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The Alchemist

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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  983,282 ratings  ·  40,917 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 197 pages
Published May 1st 1993 by HarperCollins (first published 1988)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sarah
Dec 03, 2013 Sarah rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people trying to find themselves
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."

T
...more
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
...more
Clint
I hate this book so much. I used to work at a hippie vegetarian restaurant where everyone raved about it, so I should have known what a disaster it would be. Writing in the style of a fable does not convince me that what the author says is true or profound, this just sucks all around, and people who describe it as magical or inspirational are probably dudes I will not be having a beer with anytime soon. This guy, he's probably going to get a Nobel one day, too.
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
...more
Lujayn Al
Apr 09, 2011 Lujayn Al rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: المتفلسفون ، والساخطون
Shelves: favorites
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 الإسلامية



تحسّ 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 تمامًا

أحببتُ حكمها جدًا " كيف يت
...more
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 الأه
...more
Lamski Kikita
May 07, 2012 Lamski Kikita rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Lamski Kikita by: a friend
"when you really want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it"


This book has crossed the boundaries of books, and has taken a life of its own, creating a movement all around the globe.

Santiago's journey and spiritual quest, the people he meets, the dreams he has, the omens he encounters, and the nature he speaks to, are all things that we can relate to..things that we've either forgotten about or simply dismissed as childhood fantasies. It is all about finding your Pe
...more
Jonathan
I've got your Personal Legend right here, Paolo Coelho. This may be the first book I've ever read that was so bad it actually made me angry at the author. If I ever run into Paolo Coelho, I hope I'll beat him down to the ground and take the inflation adjusted equivalent of the 13.95 I paid for this worthless rag out of his wallet. If you want to read something sort of thoughtful on the whole "follow your dreams" theme, the author's short introduction is actually better than the book, and doesn't ...more
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
...more
Amanda
***spoilers and bitterness ahead--be forewarned**

I'm not sure that I can capture my utter disdain for this book in words, but I'll give it a shot. I read this book about three years ago and just had to re-read it for book club. It was a steaming pile of crap then and, guess what?, it's a steaming pile of crap now. The main reason I hate this book: it's trite inspirational literature dressed up as an adventure quest. You go into it thinking that it's going to be about a boy's quest for treasure.
...more
Warwick
The problem with this book is not just that it's bad, which it certainly is, but that there are so many people out there who want to corner you at parties and tell you how it's totally changed their lives. In a way you might as well read it just so you can see how feeble-minded they must be to get any kind of philosophical nourishment out of this inexhaustible stream of clichés. The profound lessons you'll learn from this book amount to nothing more than several variations on the theme of "only ...more
أحمد
رواية غيّرت روحي. جربت بعدها قراءة شيء آخر لباولو كويليو فتأكدت أن هذه الرواية هي الوحيدة تقريبا التي تستحق القراءة. أنصح بترجمة بهاء طاهر الصادرة عن دار الهلال بعنوان: ساحر الصحراء.

أحمد الديب
2007
Jennifer (aka EM)
Jun 16, 2010 Jennifer (aka EM) rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: NO ONE. Really, I did this so you don't have to.
Shelves: novellas
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 publisher
...more
Amit
Mar 17, 2014 Amit rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Amit by: i dont even know her name
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 ...more
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 an ...more
Saud Omar
تنبيه :في مراجعة الرواية هذه لا يوجد حرق للرواية. في هذه المراجعة يتم استعراض عقدة الرواية الأساسية. كل ما كٌتب هنا بدا لي أنه سوف يجعلك تقرأ الرواية بشكل أفضل. هذه المراجعة كٌتبت خصيصاً لأولئك الذين لم يقرءوا الرواية بعد.

***
من مدونتي: ثمانون كتابا بحثا عن مخرج


www.80k.met

***

“الخيميائي” رواية عن راعي أندلسي يسافر طلباً لكنز مدفون في مكان قريب من الأهرامات الفرعونية. يقابل الراعي العديد من الأشخاص الذين يساعدونه, أو يلهمونه, أو يقفون ضده, في طريقه للكنز. ويواجه الراعي أيضاً الكثير من المواقف الصعب
...more
Patrick
Sep 09, 2008 Patrick rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Patrick by: Sarah Otto
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 ...more
Mohammed Arabey
~~~ T h e ~ A l c h e m i s t ~~ الـخـيـــميائـــي ~~~

Half-full Cauldron of Clever Story قدر به قصة محكية ببراعة
2 Measures of Legends of Wisdom مقدار من أساطير حكيمة
1 Bundle of Self-Help Motivations حزمة من دوافع التنمية الذاتية
1 Measure of Spiritual Experiences مقدار من التجارب الروحية
Some Drops of Love ~~~ قطرات من الحـــــب
A Bunch of Magic ~~~ حفنة من الســـحر
Cub of Philosophy ~~~ مقدار من الفلسفة
Scoop of Thriller ~~~ ربع مغرفه من الأثارة
Mix it all together in the Cauldron..

أخلطهم جميعا في
...more
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
...more
Zaki
A spanish shepherd boy santiago has these recurring 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.

Though the Alchemist is not about Santiago at all. It's an inspirational fable; it's
...more
Andrew
Mar 22, 2007 Andrew rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: the desperate
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 R
...more
Joyzi
Nov 12, 2011 Joyzi rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Joyzi by: My friends
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 hi
...more
Riku Sayuj

I, Hegel


I, Hegel, wrote an essay today
Comparing Jesus
And his disciples,
With Socrates,
And his.
Jesus emerges from my comparison
As decidedly the inferior teacher
Of ethics.
What does that say
About my Religion?


I, Hegel, had a dream today
In which Napoleon
Was offered
One of two paths
In a cold subterranean dungeon:
One of which led to untold riches
And the other to a lost work of Aristotle.
He took the first
Without hesitation.
What does that say
About my Hero?


I, Hegel, went on a walk today
When I heard
Two v
...more
إسراء البنا

البحث عن الاسطورة الذاتية .. ان الانسان يفضل مؤمن باحلامه و اهدافه مهما حصل و طول الطريق هيلاقي علمات و اشارات

لازم الثقة في النفس البشرية انها لازم توصل

الحب مش في كل الاحوال "بيعطل الانسان عن احلامه و اهدافه " زي شخصية فاطمة في الرواية

انها انتظرته و كانت مؤمنه هي كمان باحلامه و اهدافه و مؤمنة اكتر انه لازم يوصل و يحققها
و الثقة الاكبر انها هيرجعلها مهما انتظرته

الرواية متشبعة بكم رائع من الحكم و المقولات الحكيمة

و ترجمة بهاء طاهر لم تفسد الرواية بل على العكس رائعة

انصح بقرائتها ^_^
Eleanor
Jun 04, 2007 Eleanor rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: religious zealots
Shelves: never-finished
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 su
...more
Bill  Kerwin

A good parable--like "The Prodigal Son"--should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. The problem with this little book is that it does precisely the opposite.

The essence of Coelho's message--and, boy, is this a book with a message--is that each of us has his own Personal Legend, and that if we recognize that legend and pursue it sincerely, everything in the Universe (which is after all made up--wind, rock, and trees--of the same stuff we are) will conspire to help us achieve it. Co
...more
Nefik
Sep 28, 2007 Nefik rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: optimists, cynics and dreamers
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),
...more
Henry Avila
A boy has a dream ... after leaving the seminary, Santiago becomes a shepherd. He likes to travel and does in the Andalusian region of Spain, with his sixty sheep. In an unstated era but feels like circa 1900. Roaming the countryside, visiting small villages, selling wool when money is needed. Always moving in search of food and water, for his little friends, their hunger and thirst is all, to them. Becoming an expert in his profession, but time passes by, the youth is now 18 . Resting in an aba ...more
Paul
I've been meaning to read this for years; I probably should have left it a mystery because it irritated me no end. At one level it is a pleasant enough little tale of a spanish shepherd who seeks to fulfil his destiny/follow his dreams/seek his fortune. He meets a bloke from the Old Testament (Genesis to be precise) called Melchizedek (lots of symbolism surrounds this guy) who says he needs to go to the pyramids to find his dream/fortune. He sets off, spends some time in Tangier and then sets of ...more
Jibran
If books were pills, Alchemist is a sugarcoated placebo with no real effect. Say, a feel-good homily. I have never read a book as meretricious as this one. Perhaps I have but this one surpasses them all. Many a reviewer has pointed out the problems with this 'celebrated' novel so I need not expend many words. Suffice it so say that this is a good example of portentous writing one will do well to avoid if one's benchmark is quality literature.

Postscript: apologies to those of my friends who think
...more
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The Brazilian author PAULO COELHO was born in 1947 in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Before dedicating his life completely to literature, he worked as theatre director and actor, lyricist and journalist. In 1986, PAULO COELHO did the pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostella, an experience later to be documented in his book The Pilgrimage. In the following year, COELHO published The Alchemist. Slow in ...more
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“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” 13508 likes
“It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” 11307 likes
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