The Illustrated Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream

ISBN: 006019250X
ISBN 13: 9780060192501
By: Paulo Coelho Alan R. Clarke Mœbius

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Book Club Classics Fantasy Favorites Fiction Literature Novels Philosophy Spirituality To Read

About this book

Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist is such a book With over a million and a half copies sold in Latin America and Europe, The Alchemist has already achieved the status of a modern classic. Now this charming fable has been translated into English to enchant and inspire an even wider audience for years to come. Here 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 into the Egyptian desert where a fateful encounter with the alchemist awaits him. This is a story that teaches us, as only few stories can, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life's path and, above, all follow our dreams."Paulo Coelho... has attained the technical levels of a Saint-Exupery or a Richard Bach." - Folha da Sao PauloPAULO COELHO, the author of five bestsellers, lives in Rio de Janiero.

Reader's Thoughts

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?

Don

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

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

Lujayn Al

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

Nefik

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

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.

Sithara

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

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.

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.

شيماء فؤاد

باولو .. انت رائع حكيم - ملهم - واعيعميق :)و كذلك روايتك .. أعتقد أنها أكثر رواياتك تعبيرا عنك

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……………”

asma Qadah

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

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.

ياسمين ثابت

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

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