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The Alchemist

A book by Paulo Coelho

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The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

  • Jun 21, 2009
Rating:
+1
Most people would agree that serendipity plays some role in everyone's life, but I have to dispute the notion that all you need to do is follow your dreams and everything will turn out fine. Such seems to be the premise of this little fable about a young Spanish shepherd who sells his sheep and heads across the Strait of Gibraltar to Tangiers. No adversity sets him back for long, and he continues over the Saharan desert to the Pyramids of Egypt where he expects to find his personal treasure. This kid goes with the flow and manages to avoid even a scratch despite putting himself in perilous situations at every turn of the page. After all, nothing bad happens when you follow your dreams, listen to your heart and live in the moment. Such a world view may be fine for the character of this story but it doesn't work for the average person. Let's say my personal dream is to be a rock star, but I'm tone deaf and have to work a regular job to support my family. The dream may have to take early retirement. Apparently, a lot of people found inspiration in this book, but not me. I prefer to find meaning in my career, family and fiction that provides lessons for people facing day-to-day challenges in a real world.

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June 23, 2010
I heard this book was really good and have been meaning to read it. Thanks for your opinion, I am a very realistic minded person too. However sometimes I like books that are far fetched because that is the only way I am able to escape my realistic mind and delve into different places where anything is possible. Bu
 
June 26, 2009
I understand what you mean, but I also think it is a lot more metaphorical and symbolical. I didn't take it literally when I read it. Have you read Paulo's The Devil and Miss Prym?
 
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More The Alchemist reviews
Quick Tip by . January 25, 2011
An excellent read. I am currently finding a spot for this in the High School Curriculum. It is past time for us to have books that are more relevant for our Hispanic Population. "Mango Street" is a nice start, but by the time they reach high school, we have so little for them. They tend to read this one from cover to cover, and have a lot to say about it as well.
review by . August 03, 2010
  Quite possibly one of my favorite books. The whole story stands as an allegory that reaches across religions, cultures, and languages. The novel has been translated in over 33 languages and is an international bestseller. It could even be argued that Coelho's story transcends created borders to be a global novel.      I would recommend this book to anyone who is on a journey, with an interest in listening to stories. The allegory involves a young man named Santiago …
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
Love this book. Love the story. It has some great quotes. It should be required reading for all young people. Follow your dreams.
Quick Tip by . July 09, 2010
Really loved this book. It ignited in me a desire for a fantastic life at a rather young age. And since, that is what I've lived.
Quick Tip by . June 28, 2010
Lovely journey and philosophy.
Quick Tip by . June 27, 2010
loved it
Quick Tip by . June 26, 2010
good story
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
Didn't captivate me the way others had.
Quick Tip by . June 23, 2010
One of the best books I've ever read. I recommend it more than any book outside the bible. Spiritual, easy read, page-turner, coming of age, heroic, beautiful prose, what more?
Quick Tip by . June 22, 2010
I put this book down. It was a little boring.
About the reviewer
Steve DiBartola ()
Ranked #153
I was invited to join Lunch by one of the developers, who apparently read some reviews I posted on Library Thing. My interests are books, music, and movies. I enjoy both classical and contemporary fiction, … more
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Wiki

The Alchemist (Portuguese: O Alquimista) is an allegorical novel by Paulo Coelho first published in 1988. It follows Santiago, a young Spanish shepherd, on a journey to fulfill his Personal Legend. It has been hailed as a modern classic.  The plot is inspired from Jorge Luis Borges' short story: Tale of two dreamers.

The Alchemist was originally written in Portuguese and has since been translated into 67 languages, winning the Guiness World Record for most translated book by a living author. It has sold more than 65 million copies in more than 150 countries, becoming one of the best-selling books in history.

Santiago, a boy living in Spain, leads a common life of travel through his trade of shepherding and entertains thoughts of marrying a merchant's daughter. One day, he has a dream in which a child tells him to go to the Egyptian pyramids, which will lead him to hidden treasure. He consults a gypsy to interpret his dream, who tells him that it is a dream in the language of the world, and he must go to the Pyramids. Santiago dismisses this and plans to continue on with his daily life. While he sits to read a book, an old man strikes up conversation with him. The old man reveals that he is Melchizedek, the King of Salem. The King tells Santiago that in exchange for one-tenth of his sheep, he'll tell him where to find the treasure. Santiago agrees and buys a ticket to Tangiers.

In Tangiers, Santiago is tricked by a thief and loses his money and ...

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Details

ISBN-10: 0062502174
ISBN-13: 9780062502179
Author: Paulo Coelho
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
Date Published: ©1993
Format: Book : Fiction; English
Polls with this book
1984 (British first edition)

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