The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist

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...

Title:The Alchemist
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0061122416
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:197 pages

The Alchemist Reviews

  • Christopher
    Aug 13, 2007

    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

    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.

  • Clint
    Aug 20, 2007

    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.

  • Sarah
    Aug 22, 2007

    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

    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.

  • Marte Patel
    Sep 22, 2007

    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

    .

    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

    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

    .

    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 help you achieve it if you only look for omens. A questionable idea in a world where people no longer want to work hard and achieve independently.

    It reads like a really bad self-help book written for 8 year old children and disguised as a symbolic parable. I read a lot of books and I can safely say this is the worst book I have ever read. It's only saving grace was that it was mercifully short.

  • Lamski Kikita
    Aug 19, 2008

    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

    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 Personal Legend and pursuing your dream regardless of any hurdles, and about being spiritually connected to the universe, which is part of us, and part of God. we are all one.

    Reading this book always sets me back on the right path towards achieving the dreams I have put on hold. We always try to do what everyone expects of us like pursuing a career that you hate just because that is what everyone does. Recognizing my personal legend, being able to talk to the trees, sky, ants, the core of the earth, the air particles, and to my heart, feeling a deeper spiritual connection with everything/everyone that is around me, feeling God inside me, and not being afraid of failing or facing challenges are just some of the few things this book has given me.

    It is

    that Coelho writes this book, shares it with the world, and affect so many lives. This masterwork is a legend and a precious treasure.

  • Lujayn Alyamani
    Aug 01, 2009

    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

    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 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 الشخصية

    حقًا ، لقد خلق كلّ منا لـ يحقق أسطورة

    و الحياة لا تمنحُ الفرص إلا للراغبين

  • Warwick
    Dec 20, 2012

    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

    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 the very ugly is truly beautiful, only the very stupid are really intelligent, only black is white, only up is down" etc etc.

    The writing is too simple to be really bad, but it's the content that gets you. By the end of the book you'll want to track down the philosopher's stone yourself and carefully beat Coelho to death with it.

  • Bill  Kerwin
    Jan 08, 2015

    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.

    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, stone, trees--of the same stuff we are) will conspire to help us achieve it. Corollaries: 1) peop

    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.

    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, stone, trees--of the same stuff we are) will conspire to help us achieve it. Corollaries: 1) people who don't recognize their legends are never happy, 2) people who fail to realize their legends are afraid, and 3) people who refuse to pursue their legends, even when they know what they are, are both unhappy and afraid. (I admit I've left out a nuance or two here and there, but not many. There aren't more than three or four nuances in the book.)

    I fear that the result of taking such a message seriously will be to make the successful even more self-satisfied, the narcissistic more self-absorbed, and the affluent more self-congratulatory. At the same time, those who are unfortunate will blame themselves for their bad fortune, those who lack self-esteem will lose what little they have, and the poor will see--no, not God, as the beatitude says, but--the poor will see they have only themselves to blame.

    Perhaps I am being too harsh. I can see how a few individual young persons, hemmed in by parental expectations and seeking their own paths, may find enough hope and courage here to help them venture forth. But I am convinced the damage done by books like this--like

    ,

    , and anything ever written by the late Dr. Wayne Dyer (or, for that matter, anything he may ever choose to channel from beyond the grave)--is far greater than the little good they may achieve.

    If you like parables, don't read this book. Go read a book of Hasidic tales collected by Martin Buber, a book of Sufi stories collected by Idries Shah, or a book of parables and sayings by Anthony de Mello instead.

    Or then again, you could just try Jesus. Jesus is always good.


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