giant Within)
From the Back Cover
"My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky." Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams."
Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. The Alchemist is such a book. With over a million and a half copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has already established itself as a modern classic, universally admired. Paulo Coelho's charming fable, now available in English for the first time, will enchant and inspire an even wider audience of readers for generations to come.
The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist.
The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, above all, following our dreams.
- ASIN : 0061122416
- Publisher : HarperOne; 1st edition (April 25, 1993)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 197 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780061122415
- ISBN-13 : 978-0061122415
- Item Weight : 7.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.52 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #21,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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A few weeks ago I took my mother to a dental appointment and opened my Kindle to see what I had available while I waited. I decided to give this book another try and started from the beginning, as I couldn't remember anything from what I read previously. I'm not sure what was different this time around, but I was completely engrossed and my 2 hour wait flew by! I continued to read whenever I found a chance and finished it within a few days. I now find myself constantly thinking of the story and relating it to my own life, as well as my friends and family.
It's a short and very simple story, but definitely worth reading!
As someone pretty involved in religion (Catholicism) this seemed very light and fluffy to me, if generally based on ideas and ideals I consider to be true. Everyone’s life has a purpose. God sees everything and is in control of it all. The world is a good and beautiful place, if perilous. Seeking to do God’s will in your life will bring you the greatest possible satisfaction. All this plays out in the simple story of the shepherd and his quest. But, it’s *very* simple. Doubts are minimal, obstacles are easily overcome, omens and miracles are abundant. This is not much like the real life most seekers face. So, while I think this might be a good book for a depressed agnostic wondering if their life has meaning... it’s going to need some follow up with some real sustenance afterward. If it was this easy, everyone would be pursuing their “Personal Legend” and nobody would have any doubts.
Story starts with a dream followed by a series of adventures ultimately leads to resolution. His time is consumed in herding, reading and dreaming of travelling far-off places. He keeps getting same dream that there is treasure lying underneath the Egyptian pyramids. His encounter with a gypsy woman for consulting his dream gives story a new turn. He gets to know from her to follow omens. As the story moves the events get connected impeccably. Santiago's quest for treasure, soon his lucky encounter with old King who strengthens his beliefs about living his destiny, coming across mishaps and encounter with Fatima, a desert girl; all this leads him to personal legend that converges the idea of 'conspiring universe'. Personal legend is the key to living a successful and satisfying life as it is the destiny which one dreams of. He receives assistance from an alchemist who helps him understand his quest for accomplishing his dream. By time his belief grows and satisfaction nourishes as he is on right path. He comes to know "when you want something all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it".
Story deals with an internal conflict between his love and personal dreams but this novel ends up showing love as a supporting tool for achieving his dream. This is a beautiful idea that true love can prove to be a great stimulus when time comes. According to Coelho dreams have a price but not living your dreams has even a bigger price. The idea of seeking dreams is marvelous. Pursuing your dream and commiting to it makes the whole universe conspiring to give you what you want.
One of the dangerous hindrance described in the novel is fear. The fear of failure which stops us living our destiny. Overcoming this is a great victory as Coelho quoted "tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of dreams because every second of the search is a second encounter with God and with eternity".
When Santiago is in desert he comes to know that he can turn base metals into gold. (Although the idea is not true in reality). It is also a bit overrated when alchemist turns lead into gold. It is not necessary that you agree each and every thing which Coelho has put into the novel. Instead your reason and rationale may oppose many things. But one has to have the ability to read between the lines. In spite of being very unreal it is a beautiful fable which has delighted millions around the world because of its thought provoking ideas of spirituality and destiny. Santiago while travelling understands the relation between man and nature. His quest and how he overcomes the obstacles of violence, confusion and despair is an encouraging pleasure for reader. The setting of novel is real but events are magical.
Some may find it a good piece to escape reality and some to understand reality. I highly recommend it to young readers as its conclusions directs it solves the purpose to make reader understand having faith in destiny which ultimately leads to achieving it.
Top reviews from other countries
Paulo Coelho has been able to reach into the human soul with his words and produced a work which brings enlightenment and peace.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is suffering mental or spiritual turmoil, bereavement and loss. I will keep this book forever to refer to when feeling sad or lost.
If there is a message, it is "follow your dream", but it's wholly unconvincing.