The Alchemist - 10th Anniversary Edition Paperback – Apr 6 2006
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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."
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I buy several copies of this book each year to give to friends that have had trouble finding their calling in life. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Art Vandelay
This story completely pulls you in. I was hooked. The story is full of deeper messages that are so valuable, i found myself frequently highlighting. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Incredible book, maybe even life changing. This book really got me thinking about what my "Personal Legend" is. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer