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.

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.

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.

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?

Sarah

I feel like everyone LOVES this book, but I was kind of underwhelmed. I know that translation affects the quality of writing, but I could not get into this writing style. At all. I felt like it was totally affected and contrived. He was going for this "fable/parable" style, but it seemed to fail miserably. The parable-like quality was totally contrived, and I thought the "moral" was pretty stupid. Moral: everything you want and need is close to home. Take chances. Follow your "personal legacy."Then....there was a supernatural element which was just plain dumb. Granted, I am not religious. I think god-fearing people get more out of this bc they can take that leap of faith, excuse the phrase. If this was supposed to be a story of magic, I may have been into it. But it was supposed to be a simple story of knowing yourself. And I think, philosophically speaking, when you truly know yourself that is when you truly realize your destiny. Why do you need supernatural forces to convey that message? This was about realizing your destiny, or "personal legacy." It could have been done without the hocus pocus, and, yes, the cheese. In short, the book attempted to be deep and failed. "Speaking with the wind and the sun" and "being a shepherd" and getting over "personal hardship" all as part of a transparent "higher plan" (read: personal legacy) doesn't make a plot deep. A character simply called "boy" and short sentences doesn't make a story a fable. Learning from your flocks and from nature doesn't make a character inexplicably wise. I really got nothing out of this book.It is short though. The book came very highly recommended. Read it to judge the hype for yourself. After all, a whole nation, including Bill Clinton (who I'm into), thought it was a touching account that personally changed them. Then again, this is the same country who thought The Celestine Prophesy was worthwhile. Gag.

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.

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 ..

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 .”

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.

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

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.

Mohammed Arabey

~~~~~ T h e ~ A l c h e m i s t ~~~ ~~~~ ~~~ الـخـيـــميائـــي ~~~~~Half-full Cauldron of Clever Storytelling قدر به قصه محكيه ببراعه2 Measures of Ancient Legends of Wisdom مقدار من اساطير حكيمه قديمه1 Bundle of Self-Help Motivations حزمه من دوافع التنميه الذاتيه1 Measure of Spiritual Experiences مقدار من التجارب الروحيهSome Drops of Love ~~~~ قطرات من الحـــــــبA Bunch of Magic ~~~~ حفنه من الســــحر½ Cub of Philosophy ~~~~ مقدار من الفلسفه¼ Scoop of Thriller ~~~~ ربع مغرفه من الاثارهMix it all together in the Cauldron.. أخلطهم جميعا في القدرWith Drops of an Oasis' Springs Water مع ماء من ينابيع واحه صحراويهAnd Bunch of Golden Desert's Sands و حفنه من رمال الصحراء الذهبيهLet it all Stir by The Desert's Winds دع الخليط يقلبه رياح الصحراء ِAnd Heat up by the Heat of the Sun rays ويسخنه حراره اشعه الشمسِAnd Then you'll got the Treasure... وستحصل عندها علي الكنزA Gold,even the Philosopher's Stone ذهــب, حتي حجر الفيلسوفA Great Charming Story, A brilliant literature قصه ساحره,أدب لامعThe Alchemist ----------- الـخيميــائـيBy the Master ----------- للاستــاذPaulo Coelho ----------- باولو كويللومحمد العربيفي 24 اكتوبر 2013قراءه من 25 اغسطس 2012الي 2 سبتمبر 2012©The Cauldron picture from www.pottermore.com

Kali

Everyone (save one guy) said I would love this book. Three of my four roommates have their own copies. That one guy was right. Now this may be because he planted that seed of discontent, or it may be because this was the least creative and most redundant book I've read in a while. It answered the question, what happens when you put The Hero With a Thousand Faces, The Bible and 1001 Arabian Nights in a blender? That said, I didn't hate it. Two of the central themes (which were hammered in over and over again) are two of my favorite world views - ones I hold very dear to my heart. I understand that everyone has their own path and if it takes this silly little book to realize these two important messages, I'm just happy the reader finally discovered these truths. A) As the far more prolific writer Joseph Campbell says, Follow Your Bliss and B) As the far more prolific writer Ralph Waldo Emerson says, Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. (See the pattern.) To explain my aversion to the third nail in the coffin of stolen redundancy, I will tell you story. I have a small collection of fortunes from fortune cookies. (I have always been in the habit of collecting good omens.) To make the list, a fortune must convey a good message when applied to life and even better when the requisite "Dirty Fortune Cookie Ending" is added. During my freshman year of college, I got the fortune "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also . . . . . between the sheets." Hilarious, right?! Sex, love, treasure, oh the glorious metaphors. Fast forward two years, when I discover that my hilarious fortune is actually A BIBLICAL QUOTE! Straight out the OT. Well, I was shocked and appalled. I was being proselytized to by a cookie! Now, I realize that this is my own issue, but I don't want a bible-thumping cookie or 200 year old Alchemist ramming the OT down my throat. To anyone thinking about reading this book, I have given you the two things that need be learned from it. Now go read some Joseph Campbell.

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.

Joyzi

SPOILER ALERT!This book is very inspiring and what I really need right now to motivate myself with my everyday endeavors. In the end the boy in the story who was searching for his treasure, despite the long travels and experiences, find his treasure not in the place where he suspected it to be, but in the place where he came from. It's just pretty ironic that what have you looking for is in the end is just beside you right from the beginning. It's just that what he learned and discovered from his travel is another treasure that he should realize in order to appreciate himself and the things around him.A very inspiring and positive book, it actually gives me hope that the things that I aspire for will in the end I would achieve if only I strive hard and don't lose hope until I get it. Sometimes the detours and the problems that we face now were later on in our life will make sense and when you remember that moment especially if you had overcome it you will know that you are thankful for that to happen because in the end you would learn something from it.

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