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.
This inspirational fable by Brazilian author and translator Coelho has been a runaway bestseller throughout Latin America and seems poised to achieve the same prominence here. The charming tale of Santiago, a shepherd boy, who dreams of seeing the world, is compelling in its own right, but gains resonance through the many lessons Santiago learns during his adventures. He journeys from Spain to Morocco in search of worldly success, and eventually to Egypt, where a fateful encounter with an alchemist brings him at last to self-understanding and spiritual enlightenment. The story has the comic charm, dramatic tension and psychological intensity of a fairy tale, but it's full of specific wisdom as well, about becoming self-empowered, overcoming depression, and believing in dreams. The cumulative effect is like hearing a wonderful bedtime story from an inspirational psychiatrist. Comparisons to The Little Prince are appropriate; this is a sweetly exotic tale for young and old alike. (June) Copyright 1997-2005 Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Showing 1-5 of the 5 most recent reviews
1 . Good read, but steep pricing
Posted January 22, 2011 by Annie , PortsmouthThis was a book I could not put down, however, the steep pricing seems to much for the short read that you receive for the money.
2 . Excellent
Posted December 12, 2010 by J.Labrador , Waterloo,OntarioThis book has been an inspiration and one I have read repeatedly. It is simply written and told almost as one to be told in an oral tradition. I can only say that some souls are young and as the saying goes that when one is ready, the teacher will appear. If you are ready to hear of following your destiny, of not being discouraged in the face of hardship, of going on even in the face of despair, then you will learn from this tale. If you are not on the path of learning that the author wants to share with you, you may be like others who have given this book a less than encouraging review. Please give this book a try... it is worth it. A dashing adventure, and like all fables, with lessons to be absorbed.
3 . .
Posted October 11, 2010 by Susan , VA BeachThe book is well written, simple and easy to understand. It inspired me to improve my life for the better. I highly recommended this book to all my friends. It is all about finding your personal legend.
4 . not my favorite
Posted April 19, 2010 by Angie , DallasI thought this book started out well, but lost me as I got into it. I found it very difficult to relate to the characters. I love the idea of following your destiny, but found it less than spiritual.
5 . Great story about pursuing God's purpose set before you
Posted May 03, 2009 by David Blakemore , Alexandria, VirginiaThis fictional story captures your heart and attention as a young boy follows a path that is set before him by God. It is full of life enriching events that are full of teachers / mentors and tests that often put him at the edge of quitting. It is full of spiritual messages but does not subscribe to any one religion. Having only read snippets from various chapters I bought 7 paper copies to send to my children, friends and parents. I can hardly wait to finish the book.
May 09, 1995
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Excerpt from The Alchemist - 10th Anniversary Edition by Paulo Coelho
The Boy's Name Was Santiago. Dusk Was falling as the boy arrived with his herd at an abandoned church. The roof had fallen in long ago, and an enormous sycamore had grown on the spot where the sacristy had once stood.
He decided to spend the night there. He saw to it that all the sheep entered through the ruined gate, and then laid some planks across it to prevent the flock from wandering away during the night. There were no wolves in the region, but once an animal had strayed during the night, and the boy had had to spend the entire next day searching for it.
He swept the floor with his jacket and lay down, using the book he had just finished reading as a pillow. He told himself that he would have to start reading thicker books: they lasted longer, and made more comfortable pillows.
It was still dark when he awoke, and, looking up, he could see the stars through the half-destroyed roof.
I wanted to sleep a little longer, he thought. He had had the same dream that night as a week ago, and once again he had awakened before it ended.
He arose and, taking up his crook, began to awaken the sheep that still slept. He had noticed that, as soon as he awoke, most of his animals also began to stir. It was as if some mysterious energy bound his life to that of the sheep, with whom he had spent the past two years, leading them through the countryside in search of food and water. "They are so used to me that they know my schedule," he muttered. Thinking about that for a moment, he realized that it could be the other way around: that it was he who had become accustomed to their schedule.