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The Alchemist - 10th Anniversary Edition [Paperback]

Paulo Coelho
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (785 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 12 2006

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho continues to change the lives of its readers forever. With more than two million copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has established itself as a modern classic, universally admired.

Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells 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.

The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories can, 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.


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The Alchemist - 10th Anniversary Edition + The Pilgrimage + Warrior Of The Light: A Manual
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Product Description

From Amazon

Amazon.co.uk Review Like the one-time bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, The Alchemist presents a simple fable, based on simple truths and places it in a highly unique situation. And though we may sense a bestselling formula, it is certainly not a new one: even the ancient tribal storytellers knew that this is the most successful method of entertaining an audience while slipping in a lesson or two. Brazilian storyteller Paulo Coehlo introduces Santiago, an Andalucian shepherd boy who one night dreams of a distant treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. And so he's off: leaving Spain to literally follow his dream. Along the way he meets many spiritual messengers, who come in unassuming forms such as a camel driver and a well-read Englishman. In one of the Englishman's books, Santiago first learns about the alchemists--men who believed that if a metal were heated for many years, it would free itself of all its individual properties, and what was left would be the "Soul of the World." Of course he does eventually meet an alchemist, and the ensuing student-teacher relationship clarifies much of the boy's misguided agenda, while also emboldening him to stay true to his dreams. "My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy confides to the alchemist one night as they look up at a moonless night. "Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself," the alchemist replies. "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."

From Publishers Weekly

Brazilian writer Coelho has published five titles in 45 languages in 120 countries, and has sold 23 million books. It's easy to see why. This charming, simple and well-written allegory tells of a boy, Santiago, who has the imagination and courage to follow his "Personal Legend." Santiago finds fairy godfathers at many turns who help him learn to keep up his courage, and to read omens and his own heart. The book's inspirational message follow your heart and do your own thing is oblique enough, to allow readers to interpret it in any way they choose, with whatever degree and form of spirituality one adheres to: "To realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation." But apparently only men need apply; a woman's destiny is to wait for her hero to find his treasure and return home to her. The real treasure here is Jeremy Irons. His intriguing, subtle and powerful performance carries us along on the boy's adventures, into his confusions and insights, through discussions with kings and animals, through the desert and the sun and even through the philosophical passages. Based on the Harper San Francisco hardcover.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book May 10 2006
By Steven R. McEvoy HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This is an amazing book. It is a story of a young man who has a dream of hidden treasure. It is a book that alludes to that fact that all of us have a purpose and a dream. Yet many settle and give up their dream, and lose their passion for life. In this book it is stated again and again that each of us has our own Personal Legend, a quest; "When you pursue your personal legend the universe will conspire with you to make it happen." You will follow Santiago on his adventure and during the process be challenged to think about your goals and dreams and what you would have to do to pursue them.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book July 19 2006
By Steven R. McEvoy HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
This is an amazing book. It is a story of a young man who has a dream of hidden treasure. It is a book that alludes to that fact that all of us have a purpose and a dream. Yet many settle and give up their dream, and lose their passion for life. In this book it is stated again and again that each of us has our own Personal Legend, a quest; "When you pursue your personal legend the universe will conspire with you to make it happen." You will follow Santiago on his adventure and during the process be challenged to think about your goals and dreams and what you would have to do to pursue them.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth is beauty, beauty truth Aug. 29 2006
By Asia
Format:Paperback
After you're through reading the recommended list of books that the New York Times and everyone else says you're supposed to read (Brown's "Da Vinci," McCrae's "Katzenjammer" and Martel's "Life of Pi," might I suggest you tackle this book---"The Alchemist." It is simply superb. Easy to read, it is nevertheless somewhat complex in meaning. The content of this novel is remarkable in its telling. I kept me up at night, but not in that thriller kind of way. Rather by its deep meaning and insight into human nature. I highly recommend it.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You Can't Make A Silk Purse Out Of A Sow's Ear Jan. 23 2007
Format:Paperback
Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, has been awarded France's Legion d'Honneur, Italy's Grinzane Cavour and was inducted into the Brazilian Academy of Letters in 2002. "The Alchemist" is invariably blurbed as "much loved" and was first published in 1988.

"The Alchemist" tells the story of Santiago, a native of Andalusia. He had trained, briefly, for the priesthood though had always been keen to travel. As a result, he left the seminary and - since the only Andalusians who travelled were shepherds - bought some sheep. As the story begins, he has just arrived - aptly enooough - at an abandoned church where he is planning to shelter for the night. That night, for the second time in about a week, he dreams of being taken to the Pyramids by a girl. There, she promises him a hidden treasuer if he comes to the Pyramids when awake. Although he has his dream interpreted in a nearby town, he only decides to follow his dream following a conversation with a man who calims to be the King of Salem.

"The Alchemist" is a very short, pleasant, easily-read book and has a message I'd really love to believe : everyone has a single goal in life (even if we don't realise it) and that the Earth itself wants us to be happy. Maybe I've just become too cynical over the yeras, but I couldn't honestly describe it as anything other then fluff - very likeable fluff, admittedly, though still fluff. Coelho himself has become an alchemist of sorts with this book, though he hasn't needed to turn lead into gold : he's made his fortune telling people to chase their dreams and to follow the right omens.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Personal Journey Dec 27 2006
By David
Format:Paperback
Seeking treasure as well as ancient and worldly wisdom as Santiago travels around the world facing many obstacles and doubts to finally reach his sruprising destination. Along the way, he makes friends, meets the love of his life and most significantly, gains wisdom from an enigmatic alchemist. Light and present reading for readers of all ages. The truth about one's personal journey reminds me of the second part of "Why Some Cats are Rascals" titled "Enchanted Forest" - another pleasant reading with many educational values.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Personal Journey Dec 5 2006
Format:School & Library Binding
Seeking treasure as well as ancient and worldly wisdom as Santiago travels around the world facing many obstacles and doubts to finally reach his sruprising destination. Along the way, he makes friends, meets the love of his life and most significantly, gains wisdom from an enigmatic alchemist. Light and present reading for readers of all ages. The truth about one's personal journey reminds me of the second part of "Why Some Cats are Rascals" titled "Enchanted Forest" - another pleasant reading with many educational values.
Was this review helpful to you?
66 of 75 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
If you are considering reading this book based on the comments of this page, you will find the following:
1) At this moment, 471 people have taken the time to write a review about it.
2) Out of those 471 readers, 308 gave it 5 stars, and 71 gave it 4 stars.
3) Many of those readers (including myself) identify this book as one of those which can actually change your life, or open your mind to a new way of thinking. Not every book in this world receives that type of comment.
However, there are 41 comments that give this book just one star. The sad part of this is that those bad comments are always marked as the "most useful". I feel sorrow for those who did not read this book based on the anger and bad judgement of the negative reviewers. They really missed something valuable.
Most of the negative reviews come from three kinds of people:
1) Arrogant snobs, who always care more about the form than about the content; people who adore what they don't understand and call "children reading" anything that their minds can really process. They like to consider themselves separated from what they call "the masses", or "the shallow people", but in reality their are the shallowest of all. They are looking for fancy words and constructions, not for interesting questions. When you tell to one of this persons "Run! Save your life!" they don't pay attention to you. They analyze if "Save your life" could be expressed in a more elegant manner. While they think of that, the avalanche comes over their heads.
2) Phsicologysts or other counselors, who want to save you from going crazy after you read the book. They think that you will throw away your whole life under the influence of this book.
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