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The Alchemist - 10th Anniversary Edition Paperback – Apr 6 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harperone; 1 edition (April 6 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061122416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061122415
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (859 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #25,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

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 sniff 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 Andalusian 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." --Gail Hudson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

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. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn on Oct. 31 2014
Format: Paperback
When a book is as infamous as “The Alchemist”, debaters are no surprise. However I don’t consider simplicity a downside; a lack of depth. The word “basic” is the root of “base instincts” and “base emotions”. These are the core of who we are and a core equates profundity. A single-threaded fable is the hinge onto which authors hang important principals; why the message of children’s stories are more complex than the adventure carrying them. I put aside this novel a long time, expecting uppity scholastics. I was thrilled I could coast and soak up the nuggets that resonated with me.

Let’s dispense with critical analysis and just consider this: few of us have careers in what we love doing best; what our most natural talent is. We don’t dare take a pay cut in pursuit of it, we don’t want in-laws leering at us; we accept the most lucrative jobs among those readily available and stick there for life. I’m certain Paulo Coelho is addressing we, who dream of writing; who hesitate to believe we can be published authors.

We permit roadblocks to overrule treasured hobbies too, or the most sincere items on our personal wish lists; because we think them costly or impractical. I adopted a saying that I use whenever something I dream, begins to look feasible. I declare: “There will be bills whether I do something fun with the money or not. Let’s create some bills we’re happy about”! ‘None of that is new but it comes as a relief to see other people courageously asserting the same thing you believe. A new thought for me is that the universe conspires to help us, if we are true to ourselves and make a move. I smiled throughout this whole book. That says five stars to me.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Asia on Aug. 29 2006
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Dec 23 1997
Format: Audio Cassette
This is a nice little read and will be right up your street if you are a fan of Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I was, however, put off by the shallow characters, in particular Fatima. While her lover is busy following his destiny of travel and adventure, her lot is to content herself with household chores on a desert oasis while awaiting his return. As we are repeatedly told, this is her fate as a desert woman and she is only too pleased to live a life in waiting. I don't find this inspirational in the least and I would not pass this book to my 10 year old niece even if it is within her reading ability. Nor would I be keen for any young boys to get a hold of this lest they come to the conclusion that it is the role of all young women to simply sit around for their white knights. Sure it's a cute story - but one that is trite and somewhat thoughtless.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Fish Farmer's Wife on Dec 15 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a great book to help the world-weary soul. I helps open your heart again and see beyond the everyday problems that crust your heart with worry and toxic sludge. A very easy read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Q: Book Addict on Oct. 28 2009
Format: Paperback
The Alchemist is a simple fable that alludes to the fact that all of us have a purpose and a dream in life. It is a simple book, but nonetheless inspiring. It is a story about a young boy named Santiago who has reoccurring dreams about a treasure, when he goes to see a gypsy about the meaning of his dream she tells him to follow his dream and not to pay her now for her services but to pay her one tenth of his treasure once he finds it. Santiago left home to become a shepherd to follow his dreams of travel. He is hesitant to leave his flock, but begins to follow omens. Through his travels he overcomes many obstacles and meets many people who guide him in his journey. He meets to love of his life Fatima. Santiago tells her that he will need to continue on his journey but rest assured that he will come back to her. Through the story Santiago is led by many spiritual guides, and leaves the readers inspired. All of us have a purpose in life, and we need to listen to the omens around us. Our heart will lead us, where it will need to go.

I did enjoy the novel. However, near the end I did want it to end. This book was given to me from a coworker and I'm glad I read it. I do recommend the novel, especially for someone who is struggling to make life decisions. It's a spiritual and inspiring book that I'm happy to add to my "read in 2009 list."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By RC on Dec 2 2006
Format: Paperback
This book changed my life.

I still reference it on a weekly basis, whenever someone needs help; direction in life. It leads me every day.

Thanks to this book, I listen to the messages out there... Little signs that the world gives you to let you know if you're on the right or the wrong path. It never fails me.

My husband and I (he hasn't read it, but I have) base all of our decisions on our "Légende personnelle" (I read the French translation). Is this your légende personnelle? Are you meant to follow this path?

I strongly recommend this book if you're at a pitchfork in the road. If you need direction, or if you know someone who DOES, then recommend this book, and tell yourself (or that person) to read between the lines.

Thanks, Paulo - you put me on the right path.
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