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

Marte Patel

Utter drivel. The book was badly written, righteous, condescending, preachy, and worst of all, the ending was morally questionable. All the fables and stories are stolen from elsewhere, religious ideas and spirituality are badly mixed, and everything is so obvious.The book harps on about tapping into the Soul of the World, the Language of the World, about your one true path and other nonsense. The basic idea is that if you really want something and "listen to your heart", the whole universe will help you achieve it if you only look for omens. A questionable idea in a world where people no longer want to work hard and achieve independently.It reads like a really bad self-help book written for 8 year old children and disguised as a symbolic parable. I read a lot of books and I can safely say this is the worst book I have ever read. It's only saving grace was that it was mercifully short.

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 ..


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.


This book is one of my all time favourites but judging by the fact that there are 65 million copies in print, I can safely say I'm probably not alone in that either. The Alchemist, if you're not familiar with the work (gasp! horror!), is a grown-up fable that at its very heart is a story about a man, the woman he loves and following your destiny. Anyone who has ever had a dream can find inspiration within the pages of this novel, and, as the novel so poignantly points out, each one of us has a dream or a personal legend to fulfill. I think one of my favourite lines is what the Old King says to the boy on their first meeting:“When you’re following your personal legend, all of the universe conspires to help you achieve it." Every credit should be given to the translator who managed to convey the simple beauty of Coelho’s writing which is one of the reasons the book works so well. This is just one of the best feel good books out there, perfect in its simplicity yet complex in its spirituality. Because it borrows parts form Egyptian Mythology, the Bible and the Qu'ran, it has the ability to touch the hearts of a diverse population of people. An interesting fact about The Alchemist, it was listed as one of the five most frequently stolen books from Melbourne bookstores. Life has such an amusing sense of irony! Read this book if: No ifs on this one. If you're one of the small few who haven't been lucky enough to read The Alchemist, then do yourself a favour and just read it.


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,( 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.

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 .”

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.

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" 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 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 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.


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.


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……………”


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?


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?


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..

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.

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