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The Alchemist

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  425 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
In a sweeping epic of dazzling magic, soaring suspense, and dark longing, three immortal souls are united by fate and a fearless ambition that will change the course of history–even as it destroys their own way of life. . . .
On an upper floor of a plush, high-security building on Central Park West, an elegant man sits in the office of Dr. Anne Kramer, confessing to the he
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Paperback, 234 pages
Published 2002 by Ballantine
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 811)
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Celina
May 04, 2008 Celina rated it it was amazing
My absolute facorite book...brought me to another world while so much was happening in my life at that time.
April
Oct 17, 2012 April rated it did not like it
Embarrassing confession to make. I've heard from several people how much they enjoyed, "The Alchemist." One of my Goodreads friends reviewed it and I thought, "Oh! I've heard a lot of people say they like that, I'll have to read it." Didn't pay attention to the author. Went to the library, searched and this came up. I read the whole thing, thinking, "ok it's slightly entertaining, but really?! What's all the fuss."
I probably wouldn't have even finished it except that I kept thinking it must red
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Chris
Jun 08, 2008 Chris rated it it was ok
I was in a bookshop and saw this book and liked its title and its cover art, so I made a mental note to pick up a copy from the library.

When I did, months later, I read the book and enjoyed it.

Some time after, my mom and I were shopping in another bookstore and I saw the book and recommended it to her. I picked it up and flipped through it, scratching my head and wondering what the heck was going on.

Turns out I'd read the wrong "Alchemist" - I had meant to grab the one by P. Coelho, but instead
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Cornelia
May 28, 2010 Cornelia rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, it's an incredible historcal fantasy that begins in ancient Egypt and moves up to modern times. Wonderful characters. So intriguing. A beautiful read.
Dana Stanton
Mar 04, 2014 Dana Stanton rated it liked it
I almost always like books that involve ancient Egypt and this one was no different. It was a fun romp through history with wizards and the like. SPOILER I didn't give it more stars as the author seemed to use the same trick multiple times - the old mistaken death trick. I also was somewhat disappointed in the ending. I would have enjoyed the story had the author expanded on the final grizzly act - it was almost an after thought and then BANG the books ends. In any case, it was a fun read and a ...more
Catie
May 03, 2016 Catie rated it it was amazing

Have you ever wished to be immortal? Sure we have all thought of how amazing it would be to live while, " so many years ending and beginning that you can no longer remember why it seemed important to keep count of them at all." What if you could live forever with magic at your hands? Donna Boyd digs deeper into this fantasy with the compelling novel "The Alchemist." This book will mesmerize you with one twist after another.

Donna Boyd's use of imagery made this story all the more bewildering.
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Benjamin Thomas
A charismatic man enters a therapist's office in New York City after having committed one of the most hi-vis murders in history. But he claims he is not of our modern era, instead he is an immortal, born into ancient Egypt and going by the name "Han". He proceeds to tell the therapist the story of his long life, and indeed, this is the vast majority of the novel. Han was a student of the House of Ra, where the secrets of magic and science, alchemy and engineering are learned. Along with his two ...more
Jennifer
Apr 06, 2010 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This story of Ancient Egypt and dark magic could have been more enjoyable if it had been written slightly differently. The Alchemist contains a great concept that was written well, but not in a style I particularity like. The wording is heavy on the description and that seems to prevent the storyline from gathering any steam. This book spans from Ancient Egypt to present day in just 240 pages, so the great ideas presented in the book aren't expanded on much. The book is short, but by no means an ...more
Sharon
Feb 23, 2009 Sharon rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
Uh - this was an interesting one. I have already read the 'other' Alchemist which I really liked and suggested to my husband and The Alchemist's Daughter which was a pretty decent read as well so I went into this Alchemist with good expectations. First of all, I had heard nothing about this book and so was suprised as I began to read the first page that it was a story of ancient Egypt- which I adore. I liked Boyd's portrayal of the main characters at first. But then things kindof slid downhill f ...more
Juliette
I set off to read this book (and not the other one) because I enjoyed the werewolf books by Donna Boyd. Though her first person storytelling worked well in The Passion and The Promise, I'm not so sure it worked as well for this book. I'm also complaining because it was too short. I would have enjoyed much more storytelling of the House of Ra and the character Darius who I found far more interesting than Nefar or even Han. Though I understand that this is a story of the three (Nefar, Han, and Aka ...more
Brent Marcus
Jan 21, 2015 Brent Marcus rated it really liked it
I was looking for the other Alchemist friends have told me about, but ended up here instead. It wasn't bad and a really easy read. Just a little story about magic and living forever nothing groundbreaking.
Chris
Apr 16, 2013 Chris rated it did not like it
About the best thing I can say about this book is that it was relatively short--although not short enough. It is overblown, overwrought, and overwritten. The three main characters are all horrible people whom I couldn't care anything about. The basic premise is a good one. In ancient Egypt a special school trained young people in the magical arts. Han, Nefar, and Akan are extremely talented on their own, but together they are almost unstoppable. Despite being immortal and close to omnipotent, Ha ...more
Lori Anderson
Jun 01, 2009 Lori Anderson rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
You know, I'm on the fence between Three Stars and Two Stars with this one.

For one, I don't care at all for Egyptology. And while I enjoy fantasy, I didn't like THIS kind of fantasy.

However, there were parts of the book that were quite fascinating.

So I gave it Three Stars.

Not sure I'd recommend it -- this one will have to be one you decide upon yourself.

Lori Anderson



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Alison Norris
Mar 24, 2014 Alison Norris rated it liked it
Realized a few chapters in that this was not THE The Alchemist but finished it anyway.
Christie
ok so i read this book not know ing their are two books witht he same name but different authors. i guess in the overall it was a good story. she does a good job uf painting the picture and you could easily find yourself in this world. i also liked the way it spanded across melleniums. however i did not like how when it finaly comes to tie every thing in and tell you the point or reason or mening or andy thing realy all thier is a blank space. it didnt realy feal like a compleat story but it cou ...more
Kristin Dow
Apr 20, 2015 Kristin Dow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Original and compelling. Had been on my list to read for years and glad I tackled it.
Michael Deuna
Apr 11, 2014 Michael Deuna rated it liked it
gonna start reading this book
Barbara Ell
Jul 24, 2011 Barbara Ell rated it liked it
This was an interesting read. I picked it up at the bookstore because of the title. This is the story of immortality. It starts in Ancient Egypt and follows immortals throughout history. The majority of the story is set in Egypt, then skips forward to the end of the Middle Ages and then skips to the present day.

It is a short book, and easy reading. At times I wish that the author could have expanded a little more, but by the end most of the loose ends are tied up.
Amber Strussion
Apr 22, 2008 Amber Strussion rated it liked it
I got this book because they were out of everything at the library and I had written it down as one of the books that Megan read. Well, it's a different book, same title. I really liked it, though! It's about an immortal, magical man that tells his story spanning throughout many centuries. You definitely lose yourself in his magical world and it leaves you thinking about how yesterday's "magic" is today's technology. Overall, it was a good read.
Laurel
Oct 28, 2008 Laurel rated it really liked it
So my husband read this book and told me that I should read it. It's not what I expected, but I couldn't help but liking it. It's basically the story of the history of the world told from the point of view of an Egyptian alchemist who lived it all and was influential in it all. There are murder scenes that are rather graphic but oddly not gratuitously so. I would not recommend this book for everyone, even though I did like it.
Aline
Feb 19, 2013 Aline rated it liked it
Shelves: fantastique
Rien à voir avec l'Alchimiste de Coelo. Ici il est question d'immortels à l'époque du grand empire égyptien, jusqu'à nos jours. Le roman aurait mérité 300 pages de plus,j'aurais aimé que le 2ème millénaire soit aussi développé que l'antiquité égyptienne, du coup, j'ai un sentiment de facilité. Un peu lent à démarrer, mais une fois lancé, on ne s'arrête plus.Ecriture agréable, divertissant mais dispensable.
Tiff
Jan 11, 2012 Tiff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book started of great and was intriguing however as it went on it became extremely hard to read. I found myself having to push through to the parts that were good. One of my main complaints (which maybe some people will enjoy) was that it was too descriptive. I typically like historical fiction and books that have relatable characters this one for me was a bit out there for me.


Rebecca
Apr 22, 2008 Rebecca rated it liked it
I read this for my book club to find out that it was the wrong one. It was interesting how this author depicts someone who lives for many life times. It was as though they get board and they don't value life. It made me wonder if there is possibly people out there that can live forever, that has had there baptism by fire. I did learn quite a bit about alchemists and their functions.
Amy Beth
May 18, 2007 Amy Beth rated it it was amazing
This is not "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho, a more well-known book by the same name. However, it is an incredible fantastical story that takes you back in time comparable in a way (at least I believe) to the DaVinci code or Angels and Demons. I highly recommend it and remember finding myself thouroughly absorbed in the world that this book introduced me to.
Mandy
Apr 04, 2009 Mandy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
From what I remember, I absolutely loved this book. I just wish it would have been longer. This is covering a character from Ancient Egypt, maybe before, until the present. There was just so much there that could have been expanded on.

I'm sure it had other flaws, but it's been a few years and if I have mostly fond memories of it, that's all that probably matters.
Mahdis
Apr 26, 2009 Mahdis rated it liked it
I selected the wrong title on my original entry of the alchemist. I jsut realized I read the wrong book, but this book was very entertaining. It is an interesting approach to the magical world. I found some anti-organized religion references. It was a very interesting perspective. Now I am going to read the book I originally intended to read :)
Coleen Williams
I enjoyed this book as everything was laid out for me. A great gap stop for anyone who has read to much and only wish to be 'led along for the ride'.

Outside of finding her other books difficult to find at the book store I would do another Donna Boyd.

♆ BookAddict  ✒ La Crimson Femme
This book took me a bit to get into. The alchemist was confusing and I didn't fully understand what was going on. This book was just okay for me since it was the third book for me from Ms. Boyd. I couldn't get into this one as much as her other two.
Wil
Nov 08, 2009 Wil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I vaguely remember liking the premise of the story, but feeling like the author just didn't do enough with it. I did enjoy it, nonetheless. It might translate well to film, but care would have to be exercised in not letting it get cheesy.
Jordan
Mar 09, 2016 Jordan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great read about the moral questions surrounding immortality and playing god. All wrapped up in a great plot.
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aka Donna Ball, Rebecca Flanders, Donna Carlisle
With Shannon Harper as Leigh Bristol, Taylor Brady

Donna A. Ball born in 1951 in Georgia, USA. Her ancestors were one of the first pioneer families of North Georgia, and her family still lives on the land they purchased from the Cherokee in 1782.

Her first book was published in 1982 as Donna Ball, since them she has written over a dozen works of commer
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