The Alchemist

The Alchemist

Book - 2014
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An Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an Alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a meditation on the treasures found within.
Publisher: San Francisco : HarperOne, [2014]
Edition: 25th anniversary edition
Copyright Date: ©1993.
ISBN: 9780062315007
Characteristics: 182 pages ; 21 cm

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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

t
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

h
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/

p
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.

k
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.

p
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.

l
lianaherman
Dec 07, 2019

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

m
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.

s
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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Age Suitability

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g
gurleen03
Jun 29, 2020

gurleen03 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

m
Mbussey
Aug 25, 2018

Mbussey thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

s
SF_READER
Jul 13, 2018

SF_READER thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

i
ilovepiggy
Jul 10, 2016

ilovepiggy thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

e
Eil_1
Nov 29, 2014

Eil_1 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

arturo_m Apr 15, 2014

arturo_m thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

d
DuckieDucks
Aug 12, 2012

DuckieDucks thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Bluebird1298 Jun 10, 2012

Bluebird1298 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

d
dancergirl111
Jan 30, 2012

dancergirl111 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Nonimouse Oct 03, 2010

Nonimouse thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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Quotes

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m
maiki69
Oct 22, 2019

THE ALCHEMIST, by Paulo Coelho is about that certain click one gets when pursuing his/her true path.
http://www.penhead.org/

k
Karneka
May 26, 2019

"But you don't know about love. If there hadn't been a sixth day, man would not exist; copper would always be just copper, and lead just lead. It's true that everything has its destiny, but one day that destiny will be realized. So each thing has to transform itself into something better, and to acquire a new destiny, until, someday, the Soul of the World becomes one thing only."

m
Mbussey
Aug 25, 2018

“It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

ArapahoeMaryA Jun 28, 2018

...wherever your heart is, that is where you will find your treasure.

We are travelers on a cosmic journey,stardust,swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share.This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.

ellensix Oct 09, 2015

"When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too."
—Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

m
mirrani
Jun 17, 2015

"Everyone has his or her own way of learning things," he said to himself. "His way isn't the same as mine, nor mine as his. But we are both in search of our Personal Legends, and I respect him for that."

s
squinton
Jun 08, 2013

"When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too."

s
squinton
Jun 08, 2013

"When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises."

o
Orange_Tiger_12
Jul 10, 2012

What is the world's greatest lie?

"At some point in our lives we loose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate."

nataliepetagaythomas Jul 02, 2012

"The thought of a pilgrimmage to mecca is what keeps me going."

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Summary

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m
maiki69
Oct 22, 2019

THE ALCHEMIST, by Paulo Coelho (HarperSanFrancisco, $18.00) 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.

Coelho writes in Portuguese, so it's hard to judge his writing from a work that's been translated to English. But suffice to say, THE ALCHEMIST is original and thoroughly enjoyable. The author comes off a bit heavy-handed in his presentation of some concepts in the story, but bear in mind he hasn't written a novel; THE ALCHEMIST is a fable, and as such is intent on delivering the writer's truth via a platform of fiction. It's this truth - philosophy, if you will - that gives the fable weight; its characters that give it soul; a combination of both that fill it with magic. All the magic of an Arabian night.

Nonimouse Oct 03, 2010

Dreams, symbols, signs, and adventure follow the reader like echoes of ancient wise voices in "The Alchemist", a novel that combines an atmosphere of Medieval mysticism with the song of the desert. With this symbolic masterpiece Coelho states that we should not avoid our destinies, and urges people to follow their dreams, because to find our "Personal Myth" and our mission on Earth is the way to find "God", meaning happiness, fulfillment, and the ultimate purpose of creation.

The novel tells the tale of Santiago, a boy who has a dream and the courage to follow it. After listening to "the signs" the boy ventures in his personal, Ulysses-like journey of exploration and self-discovery, symbolically searching for a hidden treasure located near the pyramids in Egypt.
Cited on: http://bookreviews.nabou.com/reviews/thealchemist.html

EPLPicks_Teen Apr 06, 2010

A young Spanish shepherd boy seeks a hidden treasure, dreaming of travelling the world in search of the most extravagant riches.

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