The Alchemist

ISBN: 0061122416
ISBN 13: 9780061122415
By: Paulo Coelho Alan R. Clarke

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About this book

Paulo Coelho's enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.

Reader's Thoughts

Saud Omar

تنبيه :في مراجعة الرواية هذه لا يوجد حرق للرواية. في هذه المراجعة يتم استعراض عقدة الرواية الأساسية. كل ما كٌتب هنا بدا لي أنه سوف يجعلك تقرأ الرواية بشكل أفضل. هذه المراجعة كٌتبت خصيصاً لأولئك الذين لم يقرءوا الرواية بعد.***من مدونتي: ثمانون كتابا بحثا عن مخرجwww.80k.met***“الخيميائي” رواية عن راعي أندلسي يسافر طلباً لكنز مدفون في مكان قريب من الأهرامات الفرعونية. يقابل الراعي العديد من الأشخاص الذين يساعدونه, أو يلهمونه, أو يقفون ضده, في طريقه للكنز. ويواجه الراعي أيضاً الكثير من المواقف الصعبة, والأفكار المحيرة, واللحظات التي تتطلب شجاعة, واللحظات التي تتطلب بصيرة.رواية مغرقة في البساطة والحكمة .. كعادة كل روايات باولو كويلو ..باولو كويلو أديب برازيلي ولِد في مدينة ريّّو دي جانيرو عام 1947, له روايات عديدة ناجحة, وقبل أن يكون روائياً, كان مخرجاً مسرحياً, وممثلاً, وكاتب أغاني, وكاتب صحفي؛ لكنه قرر في النهاية أن يكرّس حياته للأدب.واجهت رواية “الخيميائي” فشلاً في البداية؛ فلم يوزع منها في أول الأمر سوى 900 نسخة, بل إن الناشر اعتبرها عملاً فاشلاً لدرجة أنه أعاد لكويلو حقوق النشر, بعد ذلك نشر كويلو الرواية عند ناشر أخر لتصبح الرواية حينها الرواية الأكثر مبيعاً في الأدب البرازيلي في القرن العشرين, وتتصدر قائمة الأكثر مبيعات في ثمانية عشرة دولة, ويباع منها فوق الأربعين مليون نسخة في مئة وخمسون دولة, وتترجم لأكثر من ست وخمسون لغة, حتى أنه في عام 2003 ( بعد خمسة عشر عام من نشر الرواية ) كان ترتيب الرواية السادس على العالم في مستوى المبيعات.ورغم أنه عادة يشار لرواية “الخيميائي” بأنها ثاني أعمال باولو كويلو بعد “حاج كومبوستيلا”, إلا أنها في الحقيقة رابع عمل له؛ فالعمل الأول له كان (أرشيف الجحيم)؛ وهو العمل الذي نفذت طبعته الأولى ولم تعاد طباعته حتى الآن, وقد قال كويلو في أحد المقابلات أنه فخور جداً بهذا العمل, وسوف يعيد طباعته في الوقت المناسب. أما بالنسبة للعمل الثاني ( الدليل العملي للفامبيرية ) فقد سُحب لأنه بدا لكويلو أن العمل لم ينجح في إيصال الفكرة المنشودة.المكان الذي تبدأ منه رواية “الخيميائي” هو في جنوب أسبانيا, في سهول الأندلس, بالقرب من مدينة “طريفا” الواقعة عند مضيق جبل طارق, والتي لا يفصلها عن مدينة “طنجة” المغربية سوى 14 كيلو متر, والوقت, الذي تأخذ الرواية فيه مجراها, هو في أوائل القرن العشرين, أو أواخر القرن التاسع عشر؛ ورغم أن زمن رواية, عموماً, غير واضح فيها, إلا أننا نستطيع القطع بهذا الوقت؛ لأننا في بداية الرواية نرى خيميائياً يقرأ قصة ” التابع” ( The Disciple ) للأديب الأيرلندي “أوسكار وايلد”.وقصة وايلد هذه عبارة عن تعديل على أسطورة نرسيس (نرجس) الشهيرة؛ فالأسطورة تقول أن نرسيس أٌخذ بجماله, وكان يتأمل نفسه في البحيرة كل يوم, حتى سقط في البحيرة ومات غرقا. لكن أوسكار وايلد يستطرد بعد هذه النهاية, ويقول بأنه بعد وفاة نرسيس تنزل ربات الغابات لتسأل البحيرة عن جماله, لكن البحيرة تقول أنها لا تعلم عن جماله شيئاً؛ فهي كانت تنظر لجمالها هي في عينيه. في الحقيقة أنه اقتباس رائع جداً من كويلو, وقد ألقى هذا الاقتباس بظلاله على فكرة الرواية, حتى أن أحد دور النشر قد جعلت لوحة “نرسيس” للرسام الإيطالي “كارافاغو” غلافاً لرواية الخيميائي.وفكرة الرواية هي كالتالي:فكرة الرواية تقوم على مبدأ ( الوحدانية ), فكل الأشياء هي تجليات لشيء واحد؛ وكل الكون خلقته ذات الذات, وبالمثل, فإن كل ما نقوم به في حياتنا هو للقيام بشيء واحد, ولإنجاز مهمة واحدة, وتضيف الرواية, أن أيضاً ما نتمناه ونرغب به هو جزء أصيل من هذا الكون ووحدته.الكون كائن حي, له روح, وفيه حياة, هذه الروح تتغذى على سعادة البشر ( وأحياناً على تعاستهم ), ومن ( روح الكون ) يتولّد ما تسميه الرواية ( ألأسطورة الشخصية ).الأسطورة الشخصية هي الواجب الوحيد المفروض على كل شخص, أي مهمته في الحياة, ودائما ما تصير هذه المهمة هي حلم وطموح الإنسان, ودائما ما تراود الإنسان رغبة عارمة وقوية لتأدية هذه المهمة التي جاء من اجلها, وعندما تتملك الإنسان رغبة قوية لتحقيق هذه الأسطورة الشخصية فإن الكون كله يطاوعه لتحقيقها؛ ذلك لأن الكون يتغذى على سعادة البشر, وأيضاً لأن هذه المهمة هي جزء أساسي من الكون, انبعثت من روحه.ومن أهم أشكال مطاوعة الكون للإنسان في تحقيقه أسطورته الشخصية هي ( المبدأ الملائم)؛ فلأن الكون يريدنا أن نحقق أسطورتنا الشخصية فهو يعمد لأن يجعل (الحظ) بجانبنا في أول الأمر.كي نعرف ما هي المهمة التي جئنا من أجلها, وكيف نؤديها, يجب أن نصغي للغة الكون, والكون يتحدث بالإشارات, والإشارات هذه تحدث أمامنا على هيئة ما اعتدنا أن نسميه (حظ) أو ( مصادفة), هذه الإشارات هي طريقة الله – حسب وصف الرواية – في إخبارنا بالطريق الذي يجب أن نسلكه, حتى تتعلم لغة الإشارات الكونية يجب أن تتطور حدسك وتثق فيه, وكي تتطور حدسك يجب أن لا تخاف من ارتكاب الأخطاء, ويجب أن تعرف أن لكل شيء معنى ومقصد.أيضا تقدم الرواية بعض الأفكار الخيميائية القريبة من الأفكار السابقة, ففي علم الخيمياء هناك مصطلح ( روح العالم ), ويقصد به المبدأ الذي يحرك كل شيء, وهو قائم على تحول الأشياء وتغيرها من شكل لأخر, وهو دائماً ما يعمل لصالح الإنسان, ويقترب الإنسان من روح العالم كلما تزايدت رغبته بشيء ما, ونستطيع إدراك روح العالم من خلال لغة الإشارات أيضاً, وهي هنا تسمى (لغة العالم), اكتشاف مبدأ (روح العالم) سمي بــ ( الإنجاز العظيم ) وهو اكتشاف خيميائي مكون من جزأين, أحدهم سائل وهو ( إكسير الحياة), والأخر صلب وهو ( حجر الفلاسفة).دائما ما نجد نزعة روحية, وصوفية, وأحيانا باراسيكولوجية, في روايات كويلو, وهذا هو طبع كتابات كويلو, وهذا أحد أسرار نجاحه, فأحيانا يحتاج القراء من يعيد المعنى لوجودهم, ويخبرهم أن لحياتهم هدف, وأن عبثية وبرود الحضارة الحالية ليست نهاية المطاف. أيضاً يشتهر كويلو ببساطة أسلوبه الشديدة وببساطة مفرداته, تلك البساطة التي يرافقها دائماً عمق غير عادي في الطرح, ومن ما يتصف به أسلوب كويلو, هو انه لا يصف كثيراً البيئة البرازيلية, وربما يعود ذلك لكونه رجل يحب السفر؛ لذلك يهتم بوصف المكان الذي ذهب إليه أكثر من اهتمامه بوصف المكان الذي جاء منه, ويذكر أنه من أهم أسباب شهرة رواية “الخيميائي” عالميا هو سحر الشرق الموجود في الرواية, وعزز كويلو هذا السحر باستعراضه بعض أوجه التراث العربي والثقافة الإسلامية في الرواية.من الشخصيات التي جاءت في الرواية هي شخصية “ملكي صادق” وهو رجل عجوز يقول أنه ملك منطقة أسمها “سالم”, يتضح من الأحداث أنه كائن فوق طبيعي, فهو يعرف الأسرار والسرائر, لكن كينونته لا تتضح تماما في الرواية, مهمة “ملكي صادق” هي مساعدة الناس الذين يكونون على وشك العدول عن الجِد خلف أسطورتهم الشخصية, وهو يظهر للكل في هيئات وصور مختلفة. في الحقيقة “ملكي صادق” هو اسم ملك ورد ذكره في التوراة وذكر أيضاً بأنه ” ملك سالم “, و”سالم” اسم قديم للقدس, وقد كان “ملكي صادق” ملك لها في عهد النبي إبراهيم عليه السلام. في الحقيقة لم أجد أي ارتباط بين الشخصية التاريخية والشخصية الموجودة في الرواية.أن أكثر ما يميز رواية “الخيميائي” هو بساطة المواقف التي ترافقها دلالات عميقة, وهو ما يجعلني أبالغ نوعا ما, وأعتقد أن رواية “الخيميائي” كتبت بفكرتها, أعنى أن الرواية نفسها التي قدمت فكرة الإشارات الكونية, تحمل نفسها إشارات – تظهر في مواقف أو شخصيات أو جُمّّل – قد تبدو للبعض هامشية, وطفولية, وبلا أي معنى, وقد تبدو للبعض الأخر أنها دلالات مهمة, ومعاني عميقة, وإضاءات ضرورية, تماماً مثل الإشارات الكونية التي تحدثت عنها الرواية, وكأن باولو كويلو مبرمج قرر أن يكتب كتاب عن التشفير فكتب الكتاب مشفراً؛ فيكون الكتاب بهذه الطريقة كتب بفكرته.

Marmor Owais

عندما تكون كنوزنا قريبة جدا منّا،فاننا لا نلاحظها أبدا،أتعلم لماذا؟ لأن الناس لا يؤمنون بالكنوز ...رواية مشوقة جدافيها حكم كتير

Lujayn Al

كلّ شيء مكتوب !ما إن انتهيت من قراءة هذه الرواية حتى أحسستُ أن الدنيا سكتت ، و العالم سكت و أنني أريدُ أن أسكتُ باقي عمري .. أتأمل الحياة .. لعل روح العالم تغمرني فأفلسف الحياة كما شاء لي قلبي مليئة هذه الرواية بالرموز و الحكم و التراث و الأخلاق بل وحتى الآيات الإسلاميةتحسّ و أنت تقرؤها برياح أندلسية تلفح فكرك ، تجعلكَ تبتسم بين حكمة و أخرى ببساطة القدر ، و تعقيد البشر .. بعمق المعاني ، و سطحية الفهم هذه الرواية تجسّد القدر و الحكمة في أسمى معانيها ، كما نؤمن بها تمامًاأحببتُ حكمها جدًا " كيف يتحدّث الكون لغة واحدة هي الحب ، العمل ، متعة الهدف و كيف نتعلّم تقديس الحياة من حولنا على بساطتها، والتفكّر في كلّ أحداثها على أنّها منحٌ و إشارات يلقيها الله في طريقنا لتقودنا نحو ذواتناو مجدنا و كيف أن الكنز قريب جدًا جدًا من أحدنا كما كان قريبًا عند شجرة الجميز التي نام تحتها سانتياغو أو الفتى - كما يسميه الكاتب - إلا أن العمل من أجل الحصول و الجهد المبذول و التعب المضني في سبيل الوصول.. كان هو الغاية .. و هو سرّ الوجود و " الإنجاز العظيم " فما معنى الكنز إن لم تستحقّ الحصول عليه !! أحسستُ بالقرب الشديد من جوّها ، صورة الراعي ، و الخيميائي .. إكسير الحياة والإنجاز العظيم ..روح العالم و الأسطورة الشخصيةحقًا ، لقد خلق كلّ منا لـ يحقق أسطورةو الحياة لا تمنحُ الفرص إلا للراغبين

Nefik

In her review, Ioana wrote:...."The language is quite simple, which can be beautiful (read: Herman Hesse); however it comes off as quite redundant and sermonic. Every other sentence contains at least one reference to either "The Soul of the World", or "The Personal Legend", or "Follow Your Heart" with a big fat capital H. By the end of the novel I am skimming most passages.The characters are flat (I didn't really "feel" them, what they were going through, and there was no character development), and the storyline resembled that of a children's folktale (I like folktales).Overall, it was a worthwhile read given that it only took a couple hours, presented some interesting ideas (albeit, without illustrating any of them satisfactorily), and removed me to the Spanish countryside/Arabian desert for a bit (I am a sucker for folktales, and if this book is nothing else, it would make a lovely illustrated children's book)."I think this sums up in a few words what the book is about. Simple. Feel Good. Motivational. Folktale. It also brings many of the baggage of those themes with that. Certainly it at times does appear to be able to reach deep within people like Corie whom said in her review:"If you are looking for a nice meaty book filled with twists, turns and life-like characters - this is NOT your book. Wait until you are more in a more introspective mood. Coelho's prose is simplistic and at times childish. And the read is easy - I finished in around an hour and a half I suppose. But the meanings left scattered throughout the chapters are intense and authentic. Omens and signs - all around us, the universe directing us and helping us, wanting us to succeed. All we have to do is be aware - to listen. "and Micha does add a good point against it:"Let me only point to the fact that there is now an “Illustrated Alchemist” version of the book. If ones personally philosophy can be illustrated as a comic book then perhaps it is a tad bit on the simple side. "Despite all this I would have to disagree with April's comments in Eleanor's review:"This book is intended for people with passion and drive. Its not just a novel - for entertainment reading. The story is simple - exactly! thats the beauty of the book - its simplicity. But with that simplicity is a complex philosophy that you obviously don't get because you took the story literally."The book I would say caters to people with depression and lack of drive more than it inspires. Deep down, I felt I was reading for entertainment and that's why it came off as complex to me because deep down the protagonist is a Mary Sue and that's why it caters to me because like a Mary Sue done well, it tries to connect the reader who is apathetic or hopeless or depressed and tries to show them that maybe there is something out there just worth grasping for and yet I get a feeling that people who do grasp for the message in the Alchemist will find that the book isn't deep at all and certainly many of the other reviews properly represent that.That's why I rated it as amazing. It's just one of those books that no one can really tell someone how bad it is until the reader actually finds out for himself and I doubt those who have read many books will find it astounding it all but not everyone reads a tons of books and for what it's worth, I think a book that can attach itself and inspire someone to read further deserves no less a rating than amazing.The Alchemist is simply that kind of book that manages to do so by being short enough, shallow enough, deep enough and hyped enough to cater to a generation of casual readers.

Huda Yahya

إن كل رجل سعيد كان هو ذاك الذي اعتنق الله في داخلهوأنه يمكن للسعادة أن تكون موجودة في حبة رمل بسيطة في الصحراء لأن حبة الرمل هي لحظة من عملية الخلقوأن الكون قد كرّس ملايين وملايين السنين في خلقهاإنّني أخاف إذا حقّقت حُلميألّا يتبقّى لي بعد ذلك سبب للعيش يوجد شخص ينتظر شخصاً آخرسواء أكان هذا في وسط الصحراء أو في قلب المدن الكبرىوعندما يلتقي هؤلاء الشخصانوتتقاطع نظرتاهمافإن الماضي والمستقبل لا أهميةلهماولحظة الحاضر وحدها هي التي تبقىمن المريح أن تقرأ كتابا لكويللو من حين لآخر..

ياسمين ثابت

“هناك على الدوام شخصا ما في العالم ينتظر شخصا اخر , سواء أكان ذلك في وسط الصحراء , أم في أعماق المدن الكبرى. وعندما يلتقي ذلك الشخصان , وتتعانق نظراتهما , يغدو الماضي والمستقبل بلا أهمية , إذ لا وجود إلا لهذه اللحظة الراهنة , ولهذا اليقين, الذي لا يمكن إدراكه , بأن كل شيء تحت قبة السماء , قد كتب باليد ذاتها, اليد التي تلد الحب, والتي خلقت توأما لروح كل كائن يعمل , أو يرتاح , أو يبحث عن الكنوز تحت نور الشمس. وإذا لم يكن الأمر كذلك, فإن أحلام الجنس البشري تغدو بلا معنى.” ما اجمل هذه االسطورفي هذه الحالة الروحانية التي انا فيها بعد انتهائي من قراءة رواية الخيميائي يصعب علي حقا ان انتزع من قلبي الكلمات التي قد تستطيع ان تصف حالهاللغة الكونية الساحرة ....العلامات....القدر...الاسطورة الشخصية....وهذه الجملة الرائعة التي توقفت عندها طويلا جدا:“إن كل شخص على الأرض يلعب الدور الرئيس في سيرة العالم وهو لا يدري” االجو الشرقي في الرواية...العرب...الاندلس...مصر الاهرمات...لغة الصحراء ومفرداتها....ماهذه الرواية؟؟اعترف اني لم اكن متحمسة لها في البداية وفي نصفها الاول شعرت انها جيدة لكن ليست ممتازة بالقدر الذي سبب شهرتها تلك....ولكني كنت مخطئة فان هذه الرواية تجربة لا بد ان يمر بها كل انسان لابد ان يقراها ويعيش فيها ليفسح لروحه مجالا اكبر ويتعرف اكثر على روعة الكون...بل ويدرك ان اسلامنا كان مكتوبا بحروف اخرى في هذه الرواية المذهلة من رجل اجنبي يدعى باولو كويلوشعرت بالسحر برغم الترجمة الضعيفة للرواية وانخرطت باكملي ر وحا وقلبا وعقلا داخل عالمها حتى وجدت النهاية ما اجمل تلك النهاية حين يحفر فلا يجد الكنز ويلقاه ذاك اللص الذي يبوح له بمكان الكنز في حلمه بكل بساطة فيبتسم البطل وتبتسم له الاهراماتمن اجمل تلك النهاية الساحرة حقا اني عاجزة عن كتابة ريفيو يفي هذه الرواية حقهاولكني انصح الجميع بقراءتها بعض الاسطر الرائعة في الرواية:“أصغ إلى قلبك فهو يعرف كل شيء لأنه آت من روح العالم وسيرتد إليها ذات يوم” “عندما تكون كنوزنا قريبة جداً منا، فإننا لا نلاحظها أبداً، أتعلم لماذا؟ لأن الناس لا يؤمنون بالكنوز ” “هناك على الدوام شخصًا ما في العالم ينتظر شخصًا آخر، سواء أكان ذلك في وسط الصحراء ام في اعماق المدن الكبرى” “لا تقل شيئاً، إننا نحب لأننا نحب، لا يوجد سبب آخر كي نحب” “ما يحدث مرة يمكن ألا يحدث ثانيةً أبداً، لكن ما يحدث مرتين يحدث بالتأكيد مرة ثالثة.” قل لقلبك إن الخوف من العذاب أسوء من العذاب نفسه ، وليس هناك من قلب يتعذب عندما يتبع أحلامه ، لأن كل لحظة من البحث هي لحظة لقاء مع الله والخلود .”

Patrick

Timing is everything. If I'd read 'The Alchemist' four years ago, I'm sure I would have loved it. It deals in big, bold pronouncements of 'follow your dreams' et cetera et cetera, and it certainly makes you think about your own life and the pursuit of your own "Personal Legend" if you will. But maybe I'm older and more cynical now, or maybe it's not cynicism so much as just seeing a reality that isn't so mystical and black and white as Paulo Coelho's, but in any event, I just wasn't buying what 'The Alchemist' was selling.It's a good, quick read, I'll give it that. I enjoyed myself, and I definitely thought a little bit about my own life in the process, which I appreciate from my literature. And while I was more or less with it for a while, I just couldn't stay on board with an ending that left me saying, "that's it? Really?" Be forewarned, there will be spoilers after this point . The whole book Santiago is in pursuit of his "Personal Legend", which he is told is a great treasure found in the pyramids of Egypt. Along the way he befriends many people and makes a great sum of money, while also meeting a beautiful young woman who agrees to more or less be his life-partner, Romeo and Juliet-style (which is stupid in and of itself, but more on that later). It is at this point that he determines he has achieved a greater treasure than any he had ever dreamed of, and would go no further. Beautiful. Cue the music and themes of recognizing treasure in all its forms. Santiago has a wonderful, fulfilling life laid out before him, and would most likely die a happy man by the side of his lovely wife and adoring children, all while living comfortably as village counselor of a beautiful desert oasis. Sounds pretty nice, no?Well, that's where the book lost it's footing. Santiago is urged, coerced even, into continuing to follow his "Personal Legend", leaving behind his "love" (who, it should be mentioned is a "woman of the desert" and so is completely fine being abandoned by her "love" and will simply wait and wait and wait for him, whether he ever returns or not) traversing the desert and (bizarrely) evading a hostile army along the way by turning himself into the wind (it makes about as much sense as it sounds). In the end though, Coelho reveals to us that Santiago does, indeed, reach his "Personal Legend" in a two and a half page epilogue, where it is shoddily revealed that Santiago's long-sought after treasure is...treasure. Literally. Buried treasure. A box in the sand filled with gold coins and diamonds and jewelry and crowns, and all the other cliche treasure images you can think up. What the hell?So what message are we supposed to take from this book then? Money is the most important thing in the world? Women are objects meant to be seen and valued for their beauty, there to serve you and wait around forever while you go on wild goose chases across continents in search of money? Obviously I'm being facetious, and Coelho intended to say that one should follow their dreams no matter what, even if it transcends a nice, content life, so long as you are in pursuit of a life that would be even greater than you can ever imagine, sacrificing what is good now for what can be great later. But he did so in an extremely simplistic way, and the revelation of the Santiago's treasure being literally treasure was a major disappointment.The thing was, despite his simplicity, the book had a nice message going for a while. If Fatima was Santiago's treasure, that I could have gotten behind, even if it shows a good deal of contempt for the role of women in relationships (beauty being the most important factor in deciding on a mate, as Santiago is struck by her beauty and immediately professes his love; Fatima more or less acquiesces immediately and pledges herself to Santiago no matter what, even if he must travel the desert forever in selfish pursuit of his own dreams, with no regard for her), because that is something intangible that is meaningful and fulfilling, regardless of financial standing. But then Coelho basically goes on to say that that is just a roadblock in the way of real achievement, and that one should selfishly pursue their own dreams with no regard for those closest to them.How a book can go on and on talking about seeing the everyday symbols and omens in life and taking heed of them, presumably leaving metaphors for life all along the way, and then have what was presumably the biggest metaphor of them all, Santiago's treasure, turn out not to be a metaphor at all, but just money? To me, that summed up everything. I suppose Coelho realizes this, as he begins the book with a brief fable about Narcissus falling into the river because he loved staring at his reflection, and the river's disappointment in this, as the river loved gazing into Narcissus's eyes and seeing the reflection of itself. This is a horrible little story implying that everyone is obsessed only with themselves, a sad, empty little thought that Coelho spends 167 pages endorsing wholeheartedly, under the guise of following your dreams.I understand that other people love this book and find it inspiring, and I think I would have felt the same way years ago, when I was just out of college and it appeared I had my whole life ahead of me and a lifetime to live it. I'm older now, and I've found someone who I consider to be a real treasure, and while I still have dreams, I'm not willing to sacrifice the happiness that this life brings me every day in a single-minded pursuit of something that I want for selfish reasons (fame, fortune, etc.). If I was Santiago, I would have never left Fatima in the first place if she truly made me happy, as Santiago claimed she did. Perhaps that makes me a coward in Coelho's eyes, not unlike the Crystal merchant from the story. But it'd also make me not the sad Englishman, whose single-minded pursuit of his "personal legend" had cost him all his money, friends, and family and left him alone in an oasis burning lead in a tent in the vain hopes it will turn to gold.I guess what I'm trying to say in this long-winded review, is that this book is all about being selfish and doing what you think will make you happy, regardless of everything else. I can see why that appeals to people, especially those who want to show the doubters and find their own treasure beneath a sycamore tree, but it's sad, in a way. We live in a culture where everyone wants selfish things like fame or money or power, just to satisfy some gaping hole in their own souls, ignoring the real problems that lead to these compulsions in the first place. To me, this book feeds and even encourages that misplaced ideal, and that's a shame.

José-contemplates-Saturn's Aurora

The above picture (of the first English edition of the book) condenses, remarkably well, what this book is about. A shepherd boy (from Spain, Andalucia)and his sheep (inside center triangle);he has to travel to Africa to meet beloved Fatima in a oasis(right side)... and fight (sword on left side) in several ways to get his dreamt treasure.He'll have to pass many [initiatic?] tests,..facing the Nature elements (while crossing desert)and his own psychological limitations and fears. With the help of some other characters(the King of Salem-Melchizedek-, the old gypsy woman and, especially, the Alchemist) he'll manage to realize his dream.PreambleBefore reading this beautiful book I had the chance to watch some interviews Paulo Coelho gave. Ahead are some of the aspects I found pertinent to the interpretation of the present novel. (1) The author acknowledged the importance of Symbolism in the making of the text (how many times have I read "You've got to follow the signs"...in the Alchemist?); it goes back to a 1492 Catholic secret sect called Regnus Agnus Mundi.(2) Coelho made a very important distinction between having a dream and living the dream; this book, obviously, is about both.(3) When asked about his own death, how he would like to be recalled, the writer's first answer was that "he fought the good fight and kept his faith"; then spoke of cremation and this epitaph: "he died while he was still alive". Coelho stressed the importance of "following" one's own dreams.(4) Coelho said there are writers who attained to the level of: writing the "world language": Hemingway,Blake,Borges and Malba Tahan,as examples. In fact, ultimately, everybody can "dive" into the Soul of the World (Jung's Collective Unconscious).Preface to the bookCoelho explained that before writing this book he spent 11 years studying Alchemy. Yes, the issues of transforming metals into gold. That was back in the 1970's. The writer wanted badly to fabricate the Elixir of Life, that was the most seductive part of the enterprise he got into.Experts refused to receive him. It got him to nullity. In 1973 he was desperate. He tried (regrettably,he reckons) using his theatre pupils in magic...with the Emerald Tablets. No way. It followed 6 years of skepticism.THEN in 1981 he met RAM and his master....and got back into Alchemy studies; the master taught him some lessons....in a language directed to the heart, not to the reason.The Story1. Spain, AndaluciaSantiago is questioned: why are you a shepherd, since you can read...?... he says he'd been in the seminar till 16 years of age; he studied Latin, Spanish and Theology...but told father that he didn't want to become a priest. Santiago wanted to travel ...so he became a shepherd.One day a strange character shows up to Santiago; "I am the King of Salem": give me 1/10 of your flock and I will tell you how to get to your treasure.Santiago met the old gypsy woman: you come here because of dreams. Dreams are the language of God. Santiago had a recurrent dream; about a treasure...when a child was about to tell him the exact location of the treasure he woke up. Gypsy woman says wants 1/10 of the treasure.Again the King of Salem. He tells Santiago:"you got to follow the signs". And gives two stones to the shepherd; Urim and Turim, the black and white stones, for divination purposes. Santiago must fulfill his personal Legend, because what he wished to do was born in the universal Soul.2. AfricaThe shephard finds Africa strange.He gets robbed of all the money he took with him. So he has to work for the Crystals Merchant. A man whose business is 30 years old, ...but fears to accomplish his dream; he only dreams. Santiago wants to realize his. He knows he'll have to cross the desert to reach to the pyramids: the treasure is there. Meanwhile he helps the business prosper for the Merchant. Santiago has learned Arabic. On Tangiers Santiago recalled the image of Knight Santiago Matamouros (Moors slayer), riding his white horse.2.1 On the way towards Al Fayoum OasisIt's been 11 months, Santiago spent in Africa. Now, he's heading to the Oasis. He meets an Englishman who studied this topic: a world common language. But the Englishman is mainly concerned with the search for the Philosophical Stone; he wants to meet a man: The Alchemist; a 200-years-old master who visited Europe, but now lives in the Oasis.The boy befriends a camels conductor who lived in El Cairum; due to an earth quake he quit the agricultural work.The englishman speaks about the famous Alchemists: Ceber,Fulcanelli,Elias and Helvetius. He tells the shephard boy: fear to fail prevented me from trying the great work, now I am starting what I should have started 10 years ago. 2.2 Oasis of 50,000 Tamaras trees and 300 wellsThe Alchemist saw the caravan approaching. Santiago meets with Fatima.She is his treasure,now. Fatima says that the Alchemist knows about the world secrets and talks with the desert djins. Santiago ponders about love without possession while watching the desert hawks. Then he has a vision: an Army approaching the Oasis to attack it.Santiago is telling the leaders of the Oasis about his vision. -Who dared to read the flight of the hawks?... and old man recalls [Bible's] Joseph interpretations of dreams when in Egypt.... -we all know that whoever believes in dreams than he/she knows how to interpret them.In fact, the Oasis was attacked by 500 men; 499 got shot one hanged. The shepherd gets rewarded with 50 golden coins and he's invited as Oasis counsellor. But Santiago must follow his dream. So he leaves Oasis with the Alchemist.2.3 Ride to the Pyramids with the AlchemistOne Army makes them prisoners. The Alchemist says Santiago knows how to transform himself into Wind. The boy is scared, terrified. The Alchemist warns him: you are going to die, I know how to transform myself into Wind.It's the darkest hour for the boy. He starts praying: he wants to get back to Fatima and find his other treasure. He's got to "dive" into the desert; he'll talk to the desert for help; he'll try talking to the Levante Wind...or the Sun...though they don't know about love. But he manages to enrage the wind and a great sand storm covers the place where they're at. The Army gets convinced about the Shepherd's powers. He concludes he can perform miracles....because he believed his personal Legend. It's the Alchemist farewell: it's a 3-hours ride till the pyramids, now you go alone.2.4 The PyramidsSantiago is crying; he doesn't know where his treasure is. But at the spot where the tears had fallen upon, there's a scarab right there...(follow the signs!); Santiago starts digging...for all night. Robbers show up, spank him...and he confesses he was looking for a treasure; but found none. One of the thieves tells Santiago: you won't die, you're going to live and learn that a man cannot be stupid; right on the spot where you stand I, too, had a recurrent dream...I should go to the plains of Spain, search for a church in ruins, where shepherds used to sleep with the sheep,...a sycamore tree growing up inside the church...had I excavated where the root was, I would have found a hidden treasure.But I'm not stupid.Thieves left,the boy knew the pyramids were smiling at him.3. Back in Spain , Andalucia plains.Yes, by the sycamore tree Santiago digs...and finds the treasure: golden coins...and precious stones. He adds to them Urim and Turim. He's got to hand 1/10 of this to the gypsy woman. He feels the kiss of the Wind...he must rush to Fatima, waiting for him in the Oasis.------------A Boy turning into a Man; one who relies on his heart.Rituals of Becoming.Four stars and a half.-What about the Englishman? ..he was left in the Oasis trying to produce gold out of plumbum,...via Alchemy. But there's no telling of his success...or failure.

Eleanor

I picked up this book in an airport between flights, it's been pretty hyped up and was obviously the most-purchased book from the store. Even the girl on the plane next to me, obviously not an english-speaker, took great efforts to tell me that she loved this book. The book's protagonist is an adolescent shepherd and reads as if it were written by one. Coelho abandons all subtlety, capitalizing the phrase "Personal Legend" and using it every other page in a story that has the ingredients of a successful fairy tale but stitches them together in such a barebones superficial way that reminds me of $1.50 starbucks cups wisdom or motivational stories told by commencement speakers with a religious agenda. It's initial message of 'follow your passion' is soon altered to 'the story of your life is written by the same hand who wrote the story of the world' and then to 'the heart of alchemy is the Soul of the World [sic] which all should strive to join.' 80 pages was more than fair. Very willing to sell/swap.Needless to say I didn't read any of the "Plus" aspects of this edition.

Jason

This book is not playing with a full deck.When Andrew was taking CCD classes to earn his First Communion, one of the things he was given was a dumbed down—and I mean severely dumbed down—booklet of the Gospels. It wasn’t even an adaptation of one of the Gospels in particular; it was a crude hodgepodge of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. (It mostly ignored John, though, whose Gospel account is too different from the others to reconcile into the mix.) If an adult were to read any part of this mishmash, he would notice right away how juvenile is the manner in which the stories are recounted. And I think for the most part it’s understandable: kids this age (usually around 7 or 8 years old) are too young to grasp complex concepts like transubstantiation or the mystery of the Trinity. But the message itself gets through, and I think whoever assembled the booklet probably felt that the message—rather than the specifics—is what was important. Well, reading The Alchemist was, I have to say, a lot like reading one of these infantile booklets.Believe it or not, I read The Alchemist because of Evan’s review. I like that he compares the loathing people have for it to the loathing of what he considers to be other easy targets, like Celine Dion. (I also like that he was drunk when he wrote it.) But even though nobody in his right mind would ever admit to liking Celine Dion, at least she has an objectively decent voice. This book, on the other hand, has few redeeming qualities, if any. It contains a painfully simplistic story told with painfully clichéd catch phrases repeated ad nauseam, phrases like “listen to your heart; it will guide you” and “when you want something badly enough, the universe will conspire to help you” and “you can do anything you put your mind to.” Ugh, that one is just the worst. No, you can’t do anything you put your mind to. That is stupid. Please stop teaching people that.Anwyay, I think the derision this book receives is mostly on account of its peurile philosophizing and that it (possibly) purports itself to be something greater than it is. I can’t speak to whether or not the book really feels this way about itself but if it does I can understand the hatred because fuck you, book, you’re not that great. For me, though, I see this book as mostly a few bricks short of a load, not the sharpest tool in the shed, and by far not the brightest bulb in the box. But it tries. And it’s hard to hate something as eager as this book appears to be, regardless of how fundamentally loose some of its screws are.

asma Qadah

عرفته أوّل مرة من روايته إحدى عشر دقيقة.. كانت المرة الأولى التي أقرأ فيها قصة أو رواية مترجمة؛ نظراً لعدم وثوقي غالباً في الأدبيّات المترجمة فيما سبق..أنهيت قبل أيام قراءة الخيميائي، شدّني الاسم؛ خاصة أنها في الانجليزية تسمى The Alchemist ولا أدري هل كانت الكيمياء فيما سبق تسمى خيمياء؟تدور الرواية حول راعٍ أندلسي ترك مهنته ليحقق حلماً تكرر مرّتين، زار من بعدها غجرية أوّلت له حلمه ووثقت به حين لم تأخذ منه ثمن تأويل الحلم أو تفسيره إلا بعد تحقق تأويلها حيث عليه أن يسافر من (طيفا) الأندلس إلى الأهرامات عبوراً بالبحر ثم التنقل من مدينة عربية إلى أخرى انتهاءً بالصحراء ثم الواحات..كـ راعٍ؛ كان عليه تعلّم الكثير من الأمور و اكتساب صفاتٍ أخرى لم تعلمه إياها رعاية الأغنام، بدءاً من الصبر و إتقان اللغة العربية و الاعتياد على أجواء الصحراء و السير وِفق أنظمة أخرى..إصرار سانتياغو على تحقيق حلمه رغم تعرّضه للسرقة في إحدى الحانات مما دفعه العمل في محل بلّوريات لمدة عامٍ كامل يمكّنه فيما بعد لشراء عدد كبير من الخرفان، لكنه تنازل عن ذلك في مقابل تحقيق حلمه و هو الحصول على الكنز المدفون عند الأهرامات.. المضحِك في القصة أنه كان على الراعي العَودة إلى حيث كان، إلى طيفا ليجد الكنز مخبّأً في نفس الدير الذي نام فيه يوماً و راوده الحلم!تدور كذلك القصة حول علاقة الإنسان بربه و مدى إيمانه و يقينه بـ”ذاته هو” و يقينه بالله و بالإشارات التي يرسلها للعبد.. جعلتني الأحداث التي دارت في القصة على مراجعة حياتي و الرياح التي هبّت عليها.. لوهلة؛ شعرت كم أنا ساخطة على حياتي فيما سبق! تساءلت عن معنى الصبر، الإيمان بالقضاء و القدر، التسليم الكامل لله!.. كلها معانٍ كانت خافية عني في الشهور الماضية، هذا إذا ما اعتبرت نفسي كثيرة الشكوى و التذمر سواء من وظيفتي أو الحياة أو أطفالي.. المرة الوحيدة التي شعرت فيها براحة نفسية عميقة حينما كنت في محنةٍ كادت أن توقف قلبي خلال شهر فبراير، لم أكن أعرف ماذا عليّ أن أفعل حينها و لم أجد أمامي سوى الاستسلام لقضاء الله، أذكر أنني دعَوْت حينها “اللهم سلّمت أمري لك أنت وحدك العالِم مابي و لا مُعين لي سواك اقضِ لي بالخير و رضّني بقضائك” كان (و ما يزال) من المهم بالنسبة لي الرضا بالقضاء و الحكم ذاته..باولو كويلو الرائع جداً احتفل ذات عامٍ ببيع روايته للسنة العشرين و هي النسخة الموجودة لدي، له أقف احتراماً لكاتب استمرّ الآخرون في قراءة كتابه كل هذه الأعوام!!

أحمد

رواية غيّرت روحي.أحمد الديب2007

Sithara

I need to start this review by stating 1) I can't stand self-help books and 2) I'm a feminist (no, I don't hate men- some men are quite awesome, but I am very conscious of women and our place in the world.)Short summary (mild spoilers): A boy named Santiago follows his 'Personal Legend' in traveling from Spain to the Pyramids in Egypt searching for treasure. Along the way, he learns 'the Language of the World' the 'Soul of the World' and discovers that the 'Soul of God' is 'his own soul.'If the statements in quotes above ('personal legend', etc) fascinate you, then you'll enjoy this book. If you think they are hokey and silly, then you'll think this is a terrible book. If you think statements such as "When you want something, all the universe conspires you to achieve it" and "All things are one" are moving and life-changing, you'll love this book. If such statements have you rolling your eyes, then this isn't your cup of tea.Its not that I find anything wrong with these messages. They are important, but must be balanced with responsibility. In my experience, 'following your dreams' (or personal legend) is not the only way toward wisdom and strength. Is the person who struggles to put food on the table every day for his or her family, consciously realizing that he or she may not be following his or her 'personal legend' any less heroic than some traveler who leaves everything and everyone he or she is responsible for to go on a spiritual quest? Coelho comes close to labeling such people, as losers in life, which I find completely off the mark as some of these people have the most to offer in terms of wisdom.The issue of responsibility is also part of this book's sexism. The main male characters in the novel have 'Personal Legends' - they are either seeking them, or have achieved them, or have failed to achieve them. But Coelho never mentions 'Personal Legend' with regard to women, other than to say that Fatima, Santiago's fiance, is 'a part of Santiago's Personal Legend." Thats fine, but what about her own Personal Legend? Instead of traveling to find her dreams, she is content to sit around, do chores, and stare everyday at the desert to wait for his return. This is her 'fate' as a desert women. The fact that women don't have Personal Legends is even more galling considering the fact that according to Coelho, even minerals such as lead and copper have Personal Legends, allowing them to 'evolve' to something better (ie, gold).In the ideal world presented in THE ALCHEMIST, it seems that the job of men is to seek out their personal legends, leaving aside thoughts of family and responsibility, and its the job of women to let them, and pine for their return. Of course, someone has to do the unheroic, inconvenient work of taking care of the children, the animals, the elderly, the ill...If everyone simply goes off on spiritual quests, deciding they have no responsibility other than to seek their Personal Legends, no one would be taking responsibility for the unglamorous work that simply has to take place for the world to run.On the other hand, what if both men and women are allowed to struggle towards their 'Personal Legends,' and help each other as best as they can towards them, but recognize that their responsibilities may force them to defer, compromise, or even 'sacrifice' their dreams? This may seem depressing, but it isn't necessarily. Coelho seems to think that Personal Legends are fixed at childhood (or at birth, or even before) and are not changeable: they have to be followed through to the end, no matter how silly. But in my experience, many people have chosen to adjust, compromise, and even 'give up' on their dreams, only to find that life grants them something better, or they have a new, better dream to follow, a path providing greater wisdom. For me, these people have a more realistic, more humble, more fair, and less cliched vision of the world than Paulo Coelho's vision in THE ALCHEMIST.

Zaki

A spanish shepherd boy santiago dreams about a treasure hidden at the foot of the egyptian pyramids. He leaves Spain to find it and journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert, guided along the way by a camel driver, an alchemist and other spiritual guides. and he discovers a far greater treasure (greater than any earthly gold): wisdom, self knowledge and enlightenment. But the Alchemist is not about Santiago at all. It's an inspirational fable; it's about our own self discovery; it's about awakening your passions; it's about following your heart; embracing life as a journey and finding the courage to chase your dreams. It felt more like a really hackneyed self-help book. I don't know if it makes great literature. What is great literature?

Christopher

I really disliked this book. I dislike it in the way that I dislike a great deal of modern self help books. Their basic message is that if you want something to happen, you need to want it as hard as you can, without caring about anything else, not allowing yourself to doubt it, or let criticisms will get in the way then it will happen.I disagree with this notion, not only because it is false, but because it is bad.Just because we desire something, does not make it good. This idea of 'following your heart' is often wrong. Who are we to be the arbiters of truth? Why should our hearts be sources of information that go beyond logic, doubt and reasoning? Haven't we all desired things that have turned out to not be in our best interest, or to be harmful to others? Andrew Jackson was a man known to have a lot of integrity. He was always 'true' to himself and followed his heart. Andrew Jackson is the man who initiated the 'Trail of Tears'. Moving Native Americans from their homes and into reservations. Next, this idea of not letting ourselves doubt or consider doubts. This is a terrible and dishonest way to live. If we don't consider doubts, and entertain them often, then we are deliberately blinding ourselves. Deliberately making ourselves ignorant. If someone doesn't give serious consideration to the idea that they may be wrong. Give serious thought to why they believe what they do, and that perhaps those who doubt them may be correct, then they are behaving in a dangerous and dishonest way.Not giving heed to the concerns doubts and criticisms of others is something I believe is a major fault in modern society. Often, people fail to recognize the needs of the group and the community. We place so much emphasis on the needs and rights of the individual. This causes people to focus so much on themselves to the detriment of others around them. At times, it can be beneficial to go against the group, but one should first give serious consideration to the groups concerns.According to Ideas like the Alchemist, groups like, the Westboro Baptist Church,(godhatesfags.com) should be seen as American heroes. These are people who take a totally irrational stance, and stick to it as hard as they can in complete defiance to the views of everyone around them.

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