Customer Reviews


774 Reviews
5 star:
 (505)
4 star:
 (115)
3 star:
 (45)
2 star:
 (40)
1 star:
 (69)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
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...
Published on May 10 2006 by Steven R. McEvoy

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Everything but The Girl
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...
Published on Dec 23 1997


‹ Previous | 1 278 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, May 10 2006
By 
Steven R. McEvoy "MCWPP" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, July 19 2006
By 
Steven R. McEvoy "MCWPP" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Alchemist - Gift Edition (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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 (N.S. Canada) - See all my reviews
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


64 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't let the snobs make you miss this wonderful book!, June 7 2003
This review is from: The Alchemist (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. They don't realize that the book actually promotes serenity, wisdom, balance and moderation. "The Alchemist" does not talk about leaving everything to pursue your dreams. It just says that you should have dreams, and make moves towards them. To this type of reviewer I recommend to read again the part about the spoon with oil in the castle.
3) People without imagination, who take things literally. Persons who strongly believe that God made the world in six days and slept on Sunday. This type of person says that "The Alchemist" associates "meaning" with "wealth". Nothing could be more wrong! The "treasure" is just a metaphore, and actually what matters is the trip, not the result. These reviewers concentrate their attention in things like "the treasure is just some gold", "he falls in love with a woman the first time they meet" or "the story talks about elixirs of life and phylosophical stones". They don't realize that this book is about the meaning of life, about the complexity of things that look simple, about the way our universe is built and all its parts are connected. The key concepts of the book are:
a) Every life has meaning. Each of us is the star of a story that is worth living.
b) There are messages everywhere. There is a logic behing everything. If you open your eyes, you will see interesting things in simple events or objects that others would ignore.
c) The standards of our society fill our souls with fear. They make us believe that we have to follow known patterns. They make us feel small, isolated and meaningless, but each of us has a place in the universe, and a function to acomplish.
d) Balance is essential in life. If you leave everything behind, thinking that God or "the universe" is going to give you everything, life will prove you wrong; but if you stay where you are and don't pursue your dreams, you will not live at all.
Out of the negative reviews, there is one that I respect very much. It says something like "if you like this book, you deserve it". This book is what you want to make of it. If you are looking for the shape of the words or for an explicit confirmation of your beliefs, you will be disappointed. If you read this book with an open mind, you will enjoy it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Alchemist, Dec 15 2008
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Everything but The Girl, Dec 23 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: The Alchemist (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful journey in pursuit of dreams and knowledge, Feb. 28 1998
This review is from: The Alchemist (Audio Cassette)
I read The Alchemist in a single day and was enchanted by the beauty and truth in what was written as well as the immense wisdom incorperated skillfully in the story line. I loved every second of the shepard boys' search for his treasure by the pyramids and his journey through the desert. A wonderful book about seeking your personal destiny, and learning from the quest.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Personal Journey, Dec 5 2006
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Not a book for cynics!, July 16 2005
This review is from: The Alchemist (Paperback)
Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist is a provocative book. Some might call it "silly," but it is a journey of the soul, the being and the whole self. When reading this book, the reader gets a feeling of being through this journey already. Maybe it is because we have known already within us, within our soul this journey of self discovery, of self questioning and of self answering. The story is replayed here through the journey of the young Shepard boy who leaves everything familiar to follow a dream to discover that the reality of that dream lies in the familiar he left behind.
But it is the notion that he must leave 'his home' to discover the treasure is the key. It gives the reader inspiration to become more inward and outward at the same time to find clues to one's own destiny.
If you loved "The Little Prince" you will enjoy "The Alchemist." Another book I need to recommend - is "The Losers' Club: Complete Restored Edition" by Richard Perez, a very different but highly engaging little novel of self-discovery.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 278 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Alchemist - Gift Edition
The Alchemist - Gift Edition by Paulo Coelho (Hardcover - April 20 2006)
CDN$ 35.00 CDN$ 21.94
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews