The Alchemist

The Alchemist

Book - 1993
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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.

ISBN: 9780062502179
Characteristics: 177 pages ;,21 cm.


From Library Staff

Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom... Read More »

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Nov 20, 2018

This is one of my favorites to read and recommend to readers. It is about finding yourself through learning, seeking adventures, trying new things. Irrelevant to the religious aspect of the story, it is also about finding your purpose ; better yet, making a purpose for yourself.

Aug 30, 2018

This certainly was an interesting read. I think it definitely requires more than one read to fully absorb and understand this interesting world and the spiritual journey that it takes us along.

It definitely was heavy on the spiritual and philosophical side for a book, especially the God/Soul of the World thing. I admit I was a little overwhelmed and bored of the repeated message of the Soul of the World thing. It wasn't a bad read, but it clearly wasn't my cup of tea.

It is good that it encourage people to follow their dreams/personal legends, but a touch too much fantastical element for me to get into this book fully without spending a large amount of time reading it over and over again.

Aug 25, 2018

An uplifting tale that is full of enchanting trials.

WestSlope_TheaH Aug 21, 2018

The Alchemist is a modern classic that tells the story of the Santiago, a shepherd boy who yearns to travel, and his quest, which leads him to riches beyond what he had imagined. I was struck by the powerful simplicity of this story when I first read it as a high school student. Leisurely-paced, reflective, and mystical, this book is sure to inspire you.

San Mateo Public Library Book Discussion Group selection for December 6, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. in the Cedar Room

ArapahoeMaryA Jun 28, 2018

This enchanting journey will inspire you to discover your Personal Legend.

May 21, 2018

I really loved this book and was very inspired while reading it. However, I felt the ending fell a little short. Either way, I would recommend it to others, should you find yourself struggling in life.

SPPL_Violet Mar 17, 2018

This is a lovely, simple fable about a young shepherd in search of treasure, and, in a larger way, his "personal legend." You may read it for its literary value; it is replete with gorgeous imagery, beautiful dialogue, religious allusions, and allegory. You may read it for its esoteric philosophy. Or both.

The core of the story's philosophy is this: "when you really want something to happen, the whole universe will conspire so that your wish comes true." Whether or not this is true is up to you, dear reader.

Mar 06, 2018

I read this for the "A Book Originally Published In The Year You Were Born" (1988) part of my 2018 reading challenge. I enjoyed most of it, felt a little let down by the ending. It was an interesting take on personal happiness.

ArapahoeStaff6 Jan 04, 2018

I loved this book. I read it in a very pivotal time in my life, and it has continued to resonate with me. It is one of the few books that I re-read. It's one of those books that becomes more impactful after you've had time to reflect on it.

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Aug 25, 2018

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Bluebird1298 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jan 30, 2012

dancergirl111 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Nonimouse Oct 03, 2010

Nonimouse thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

so_it_goes Jul 22, 2010

so_it_goes thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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Aug 25, 2018

“It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

ArapahoeMaryA Jun 28, 2018

...wherever your heart is, that is where you will find your treasure.

We are travelers on a cosmic journey,stardust,swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share.This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.

ellensix Oct 09, 2015

"When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too."
—Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Jun 17, 2015

"Everyone has his or her own way of learning things," he said to himself. "His way isn't the same as mine, nor mine as his. But we are both in search of our Personal Legends, and I respect him for that."

Jun 08, 2013

"When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too."

Jun 08, 2013

"When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises."

Jul 10, 2012

What is the world's greatest lie?

"At some point in our lives we loose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate."

nataliepetagaythomas Jul 02, 2012

"The thought of a pilgrimmage to mecca is what keeps me going."

so_it_goes Jul 22, 2010

“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, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity.”


Add a Summary

Nonimouse Oct 03, 2010

Dreams, symbols, signs, and adventure follow the reader like echoes of ancient wise voices in "The Alchemist", a novel that combines an atmosphere of Medieval mysticism with the song of the desert. With this symbolic masterpiece Coelho states that we should not avoid our destinies, and urges people to follow their dreams, because to find our "Personal Myth" and our mission on Earth is the way to find "God", meaning happiness, fulfillment, and the ultimate purpose of creation.

The novel tells the tale of Santiago, a boy who has a dream and the courage to follow it. After listening to "the signs" the boy ventures in his personal, Ulysses-like journey of exploration and self-discovery, symbolically searching for a hidden treasure located near the pyramids in Egypt.
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EPLPicks_Teen Apr 06, 2010

A young Spanish shepherd boy seeks a hidden treasure, dreaming of travelling the world in search of the most extravagant riches.


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