- Paperback: 197 pages
- Publisher: HarperOne; 1st edition (April 25, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780061122415
- ISBN-13: 978-0061122415
- ASIN: 0061122416
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 12,104 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Alchemist Paperback – April 25, 2006
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Mass Market Paperback
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“A wise and inspiring fable about the pilgrimage that life should be.” (M. Scott Peck)
“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)
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.
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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!
Oh man, was that a mistake. It didn't do any of those things (and apparently kids these days don't actually read their summer reading, what a shame). Instead, I fell deeply in love with this book and have read it three times in the last two years. It's the kind of book that works on more than one level - you have your hero who goes on an adventure, learning from a wise mentor, hitting roadblocks, coming to know himself and the world around him before realizing that his true treasure was in himself all along, and if that's all you get out of the book, then that's fine, but there's more going on here.
The difficulty of the book is figuring out what that more is. The book constantly suggests and hints at lessons that seem at once a comment on ethics and metaphysics, history and anthropology, post-colonialist critique and folk fairy tale. Biblical allusions abound next to Islamic lessons on the nature of God while institutions and mysticism are equally likely to be evoked and revoked. There's always the sense as you read that there is something lingering under the surface, but the minute that you try to grab it (or write it in a review) it seems to disappear.
That seems to be the point of the book, that the message is clear if you read it without trying to grab it. Hold it loosely and it comes easily, try to describe it and it flits away. The book is allusive; it works on you without seeming to, and at the end you're left both satisfied as the adventure concludes and also wanting more, or perhaps wanting to do more. Perhaps that's why I like this book so much - it doesn't yield its secrets easily, or perhaps it yields it too easily, and you finish wondering where your heart and your treasure lie and what your personal legend might be. I imagine that this book might say more about its reader than its text: when you know your own heart and your own journey well enough, perhaps this will only remain a passing, although enjoyable fairy tale.
The vendor that I purchased from, Bullet's' Bonanza's, was extremely kind and professional, including a personal note in the package. I would gladly do business with them again.
I'm not done reading it yet, but when I started. I read like the first 80 pages nonstop. Really soak in the message and lessons. I can't wait to finish this book.
So, I finally finished the book. And wow, never would have I thought, a book would have such an impact on me. It's a simple tale but filled with lessons if you are seeking it. I read it in like 3 sittings. I'm not much of a reader and just starting to appreciate it, and I am glad this was one of the books I read. Love it.