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Showing 1-10 of 8,153 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 10,860 reviews
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 November 9, 2015
What can I say that other's before me haven't? Nothing. I had heard about this book - my daughter read it and it's been around for awhile. Finally I got around to reading it. I'm glad I did. It was light reading - nothing difficult. But a very lovely story indeed.

If you've read other reviews then you know already that it's kind of a new age/mystical kind of story. A young man goes in search of himself and has many adventures along the way.

I liked it and thought it was well written. It flowed very nice from one adventure to the next. Without telling everything about the story and thus revealing all the special connections within it - I'll just say if you like reading metaphysical type of things where there are lessons and learning and purpose...then you'll like this.

Suggestion - find out what an Alchemist is before you begin the book. Once you know that, then you can better decide if this is for you.
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on July 19, 2017
This is a novel about a Shepard living in Spain who sets out on an adventure in Africa in order to seek his fortune. It is not lengthy. I read the book on Kindle while listening to an audiobook narrated by Jeremy Irons. As good as the book was, Mister Irons was really excellent and really added to my reading enjoyment.

I am not sure I completely understood some of the possible additional messages being conveyed. I am a daily Bible reader, and there are a lot of biblical references within this fine book. I really have no desire to risk the reading experience for anybody who has not yet read this book. But I think I can give an example without such risk. At some point a reader may read about some stones called "Urim and Thummin". In the event those names seem strange, that is straight from the Old Testament.

Now I wish to emphasize that I have no problem with that. It is just that I was not sure if this novel is meant as a modern secular morality story or it has a religious message. I read a lot of books that I am sure I do not fully understand. I intend to study this work further.

I am an American and feel that I definitely have not read enough international modern authors. I have been making a concerted effort to change that. Mister Coelho is from Brazil and I am really glad to have had an opportunity to read his work.

In summary, I liked this book very much for several reasons. I am not one to suggest spending extra money. However, the audiobook with Mister Irons narrating was really enjoyable to me. Thank You...
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on December 17, 2016
I have heard a lot of positive things about this book but couldn't bring myself to read it. Curiosity got the best of me and I really enjoyed the book. I must say that it's more about the underlying story than the actual story itself. More like a fable where the deeper meaning comes after you have finished the book. Part of it stays with you but not necessarily the characters, more what the characters represented. This book would appeal to those who enjoy reading and discussing philosophical novels.
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Setting: Spain/Multiple Northern African Countries (Spiritual/Fant)

Santiago, a shepherd in Spain, has a prophetic dream, of riches buried near the pyramids, one night while sleeping in an abandoned church followed by a couple of encounters with some people who impart the importance of him following the signs. That everyone has their own life quest, or personal legend, and his was to journey to the Egyptian pyramids to find the treasure. On the way, he gains self growth, world knowledge, friendship, and his soulmate, which of course, is of much more value than any treasure he could ever hope to find.

So, this is a nice little story. It has spiritual undertones without being religious.
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on February 6, 2017
The Alchemist is a very unique book and I had never ready anything quite like it. It started out with promise, but in the end left me somewhat disappointed. The story opens on a boy who is a simple shepherd that roams the Spanish countryside. He is quickly thrust into an adventure that has him travel from Andalusia and across much of Northern Africa. The overall concept for the book was intriguing and I was interested as I started the book. Unfortunately, the book takes a permanent detour about halfway through and turns from an adventure book into a type of religious commentary. This switch is very confusing and hurts the flow of the story.
Early on in the book the story is focused on a boy who is on a thrilling treasure hunt that will pull him from his comfortable life in Spain and into the wilds of the desert. This part of the book was enjoyable to read, but then about halfway into the book he meets an alchemist and the book takes on a totally different focus. Suddenly the books is seemingly no longer about the treasure hunt as it is about the alchemist teaching the boy his spiritual beliefs. The treasure becomes rarely (or never) mentioned for a very long time and chapter after chapter is totally focused on the strange spiritual beliefs of the alchemist. I found this part of the book very boring and felt like I was reading a very different book from the one I started out with. I was quite disappointed with this because the book proved to be fairly interesting in the beginning.
As the books moves on it slowly moves back to its focus on the treasure but only for the last ten to fifteen pages. After such a long, arduous break from this initial storyline it is hard to get back into it and the book ends with what feels like a very abrupt finish and you are left with several loose ends that are never answered.
Overall, The Alchemist was not a bad book and I actually enjoyed sections of it. It has a nice flow to the story despite having been translated and was easy to read. However, the strange spiritual tangent in the middle of the book slows the story to a stop and seems to shift the goal of the book. Initially the book is about a treasure hunt and then it suddenly turns into a set of spiritual lessons before suddenly switching back to first story. This confusion damages what was overall a decent book with a lot of potential.
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on July 4, 2016
A rather well thought out breakdown of what alchemy embraces, which is the discipline of the changing of form from one state to another. In this case, personal destiny and spirit, which is often lost in any age. I would have given five stars if it were not for all the Abrahamic religions' references. A jealous and vengeful God does not appeal to me as a Polytheist. This is an excellent and necessary read for anyone embarking on their own spiritual journey or having become stalled on the way. The deepest wisdom resides in Ancient Egypt. Your heart will find it fresh as the sun rises each day renewed as in the First Time, where modern eyes reveal only ruins. Enjoy.
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on June 7, 2017
Curiosity got the best of me and I really enjoyed the book. I must say that it's more about the underlying story than the actual story itself. More like a fable where the deeper meaning comes after you have finished the book. Part of it stays with you but not necessarily the characters, more what the characters represented. This book would appeal to those who enjoy reading and discussing philosophical novels.
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on May 21, 2014
The Alchemist sat on my bookshelf for much too long! I wish I had read it sooner.

It is a delightful story about a young man who starts out studying to become a Priest. However, he decides that is not what he really wants to be, and he becomes a shepherd. After a few years he finds himself on a quest to find his own personal legend (destiny).

Through a series of events, including meeting a king who encourages him to follow his heart. That included a trip to northern Africa, spending several months working in small crystal shop (where he helps the owner become successful) in order to earn enough money for a trip to Egypt, riding in a caravan to an oasis (where he meets a woman and they fall in love), meeting an Alchemist who helps him determine and find his destiny), and reaching the Egyptian Pyramids, where he thought he would find a treasure and his Personal Legend.

Through this journey he learns much about himself and others. He learns to interpret omens (much like intuition) that guide him in reaching the highest level of understanding. He also learns that the treasure he was seeking was to be found in a place where he was originally happy as a shepherd, home in his own country. He learned it's not the destiny that was important, but what he learned on this journey.

This is one of the best books I have read dealing with how one can seize opportunities when they come your way, and by not fearing the unknown, trusting in yourself to overcome adversity, one can succeed on levels beyond what might never have been possible. It is a way to find a better understanding of yourself and your real goal, and through this journey you allow yourself the opportunity to reach your own destiny -- Personal Legend.

I wish I had read it in my younger years. I would then have had the opportunity to seize the moments when they came about. I might even have become that famous doctor I had dreamed about as a teen.

Do seize the opportunity to read this book by Paulo Coelho! I did, and I find myself looking at things through different eyes, and reflecting on my own destiny.
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