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on July 31, 2016
The Alchemist is a gripping narrative about a young Andalusian shepherd named Santiago and his journey to find the greatest treasure in the world. This charming story follows Santiago on his journey to Egypt, after having a recurring dream of finding treasure there. Santiago travels across great distances and encounters crazy adventures in his quest for gold. Little does he know that the ultimate treasure is actually found deep within.

This dream was so prophetic that Santiago genuinely believed this was his ultimate goal in life. After deciding to travel to a Romani fortune-teller in a nearby town to discover its meaning, a gypsy woman tells him that there is a treasure in the Pyramids in Egypt.

Towards the beginning of his journey, Santiago meets an old king, named Melchizedek, who advises him to sell his sheep in order to travel to Egypt. He also introduces the idea of a Personal Legend, stating that your Personal Legend, “is what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is.”

The Alchemist Physical CoverAlong the journey, Santiago meets an Englishman who is in search of an Alchemist and together they continue their search for treasure. As they travel through the Sahara desert, Santiago meets and falls in love with a beautiful Arabian woman named Fatima. After a brief period of time, Santiago asks Fatima to marry him, but she tells him that she will only marry him after he finds his treasures. Perplexed by this, Santiago later learns that true love will not stop one’s Personal Legend, and if it does, it is not true love.

Eventually Santiago meets a lone alchemist who teaches him about Personal Legends. He shares his wisdom that people want to find only the treasure of their Personal Legends but not the Personal Legend itself. The alchemist states,

“Those who don’t understand their Personal Legends will fail to comprehend their teachings.”

If you are looking for a book that will inspire courage, this is the one. No matter what your dream, goals or visions are, the universe will conspire to help you achieve the things you want, regardless of how insurmountable the task seems. You must live the life you truly desire to its fullest extent if you want to look back on a life having worth lived.

The essential message is that treasure is more worthy than gold.

Read more here: [...]
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on December 24, 2016
I purchased and began reading this book 2 years ago and, for whatever reason, I couldn't get into it. I found it incredibly dull and tedious and finally gave up halfway through.

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!
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on January 11, 2015
The Alchemist Book Review- Jack Norman AHS

The novel The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is a brilliantly engaging fictional story employing magic and quests that are very interesting, but have deeper meaning behind it. Paulo uses a simple shepherd and his journey to find his Personal Legend, or the main individual goal for every person, to entertain and explain his theories involving God and determinism.
The novel focuses on a male teenager that lives his life as a shepherd in Southern Spain, and Paulo never gives the boy a name. Paulo leaves the boy nameless because as the novel goes on, Paulo explores the ideas of determinism and free will. Because the boy is following his Personal Legend, the boy represents everyone in the world. Everyone has a Personal Legend, or a final destination, that is predetermined. At the beginning of the novel, the boy spends his young life learning from his sheep and from the hardship of living off of the land. When the shepherd realizes he is tired of constantly wandering and doing the same thing everyday, his Personal Legend is realized. The boy stops in a town and sells his sheep after meeting a self-proclaimed king. This king is God, who gives the boy two stones that he claims will help the boy make decisions. After this strange meeting, the boy sets out to Egypt, more specifically the pyramids of Egypt. Paulo’s main lesson is that God has given you a Personal Legend, and if you choose to seek it out and follow it then you will be greatly rewarded, and Paulo’s novel is talking about how it takes a lot of effort for the majority of people to realize and pursue their Personal Legends, but when they do, they feel at peace and complete.
Paulo also talks about a universal language throughout the novel. The shepherd realizes along his journey that everything flows and understands each other but cannot quite place a finger on what the language is. The language is love. Some religions believe that God created the Earth and that every thing on it was created from his love. Paulo supports this belief with the idea that there is a universal language that everything speaks, and that everything in the universe corresponds to help everything and everyone achieve their personal legends. While Paulo hits on very important issues throughout the novel that make it entertaining, there are almost too many underlying meanings throughout the novel that sometimes make the book confusing to the reader. However, the novel is very imaginative and engaging, and the blending of the use of magic and real history is interesting, as Paulo paints an accurate picture of the desert, but still manages to capture the use of the alchemist and his ability to change normal metals into gold.
Paulo Coelho’s novel is fantastic and manages to explore the topic of determinism and God’s relationship to the world through an engaging story about a young nameless shepherd in Pre-Industrialized Spain and Egypt.
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on December 18, 2016
I read this book years ago and instantly fell in love. I bought four copies for Christmas gifts for my coworkers this year. I hope that they will appreciate the simple and amazing story (much like a fable) as much as I do!
I would recommend this book to anyone - even if they do not enjoy reading that much. It's an easy and delightful read!
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on April 28, 2017
Interesting how some books don't translate as well to audio books as others. I think perhaps my 4 stars reflects the fact that I devoured this book in two giant gulps, while traveling across the country. I loved the storyline, I relished the metaphors and messages...but occasionally found redundancies...repeated phrases that in audio acted a bit like a skip on a really good record....understanding how some of the more profound author messages and terms might want to be repeated if the book were picked up and put down several times. ( -As any normal person might read with their eyes and not ears in a 12 hour blast.)
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on June 29, 2016
An inspirational tale that I know I will come back to. I loved the ending!

I read this through Amazon Immersion Reading - reading the Kindle book while listening to the Audible audiobook at the same time. And Jeremy Irons narrated the audiobook. Great choice for this book.
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on August 22, 2014
If Paul Coelho had simply laid out his philosophy about listening to your heart and following your dreams, it would have been a good read. What makes it a great read is his skillful relaying of the message through a tale about the shepherd boy Santiago's search for treasure and the lessons he learns from his travels and his encounter with the alchemist. Some books educate; some books entertain; this book does both. I love books like this.

So many reviews have already been done of The Alchemist that I'm not sure how much more I can add. I will instead relay a few of my favorite passages to give anyone who made it to this review a feel for what's in store if you read the book:

At one point Santiago is frustrated and has decided he's never again going to believe in his dreams. He observes to himself that, "Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own."

At another point, he asks an old man to tell him the world's greatest lie. The man responds, "It's this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate."

Later, when he meets the alchemist, Santiago learns that, "When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream."

The alchemist also tells him, "Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure."

A few quotes cannot do the book justice. I would encourage anyone who seeks happiness to read The Alchemist. In it you will learn what it means to realize your "Personal Legend."
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on June 24, 2016
One of my favorite books! I had an older version of this book that I read years ago but somehow got lost over time. Decided to go with buying this newer version instead of repurchasing one of the older versions and I just love the feel of it. I love the kind of ripped/worn pages, the cover, the back - the physical book itself has a lot of character that goes well with the amazing story. It looks great and feels good to hold. I will be very disappointed if I lose this copy.
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on March 21, 2017
Read this book, enjoy a different and refreshing perspective of life. If it has been silenced in the past you may find your heart talking to you again and guiding you to achieving your "personal legend".
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on December 25, 2016
This book may be one of the most though provoking books I have personally read. The outlook on life learned by the main character is empowering and a full and rich way to live. I would recommend this book to anyone on their life journey, searching for answers. At 24, I feel like this book gave me perfect insight on how to look at life in a happy and worthwhile adventure.
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