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

Jennifer (aka EM)

My heart and I chatted, and we agreed, this book was short. My heart thinks it was also stupid, and after spending some time talking to the wind, I came to agree with my heart. Yet, after beginning the journey with this book and despite the words of my heart, something impelled me to continue. Surely it had something to teach me? The book had a lovely cover made of nicely textured stock that felt good in my hands. It offered the added efficiency of a fold-over flap--something that more publishers should make an effort to do, as it makes the use of a bookmark superfluous. But I suppose you need the collateral of winning the Guinness World Record for most translated book by a living author, and selling more than 65 million copies in more than 150 countries as one of the best-selling books in history,* to get that treatment. * my heart cries In my country, we have an expression: one should not judge a book by its cover. In this case, this is especially true. The prose turned out to be not nearly as nicely textured. That is irony. This book knows not of irony. Still, though, I needed to complete my journey. My heart tugged on my sleeve.As I continued my journey, I found that the text inside was set in a pleasing font. I could find no typos, which are always a portent of doom. So I kept going. I found the words that the font expressed were simple and easy to read. As I read them before falling to sleep each night, they neither challenged me nor troubled my dreams. Many people, I believe, enjoy this in a book, in the same way that they enjoy Hostess Twinkies. They are filled up with calories, which causes their bodies to believe that they have been fed a nutritious meal, when in fact their brains are lulled into sheep-like somnambulism. They grow fat and stupid(er) under the illusion that they have received nutrition without ever experiencing the pain of having to cook, and possibly work up a sweat or burn one's fingers.I wondered if this book was possibly dangerous. I wondered what kind of people would be deluded into thinking, within the guise of a poorly written but deviously well-conceived parable, that this book's philosophy was, in fact, Deep and Meaningful Truth. This book, I felt, was perhaps insidiously evil, a force with which I needed to do battle. I did not know which weapon to use, as irony appears to be rendered completely ineffective within a 3-metre radius of this book. Still, irony and a love of absurdity hovered around me as I searched for the true meaning in this book, and why it appears to offer a powerful message to so many.I consulted the Oracle, known across all the lands by many names. She appeared to me in the form of Wikipedia, Queen of All The People's Knowledge. Now, there's an alchemist for you: Queen Wiki can turn knowledge into nonsense and then back again before your very eyes. The perfect Oracle for this book.Queen Wiki turned out to be very entertaining and illuminating in this case. I learned that Joe Jonas and Russell Crowe loved this book. I glommed on to this as an omen that absurdity was lurking close. I interpreted it as a sign that I must continue. Again, I was struck by the irony of that, but turning back to the book, this fleeting insight that might have had a grain of real value was immediately squelched. I sipped some sweet tea from a crystal goblet, and plodded on through the desert of thought that is this book.This, I felt, was the lesson to be learned: in the Middle of the Centre of the Soul of the World, where blank-eyed acolytes are led (like sheep? hmmm) to unquestioningly accept and proclaim as truth the vacuous platitudes spouted by crystal-wearing, self-appointed mystics, psychics, tarot card readers, numerologists, motivational speakers and this author, irony is dead. Absurdity goes unrecognized. Skepticism is turned back at the gates by ill-formed philosophies based on the unwavering power of evangelical groupthink and our species' rather fascinating susceptibility to cognitive bias, or errors in thinking, that cause us to believe as truth that which can actually be scientifically validated as false.This book makes a mockery of spirituality and the search for truth and meaning, under the guise of the easy, anxiety-quelling New Age philosophies that spoon-feed the stupid with Twitter-sized bites of nonsense. Beliefs like, "good things happen to good people." "All is right in the end. If it's not right, it's not the end." "God doesn't give you anything you can't handle." To be shelved between this and this to gather dust and never to be read again. Do not trade or give away--you'll just be spreading the bullshit.My heart will go on.

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.

أحمد

رواية غيّرت روحي.أحمد الديب2007

عمرو الجندى

الخيميائى قد يعتقد البعض أن الرواية عرضت نفسها فى أول عشر صفحات أمثال كتب أخرى لا تستحق القراءة مثل The secret ولكن يفاجئنى الرائع باولو بمصداقية رائعة فى ربط عناصر الكون بحرفية عالية وبلغة كونية أقرب ما تكون إلى إسهاب ومخاطبة للنفس المتقلبة والتى قد تتوقف حين إثبات ذاتها وكان ذلك واضحا فيما حدث لسنتياغو بعد أن قرر ان يعمل لدى عامل الأوانى ليجمع مالا بعد ان تمت سرقته ولم يعد لديه ثمة شىء ولكنه اكتشف بعد ذلك أن اسطورته التى يبحث عنه مازالت تقبض قلبه وعقله معًا .. الخط الفاصل بين تحقيق الحلم والتنازل عنه .. كان رائعا فى الحقيقة فى وصفها وكان عميقا أيضًا وبعد ذلك وربما لم يتعرض أحدا للنقد فى هذه المنطقة أو يلتفت اليها حينما قابل الأجنبى وهو من أهم ركائز الرواية التى توضح اختلاف الأساطير الشخصية ولكن الطريق واحد .. اختلفت العناصر والمعطيات ولكن الهدف واحد وهو الوصول إلى المأرب الحقيقى لكل منهما .. ولم يمكن أن يأخذ إنسان محل إنسان آخر مهما حاول .. ثم تأتى فنون الصحراء وكانت رمزية الكون وكان ذلك جليا حينما تم القبض عليهم وحينما أخبرهم الخيميائى بأن سانتياغو قادرا على تحويل نفسه لرياح وقد بدا أن باولو قد اعتنق لوهلة الفانتازيا ولكنها لم تكن سوى فلسفة حية تعكس استجابة الكون من صحراء ورياح وشمس ليحقق الفتى ما يريد وليغتنم فى النهاية وضع فى النهاية رمزا جميلا حينما عثر على كنزه بشكل مختلف وأن الحقيقة منذ البداية هناك فى أسبانيا فى المكان الذى كان ينام فيه سانتياغو .. أراد أن يوضح لنا باولو أن الهدف حتى وان بدا قريبا فإنه يحتاج للبحث والرؤية وعدم الخروج من الدائرة التى كتبت لنا .. قد تكون ضربة حظ فى البداية ولكن تمسكنا هو ما يحول الأحلام إلى حقيقة استمتعت بها جدا .. العمق يحتاج لقراءة عميقة ..

Amit

There are too many things one can learn from “The Alchemist”. Its all about following your dream and about taking the risk of following your dreams, which is actually so difficult to do and there are very few people in this world who actually do, I mean risk it all, just to follow your heart and your dream. Beauty is, the author is so right in saying that when u decide to follow your dreams the entire universe conspires in your favour which he called as the “beginners luck” and we all have been witness to this beginners luck at one or other point in our lives. Also, he talks about a stage in our journey towards realizing our dreams, where everything just goes haywire and there is everything working against us and it almost takes us to the brink of abandoning everything and just getting back to what was so familiar and comfortable (i.e. our usual daily life which we get used to) this is actually the time when we are being tested for one last time and it means also that we are really close to our objective. The example given was really great and yes nothing new but we forget simple things in our life like "the darkest hour of the night is just before the dawn". It is actually true that so many of us just leave the struggle when it gets really tough and the chips are really low, whereas actually we were so close to the objective, if only we would have had a little more patience we would have been there. In one of the episodes he talks about death, yes the fact we always forget, the only reality about our life, it is a constant which is not going to change rest everything is uncertain. There are a lot of us who either think that it happens to others and then there are others, who are so busy running after the materials that they don’t have time to think about anything, leave alone death. Yes, and those who do think about death, mostly fear it, some fear death because of the physical pain attached to it (such people actually fear the pain rather than the death, I am one of them) and there are some who think they do not want to die because its not time yet for them to go. Ironically but true, this decision about timings has thankfully not been left to us. So, how do we get over the fear of death or make it our friend, a companion? And not waste our beautiful life worrying about dying all the time. One of the possible solutions lies in this book, it reads "if i have to fight, it will be just as good a day to die as any other". Yes very much right, one would never know when he or she wakes up in the morning that if it was the last day of his or her life and in fact, that day would not be any different from all the other days already spent. So, why not take everyday as the last day of our lives and live it up. Frankly speaking i really know what i am talking about, because I am in a profession which involves a lot of risk and death doesn’t have to look for reasons, it can just spring up from any bush in form of a small little piece of metal called a bullet coming out of the darkness of the night or just a deafening sound from under a culvert that I cross everyday. Here, everyday can be the last day of my life, every meal can be my last, every call to my wife can be the last time I would hear her sweet and loving voice and the kids… Anyways, so what I personally follow is, everyday when I wake up or every time when I move out on an operation, I say to myself "what a beautiful day to die" and there on, I just do what I have to and what I have been taught in all these years in the army and go through all the motions and concentrate on the job at hand rather than worrying about my death and I am really at peace with the fear of death. Another beautiful thought which I came across about death was in the novel by the author called "Confessions of a pilgrim". I derived from it that death can be visualized as a beautiful person who is always sitting besides us, so close to us that it travels with us wherever we go and it also accompanies us to our bed. Its a beautiful companion, a faithful companion, the only one who will never be unfaithful to us, rest all the companions are just lesser mortals and have been unfaithful at one point or other. Death always stays with us and actually speaking that’s the only companion who would accompany us all through our lives right from the moment we acquired some shape in our mother’s womb to the moment when we would get the vision of that white light and that feeling of lightness when we would finally leave this body also sometimes expressed as "VASTRA" (clothes) in the Indian mythology. As per the Indian mythology, the soul never dies, it is indestructible, it only changes a body just like we change clothes. Our soul is a part of God and it goes back to him. We can find the mention of the mighty soul of ours around the last portion of 'The Alchemist' where the shepherd realizes that ultimately it his own soul which is the “hand that wrote all” and his own soul was the part of soul of God. I firmly believe that there is no fiction involved in this story of the shepherd, but this is a true expression of mysteries and realities of our life, which we never pause to discover. There is message that this book wants to convey to us!!! I have never been into writing anything ever in my life, yes not even a personal dairy, but since the time I actually started writing which was just a month back, I realized that if we just write our thoughts as they occur, the resultant has a touch of mystery, because what we wrote with all our heart and soul, sometimes tends to surprise us. We tend to learn from what we ourselves wrote. We never realized that we had so much inside us and we don’t know from where, it all came. “The hand that wrote all”, yes I think its our soul that speaks out, the soul we never recognized, the one we never knew, the one which is part of soul of God…. …All religions have over all the years have preached a man “Know thyself, you will find God”, “look within yourself u will find all the answers”, these words are so common but how many of us actually are ready to pause and give it a try. It may sound crazy, may be the book has a effect that may appear really crazy but I am sure there are some people who would identify with me. May be when Paulo Coelho wrote this book his soul was revealing itself and that’s why some of us can identify with it because our souls are the part of same soul of God, just like his is. May be these lines of his novel were written by the “Hand that wrote all……………”

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.

Andrew

The Alchemist has been translated into like a million languages, and it feels like it. Bland sentences, simple story telling and zero nuance. It's a quaint parable about a shepherd who bucks the current course of his life - shepherding - to go in search of his Personal Legend (Coehlo's caps, and phrase). Coehlo's got a point, and he's going to drive it through your eyeball until he's absolutely sure you've got it.If you ignore much of the language of the book, this is a paper-thin rehashing of Rand-like individualism Atlas Shrugged The Fountainhead. No one can show you your way but yourself. Step out on your own and you are invincible. But all the trappings of this moral story are mystical platitudes. "Good luck shines on those who are following their Personal Legend." "Omens are the Language of the World. Learning to read them is communicating with the Soul of the World and the hand that wrote all." "All things are one." "Listen to your heart, it speaks in the Language of the World." I'd rather read Siddhartha.

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.

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.

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!!

Mohamed Galal

-- بعد أن بدأت ب20"" صفحة بترجمة بسمة أشرف " نسخة ورقيّة " انتقلت إلى ترجمة بهاء طاهر " نسخة pdf" .-- سمعت كثيرًا عن روعة تلك الرواية قبل الشروع في قرائتها .-- لم تعجبني ، ولا يستهويني هذا النوع من الروايات .-- الأسطورة الذاتيّة ، إكسير الحياة ، حجر الفلاسفة ، روح العالم .-- شعرت أنّي أقرأ رواية فى التنمية البشريّة .-- شعرت وكأنّ كويلهو كاهن يلقن تلاميذه تعاليم الرب .-- أحسست بملل شديد ورتابة مضنية في أوّل 100 صفحة " الرواية 159 صفحة " ، بدأت الأحداث في الإثارة _إلى حدٍ ما _ بعد ذلك .-- حوار مع الصحراء ، ثمّ حوار مع الشمس ، ثمّ حوار مع يد القدرة ، ما هذا الهراء ؟! ، لا أعرف كيف أنهيتك !-- لا أعي تفسيرًا لتلك الضجّة والصخب الكثير والإعجاب المبالغ فيه للرواية إلّا أنّ أغلب ساكني البسيطة أصبحوا يلهثون وراء أي هراء متعلّق بعلم التنمية البشريّة .

Don

I simply could not finish this book. I got halfway through it only to wind up on goodreads.com to see what others thought. I simply felt guilty panning a book that has received such global acclaim; more than that, I felt lame and inadequate.Well, it turns out that my sentiments were echoed. I basically felt I was reading an overblown parable and that the same lessons were being spelled out again and again. It was like the 16th verse of a hymn. Throughout my life I have periodically reflected to get a sense of who I am, where I am going and whether I want to end up there. I am an extremely introspective person and I am constantly evaluating and re-evaluating my person; sometimes for the better, sometimes out of necessity. To put a fine point on it, I regularly do that which is, for lack of a better word, preached in this book. The problem I had with The Alchemist is that instead of feeling reinforced and validated, I felt uncomfortable and nagged.

Lydia

Overrated. Grossly overrated book. Everybody was talking about how it was some life-changing book and I admit to be hoping that at least it was kinda inspirational.And it proved to be the least inspirational book I had ever come across. It was written from the point of view of a traveling shepherd, telling us how he dealt with problems he encountered through his journey. The language was bland (I read the English version) and there was hardly any conversation in the book. Everything was written blandly (so I used the word twice. It's just to show how bland it is) using a tone of an old, ancient teacher trying to tell a very slow student how to boil an egg. Like, the writer repeated the same thing over and over again (you know the works: the teacher will show up when the student is ready, material things ain't as important as the spiritual, the future is for no one to predict) and over and over again.After a few pages I just wanted it to be done and over with. Hey, I might be a slow student when it comes to boiling an egg, but the least an ancient teacher can do is to use a lively language to instruct me, don't you think?

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.

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 .”

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