The Alchemist

ISBN: 0060887966
ISBN 13: 9780060887964
By: Paulo Coelho James Noel Smith Alan R. Clarke

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About this book

"My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky." Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams."Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. The Alchemist is such a book. With over a million and a half copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has already established itself as a modern classic, universally admired. Paulo Coelho's charming fable, now available in English for the first time, will enchant and inspire an even wider audience of readers for generations to come.The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist.The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, above all, following our dreams.

Reader's Thoughts

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 .”

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.

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 .

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.

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.

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……………”

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.

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.

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.

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?

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 ..

Michelle

** spoiler alert ** While this book made some points that I agreed with (all things in the universe are one; a person is happiest when living in the present moment, rather than the past or future; even things that seem like detours in your quest toward achieving your goals can be rich opportunities for learning) I just couldn't buy a lot of it. For instance, I disagreed with the idea that your experience along the way shouldn't cause you to change your basic course. What's accumulated wisdom and experience for, if not to cause us to live differently (often with very different goals, aspirations, and fundamental beliefs) than we did when we were younger?I also couldn't buy the notion that your "Personal Legend" is made manifest to you in no uncertain terms when you are a child and you should never deviate from it. I dreamed of doing a hundred different things at various times during my childhood. More than one of those aspirations (psychiatrist, teacher, stay-at-home mom, sociologist) at one time or another during my youth seemed, without question, like the path I should follow. As I get dangerously close to middle age, I'm finding that I'm really happy as a horticulturist and constantly learning and doing new things within that field. I feel no regret at not having pursued those other paths.Also, I was left with the impression that the "Personal Legend" of the main female character in the story was to send kisses on the wind and wait for the safe return of her man. I thought the book made an important point: that true love shouldn't keep you from fulfilling those aspirations that are truly important to you. But that should, obviously, be true for both partners. I'll give the author the benefit of the doubt and assume that he didn't focus much on Fatima's goals and dreams because that's not whose story he was telling. I'm hoping that, though she takes time out of her day to think of her love and pray for his safe return, she's spending more of her time pursuing dreams of her own.

Zaki

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

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