The Alchemist

The Alchemist

Book - 2006
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An Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a 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 discovery of the treasures found within.
Publisher: [New York] : HarperOne, [2006], c1993
ISBN: 9780061122415
Characteristics: x, 197 p. map ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Clarke, Alan (Alan R.)


From Library Staff

List - Sofia V. Gonzalez
cals_Stories Apr 18, 2016

I’m not usually one for fiction, but Coelho’s story of a journey to find treasure and finding yourself along the way can’t help but ring true. I picked this one up at an airport and return to it often.

From the critics

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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.

jgard99 Jun 05, 2019

This book was life-changing! I loved the story so much, and it is packed full of wonderful sage like wisdom and powerful life lessons! The story grants such a perspective on the grand system of the world and man's place within. I never once felt as though this were some kind of grand theological or philosophical work, nor does it seem to be a self-help book. For me, the story was a brilliant retelling of the Hero's Journey that incorporates experiential wisdom and dances with deep philosophical themes. At any rate, the fact that this book even exists shows me that classic literature will never go out of fashion, and that there is always another book to inspire you and leave you awestruck.

May 29, 2019

I did not like this book at all. It was just so weird and it didn’t make sense.
I don’t know how a book can tell you that you should live your life however you want but also mentions God. Our lives are not our own to do whatever we want but instead they are for us to live for God and to do His bidding.
I also didn’t like how this book does mention a lot of magicians but doesn’t condemn them as we should know that anyone who practices the occult is not on the side of God.
I don’t recommend this book for anyone.

Apr 17, 2019

A great story packed with so much truth it will make you explode with a deep seated understanding of Joy. I would read this over and over again. There is so much to talk about. It speaks of God with words of conmonality, it speaks of religion with out being religious, and it speaks of Christianity with words of the world. I have seen how this fits into my personal Theology.

Apr 08, 2019

Well! That was a trip down the rabbit hole!
It's rare for me to read something of this nature, best described as new-age pseudo-religious fantasy (or pretentious codswallop, if you prefer). And there's good reason that I seldom indulge: It's just not my brand of booze. I can tolerate a modest amount of "magical realism" when that element is handled subtly and serves the interest of telling a story. But when fantasy takes over the whole book, I just want to get off at the next station (or leap off the runaway train if that's my only option).
Coelho entices you in at the beginning, with what promises to be a simple story about a shepherd boy who longs for new experiences. Foolish me! The title alone should have been enough to warn me away. But it had been on my to-read list for so long and has been so highly praised ....
To the vast numbers of readers who loved this book: Good for you. As for me, I know my limits and will now humbly retreat within them. All those who disagree with this review are welcome to laugh at me as I enjoy old Ovid and all that nonsense about ancient Greek and Roman gods.
Amost 2 stars on the strength of Alan Clarke's very fine translation, which must have been a challenge.

Feb 11, 2019

Some might call this a metaphor or a parable or a fable. The Alchemist, at its core, is about following your dreams. Coelho tells us to have a little faith and to listen to your heart through the young Santiago. Through his journey to the Egyptian mountains he learns that when your have a dream or a goal don’t give up. Whatever obstacles your come across, learn from it; trust that the universe is watching out for you and your dream. Though at times the moral or Coelho’s message gets lost (whether that be because of the poor translation or sometimes poor writing), it does well in leaving the reader feeling at peace with the rush of everyday life. It encourages everyone to take life a little less seriously and let somethings just be. Rating: 4
@Pandora of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Jan 23, 2019

Inspiring, I copied a few of the passages most meaningful to me for future reference.
(I am a quick reader but because there is so much to ponder, I found it helpful to read perhaps only 20 or 30 pages at a time.)

Dec 27, 2018

This book isn't so much a work of fiction as it is a religious text or the modern equivalent: a spiritual self-help book. Yet, it never feels pedantic or proselytizing. When I first read it, I was working in a little coffee shop and going to school. I was so moved by the story and the message of finding peace and personal fulfillment, I gave it to a coworker. Equally moved, she gave it to another coworker. Before we knew it, the book had been passed around the whole shop. We decided we would all write a little note of encouragement and pass the book along to someone new with the caveat that everyone who read it had to write something inside the cover and give the book away when they were done. That's the kind of "pay-it-forward, we're all seven billion of us in this together" kind of thinking the story of The Alchemist inspires. I highly recommend it if you're needing a little encouragement of your own.
And if you come across my original copy make sure to add a note of your own!

Dec 20, 2018

Spoiler Alert! The main character finds out that what he was looking for was at home all along. Now Twist! I didn't really spoil anything - because this book is all about what is in a journey. I read this book every year to be able to remind myself, that life is about experiencing the twists and turns of the journey. This book is a delight and inspires you to find your own adventure - waiting in your very own backyard.

Nov 20, 2018

This is one of my favorites to read and recommend to readers. It is about finding yourself through learning, seeking adventures, trying new things. Irrelevant to the religious aspect of the story, it is also about finding your purpose ; better yet, making a purpose for yourself.

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Aug 25, 2018

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Aug 12, 2012

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Bluebird1298 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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

so_it_goes Jul 22, 2010

so_it_goes thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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Add a Quote
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."

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

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."

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."

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."

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."

so_it_goes Jul 22, 2010

“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, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity.”


Add a Summary
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.
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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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