The Alchemist

The Alchemist

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sjpl_jtlee
Mar 30, 2021

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, is a novel focused on the following of one’s dreams. The story is centered around a shepherd who experiences a repeating dream, and seeks to solve the mystery behind it. Though he is skeptical at first, Santiago is advised by an old man to follow his “personal legend,” a calling of sorts that exists for every passionate individuals. As Santiago journeys, he meets various characters who support him along the way, the most influential of which is the alchemist. Together with the alchemist, the boy completes his journey, fulfilling his personal legend. Throughout the novel, multiple instances demonstrate that if one intensely seeks to complete one’s journey, the universe will assist in its completion. I felt extremely inspired by this message, and I feel that reading the book and discovering it was a great learning experience. I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone of age 10 or more, considering the reading level.

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AndresR04
Mar 17, 2021

A very interesting story and with many philosophical concepts, the novel of the alchemist tells about a Andalusian Shepherd named Santiago, a young boy with a huge adventurous spirit, and huge desire to see the world in its totality. Santiago's life would have 360 degrees, due to a simple dream that tells him to seek from no other place than the Egypt pyramids, and so he decides to start the journey to Egypt to find them. The Alchemist gives the reader a “therapy” section in the majority of the book’s pages, it goes deeper into the concept of individualism, make us ponder about yourself, and the way to think when it comes to challenges in our daily-life, think about what is stopping us to achieve your goals and expectations, and the only that may stop you is your mind. It also expresses the complexity of understanding different perspectives from other people and how dreams and desires can be a huge factor to go on and achieve what you want, and it would “teach” you many lessons that can be helpful in the near future like the appreciation of today, the importance and effects of taking decisions, and standing strongly in the truth, etc. Afterall a very recommended book to read.

The Alchemist follows the journey of Santiago, a shepherded from Spain who seeks out treasure foretold through his dreams. Throughout his journey, he strives towards attaining his Personal Legend through learning the Language of the Universe, reading omens and listening to his heart.

I was looking forward to an uplifting, and inspiring journey about a simple shepherded boy, taking the leap into unknown lands; meeting strange and wonderful people , travel to new places, discover diverse cultures and ultimately finding his place in the world.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed to discovered that this story had little substance and wisdom to share and here's why:

The Alchemist takes the most compelling aspects of the story and uses them instead as vague tools to preach the repetitive and common advise such as; follow your dreams, listen to your heart, take risks, be more observant, everything happens for a reason, or to trust in a higher power.

While I believe those are all wonderful things to write and share with the world, The Alchemist delivers those messages flatly through one dimensional characters in a world setting that felt incomplete.

All the characters in this book only serve one purpose - and that purpose is to push Santiago towards his Personal Legend. They are used as plot devices to move the story along and provide Santiago lessons and omens to add to his rather uninspiring journey.

The writing was repetitive and uninspiring. As a result, throughout the entirety of the story I was bored and underwhelmed.

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gfallon
Jan 14, 2021

Leo says 4 stars

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natalie830
Dec 26, 2020

The book is about a shepherd boy named Santiago who is going on a journey to search for his personal legend. His personal legend is important to him because it is his reason for life. On the way of his journey, Santiago meets someone who will change his future and many other people. I really like this novel, because all the characters are not just background characters, but rather they make a huge impact on Santiago's journey. Everything in the book is thematic and connected. Those little details matter and are relative to the story, and those little details that are beautifully written in the book will not make sense until you have read everything. Everything in the story ties in together! This book tells a message to the readers to never give up on your dream. Following one’s dreams and following one’s heart is very crucial to happiness. In this story, the main character, Santiago, learns a lesson from his journey and learns to listen to omens and his heart. I would give this book a 5 out of 5 stars, because again, everything connects in the story!

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LycheeLily
Dec 21, 2020

This book will make you rethink your life (in a good way, though). Coelho does a marvelous job at dropping one sentence lines of wisdom as the story follows Santiago, a Spanish shepherd, on his journey of fulfilling his dream. Along the way, Santiago learns from a variety of people, including a king, crystal merchant, caravan driver, and an alchemist. He discovers the meaning of love and the way to happiness. Originally published in Portuguese, this book references multiple religions and mentions spirituality. However, people not of the same, or any, religion can still take away significant meaning from the book. And for that reason, I believe you should pick the book up and give it a chance to change your life.

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xiaojunbpl12
Oct 27, 2020

I fancied the location,
eyes bored dilation,
my soul void of elation,
a journey of flirtation.

like Bible, to preach,
lack of poetic overreach;
inflate a fable hollow to teach,
stretch a tale vain to beseech.

"personal legend" obvious,
appealing to strived fame glorious.
children's guide to dream laureate.
adults' self-help from godliness.

JCLCharlesH Sep 17, 2020

The Alchemist is a relatively straightforward story of Santiago, a shepherd from Andalusian who goes to Egypt in search of treasure. On a deeper level though, the people he meets along the way tell a more complex tale of what it means to live up to your life's mission. A quick read with real staying power.

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mitanline
Aug 26, 2020

In The Alchemist by written Paulo Coelho, the protagonist of the story, Santiago embarks on his journey to find his purpose in life. While he makes his way in places such as Egypt, moving past numerous pyramids in hopes to find his personal legend and the treasure hidden, he encounters different types of people symbolizing the journey of life. The obstacles and the long journey to our end goal, on our way we meet all kinds of people some help us some add on to your burden. There are different ways in which one can experience their journey, some have it peaceful and some face turbulent times, Santiago gets robbed, meets the king who informs him about the omens. The author does not fail to show his growth as a character. One thing I did not like in the book is the portrayal of women in the book, Fatima seemed to dislike the fact that she was a woman and showed no set goals for herself, i.e no personal legend for her. The book however is a must-read for it's symbolism and it's wise wise words on life.

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santoshtanneer
Aug 14, 2020

The journey of a shepherd boy to his personal treasure lead to discover the truth about life, its happiness, motives and purposes. Highly recommend, as everything was beautifully written in simple language.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho follows a young man from Southern Spain named Santiago who travels into Egypt in search of his purpose after a dream-interpreter informed him that his destiny is at the Great Pyramids in Egypt. It is a short but beautifully written story about love, learning, and finding one’s true purpose in a world that doesn’t have to be so complicated. Paulo Coelho conveys the theme of finding one’s purpose through his powerful usage of characterization, imagery, and symbolism.
I would give The Alchemist 5 out of 5 stars for the authors choice to not waste any words or plot, and the novel’s ability to illustrate meaning out of very little text. I would also give the story bonus points for the author’s impressive usage of imagery. The short novel is good for readers that are 10 years and older as long as it is in their reading level, however, the content is suitable for all ages as it has something new to offer each time it is read.

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Sean_Exon
Jul 28, 2020

The Alchemist is a mystic story about a shepherd boy named Santiago who followed his dream to find a buried treasure at the foot of the pyramids in Egypt. Along the journey, he encountered people and omens that helped him reach the treasure, but he also encountered unexpected distractions that could have led him off course. Eventually he met an alchemist; a man who could turn led into gold and had the elixir that could cure all illnesses. The alchemist taught Santiago about his inner strength that he could overcome great difficulties which led him to the buried treasure.
Although some parts of the book seemed a bit slow to get to the point, overall, it is an excellent, well written, well thought-out book that encourages readers to conquer their fears and reach for their dreams. Like Santiago, everyone has dreams. Through life, we too encounter people that can help us reach our goals. When faced with great difficulties, we must gather our inner strength to overcome. Santiago fell in love with a girl and almost gave up his dream to stay with her, but the alchemist convinced him that staying with her would eventually lead to a lifetime of unhappiness wondering “what if”. This is a wonderful story of adventure and inspiration.

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ParmisBroumandi
Jul 21, 2020

The book “The Alchemist” is about a shepherd named Santiago and his journeys to find his own “personal legend” and believing a recurring dream to be prophetic. After trying so hard to make money for months, he uses it to go on a journey. He then sets out on a journey where he meets different people and learns new things from them, for instance an alchemist. There are people who help him but there are also many distractions, in the end it’s his decision to pursue or not pursue his personal legend. Upon reflection, I think this book is good since it’s inspiring and also mythical, it displays a good point of view of life. I don’t think there was any part of this book that I disliked. I recommend this book, especially for teens because I think this book can be inspiring for them, and like the shepherd they can learn life lessons throughout the book.

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gurleen03
Jun 29, 2020

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho awakens a repeating dream of an ordinary shepherd boy, Santiago, with the motive of achieving gold. Coehlo uses an overarching symbol: the desert. The desert serves its purpose throughout the book, in which Santiago faces many obstacles and journeys. This particular symbol represents the value of life throughout the story. Santiago has a goal to find the treasure full of gold behind the pyramids in Egypt which he dreamt of a child telling him. Santiago makes his move despite feeling that this is not his “legend” as he encounters many special and mysterious people along his path to the pyramids. Melchizedek, the King of Salem who emphasizes “Personal Legend” of Santiago, is one of the many encounters that make his way more magical and suspenseful. The King gives him stones that will indicate omens when they will happen. On Santiago’s way to the pyramids, he gets robbed and tragic events weaken his faith; but, the suspense is all about what will be the outcome. Santiago will have to preserve through his challenges to reach his dream. When I first began the book, it was ordinary to me but very soon, it made me indulged in learning about Santiago’s journey and what the author has to say. Needless to say, it was an interesting story that consisted of many mysterial and spiritual moments which the author did a fantastic job in entertaining the readers!

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gippy011
Jun 16, 2020

The Alchemist - Book Review
The Alchemist is a Portuguese novel published in 1988 and was later translated into English. It follows an Andalusian shepherd named Santiago as he seeks to interpret a recurring dream in a journey of self-discovery in the Arabian desert. The novel is focused on the development of Santiago’s character as the reader learns a lot about him such as his past and his desires. And the novel does this very well. Santiago is a very compelling character and the direction of the plot is perfect for him and his development. There is a clear vision that Coehlo exerts and it’s clear he has something to say about humans and what we should consider important in our lives. While some of the introductions of certain characters and decisions can be jarring at first the story presents it and then as more information is provided it makes more sense. However, it can turn off certain people but it’s ideal if the reader fully finishes the novel and understands it completely. Insightful, intuitive, and teeming with excellent character development the Alchemist is everything a reader would want in a novel with a clear vision.

Age Rating: 12 and above
5 out of 5 stars

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Mar 23, 2020

The Alchemist is an "internationally bestselling phenomenon" written by British author Paulo Coelho in 1988. Studded with precious messages about the human heart and dreams, it is a must-read, especially in these success-centered, emotion-lacking times we live in.
Santiago, a shepherd boy, is launched into a quest because of a gypsy woman's, and a king's interpretations of a recurring dream he has. The boy travels from Andalusia, Spain to Africa, where he encounters his first hurdle: theft. From then on, the boy continues on through a fascinating journey filled with supernatural omens, defeats, triumphs, words of wisdom, and love.
The Alchemist is a unique work of literature in many ways. The desert landscapes and mysterious speeches evoke strong images, and there are numerous references to various religions, deities, and history that are difficult to come across in other classic novels. While its folktale-like plot may seem outdated to many, its messages about not losing touch with one's heart is a much-needed and relevant one for everyone today.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
@StarRead of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

The Alchemist is an excellent book about a boy named Santiago on a journey to the Egyptian pyramids. There, he hopes to find his so-called treasure and fulfill his Personal Legend. This book is sure to open the reader’s eyes to the wonders of the world, such as destiny and fate. My favorite aspects of this novella are the lessons the protagonist learns along his quest. Santiago learns the truth of the universe, love, and stepping outside of his comfort zone in the name of personal growth. I recommend this book to anyone with a philosophical soul. Ultimately, this is now one of my favorite books. Overall, I rate this book ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
@TheBookNerd of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

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hjwwjxm
Feb 09, 2020

+ Simple narrative and concealed allegorical meaning about self realization
- poor portrait of female character who has no independent agency or interests of her own. Be careful of the sexist undertone

http://farragomagazine.com/2017/02/06/review-gender-and-allegory-in-the-alchemist/

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Parker_TV
Feb 09, 2020

    This "graphic version" presents the novel in a hard-cover, glossy page and full colour illustrative format --- aka "comic book" --- for ease of reading (cartoon bubble dialogue) and lack of visual imagination (colour action-figure rendering genre) one supposes; and in following the illustrative dress codes common to action-figure books, the sultry young women characters portrayed are somewhat inadequately dressed in diaphanous costumes for the time of day and the weather.

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KEREN SMITH
Jan 24, 2020

Amazing!! I read it twice back to back and wished I could take a highlighter to it. (I took notes instead!) a book that should be on everyone’s reading list.

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Parker_TV
Jan 20, 2020

    In the genre of inspiration, motivation self-help books popular in the 80s-90s but did not prove itself worthy of profit on the bookstalls of Latin America, and so... New Face, New Publisher, New York... and having both Madonna and Clinton clutching in it hand with their carry-on, it made the Times book list for the next 300 weeks. (Wait a sec... those two were at the Top of their game at the time... why would they be reading a self-help book? Could it have been: marketing, advertising, endorsement and cold cash pay-outs?)

Rough outline:
    A boy shepard (what'shisname) from Adulusa Spain comes down from the hills (accompanied by his sheep of course), one day and goes to see the Gypsy and cuts her a 10% stake of a 'Treasure at the Pyramids' she foretold him that he will find if and when he gets there. He then chit-chats with a King sitting on the curb nearby. The King trades two of his stones for a few of the boy's (what'shisname) sheep and also for giving him advice on how to recognize 'Omens'. (Is this the same guy that traded Jack three beans for the family cow?) The boy shepard (what'shisname) books passage across to the Sahara thus beginning his quest to realize his "Personal Legend" and  to find the Treasure at the Pyramids.
Lots of action happening 'On the Road to The Pyramids' with the author consistently reminding and updating the reader every ten pages or so. The boy shepard (what'shisname) picks up on all the Omens to even becoming conversant with the Wind and the Sun before realizing his 'Personal Legend' and finding the Treasure at the Pyramids', which in a funny twist, he should have bought a return passage which could have saved him some coinage. Oh, and did I say he also got the girl?... truly inspirational.
The End.

THREE STARS only... not a self-help book as the methodology firstly involves seeking a Gypsy.

Note: The boy shepard's (what'shisname) name was 'Santiago', for those who may have forgotten after the one time it was it was spoken. Also, Santiago is not really a 'boy' in the prepubescent sense as he has a penchant for wine and an eye for the ladies.

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lianaherman
Dec 07, 2019

A timeless book! Each person will gain something unique from this book. I enjoyed the thought this book evoked.

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maiki69
Oct 22, 2019

Let me share with you a tale. It's about a boy whom at the age of nine wrote a story for school. For a nine-year-old, the story was good. It involved three animals on an adventure through the desert. Each brought to the journey their own unique skills, without which none of them could have made the trek. It was a story about working together to achieve success. The boy's teacher liked the story.
It had a complex plot for a student of nine and she recognized it took some thoughtful organization and planning. She gave the boy an A+. In his heart, the boy knew he wanted to write stories when he grew up.

As the boy grew older, he held on to his dream. Opportunities readily afforded themselves to him. He wrote a skit in junior high; a modern adaptation of the first act of Romeo and Juliet when he was sixteen; and in high school wrote for an underground paper that parodied local events. It was as if the universe were working in tandem with him to realize his dream of becoming a writer.

The boy entered college. In his first quarter of school he took theatre and English classes. His theatre instructor was impressed with his sense of stagecraft, both on and off the stage. His English teacher was impressed with his writing, and the two instructors - good friends - invited the boy to attend a playwriting workshop they were co-chairing. For the workshop he wrote a play; a comedy that actually made people laugh.

A staged reading was held of the boy's play. From the reading a full-scale production developed that was entered into a national competition. His teacher - the one who'd planted an A+ on his story when he was nine - attended a performance. She beamed as she told him afterward she nearly peed herself laughing. Life, thought the boy, couldn't get any better.

The boy, rapidly becoming a man, by chance stumbled into a job at a bookstore. It was a good fit. He excelled at the job as he had a knack for remembering titles and authors and where on the many aisles of shelves they could be found. His manager gave him more and more hours, until he didn't have enough time in his day for school; so he put his education on hold.

As one year blurred into the next, the boy was promoted up the bookstore food chain. Soon he'd all but forgotten his ambition to become a writer. He lived comfortably, and by all outward appearances was content. But in his heart there remained a nagging unsettling feeling something was not right. He thought maybe his heart was telling him he was ill, but was pronounced in fine
health by his physician. Still, the feeling of unease remained. Then one day a copy of Dr. Gerald G. Jampolsky's book LOVE IS LETTING GO OF FEAR inexplicably made it onto his bedside table, and the boy - now very much a man - picked it up and read it in one sitting.

The next day, he received notice the bookstore was going to close. At first, he was seized with panic. In the course of the day, though, panic was replaced with relief; fear with excitement. He looked at it as an opportunity to pursue his true passion - writing - , and incredibly, he was at peace with it.

THE ALCHEMIST, by Paulo Coelho is about that certain click one gets when pursuing his/her true path. Set in Saharan Africa sometime between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries, it involves recognizing omens along life's journey that can be used to achieve dreams. It is about the interconnectedness of all things; the "Soul of the World" from which all things spring. It is that common bond which makes alchemy - the changing of lead to gold; adversity to opportunity - possible. Through the story's protagonist, a Spanish boy named Santiago, Coelho guides the reader through the process of recognizing opportunities that will ultimately lead one to know and trust their heart. In so doing, the author puts us in the shoes of Santiago, and himself in the role of the alchemist, although in the interconnected world of Coelho they're one and the same. Outstanding.

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shawnsoules
Oct 16, 2019

This book is like fine wine it gets better with age. I love this book! I recommend this book to everyone

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kysmith2010
Oct 06, 2019

I read this in Portuguese

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HKMar
Jul 03, 2019

Really enjoyed the concept of fate, and destiny. I remember seeing a novela or a Spanish language soap translated from Portuguese where the term Maktub was used which meant: "it was written" the idea that your destiny was already determined. I enjoyed the character developments. None the less I can see why it appealing and considered a classic.


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