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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is nicely printed and I enjoyed my experience.
Although I'm not much of a fan of touchy-feely-bordering on spiritual/religious stuff (as I find others by Coelho), The Alchemist is so beautiful and interesting - almost arresting. The writing is so lovely - in the true sense of the word. Buy it - it's truly worth it!
I have all the respect for this books and for those who have received some sort of benefit from it. For me personally, however, it left way too many unanswered questions. This concept of "heart" is ubiquitous in fiction, so you really aren't adding anything to the collective human consciousness by advocating for the reader to follow their heart.
A lot of the hype around this book makes it seem like a transformational self-help book. I'm not sure if that was the authors intention. If it was, then I think this book deserves 2/5 stars, because I don't think it convinces anyone with a critical mind that the "heart" is worth following unconditionally-- let alone, even establish what this concept of "heart" is so that one could know how to follow it well. My "heart" (or what I think of as my "heart") has had many different ill-conceived and some well-conceived dreams and fantasies-- which ones was I suppose to follow? I still have dreams today-- in fact, multiple ones. Is it really advisable to follow any dream my "heart" desires without developing a skeptical attitude about the outcomes? How am I suppose to distinguish which ones are sensible and really in the best interests of myself and others? If you haven't noticed... I sincerely wanted to convinced by The Alchemist and integrate it's lesson of following your "heart" into my life's philosophy. It would make life much easier. However, Mr.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Arrived in perfect condition with 2 bookmarks as gifts (1 of the bookmarks was slightly folded at the top due to its position in the package).Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
As many others have written, I felt like I was reading a New-Age pamphlet that was chock-full of cliches and empty fluff. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Steve Teller
A good book with a good message. I would recommend it for anyone who wants a spiritual story. Try itPublished 1 month ago by Linda Cooper