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Home  >  Books  >  Fiction & Non-Fiction  >  Literature & Fiction  >  Others  >  Visionary & Metaphysical  >  THE ALCHEMIST : A FABLE ABOUT FOLLOWING YOUR DRE...
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Author: Paulo Coelho
Language: English
Length: 192 Pages
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A novel rich in metaphors and symbolism, The Alchemist is a story based on the adventures of a young shepherd boy, who, upon deciding to follow his prophetic dreams, sets on a treasure hunt. This journey introduces him to some remarkable people who leave an indelible and profound mark on him.

Summary Of The Book

The Alchemist was first published in 1988. The protagonist of the story, a young Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago, is plagued with recurring dreams, wherein a mysterious child urges him to look for buried treasure at the base of the Egyptian pyramids. Determined, he leaves Spain and heads towards Egypt. En route, he meets the King of Salem, a man named Melchizedek. Melchizedek introduces Santiago to the concept of a ‘Personal Legend’ or a personal map or a quest that guides him to what his heart truly desires.

While attempting to cross the Sahara desert on the way to Egypt, he joins a caravan which is driven by an Englishman who is aspiring to be an alchemist. During a stop over in Al-Fayoum, Santiago meets Fatima, a young girl of exceeding beauty who steals his heart. He asks her to marry him, but she declines saying that she will do so only once he has found the treasure he seeks. In the Saharan oasis of Al-Fayoum, Santiago meets a 200 year old alchemist who decides to accompany him on his expedition. He imparts wisdom and valuable knowledge to Santiago, who eventually understands why the supposed treasure keeps evading him.

Having sold over 65 million copies worldwide, The Alchemist is marked by its profound simplicity, the easy flow of the story, and the poignant moral it tries to teach the reader, that worldly possessions and extravagance are immaterial when compared to finding your own ‘Personal Legend’.

About Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho, born in 1947, is an author and songwriter.

He has authored Eleven Minutes, Veronika Decides to Die, The Witch of Portobello, Brida, The Pilgrimage, and The Zahir.

One of the most popular authors in the world, Coelho initially had a very lucrative career as a lyricist and theatre director, but he quit that to become a full-time writer. Having published over thirty books, Coelho also maintains a regular blog called Walking The Path. He has been awarded numerous prestigious international awards such as the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum, the The Honorable Award of the President of the Republic by the President of Bulgaria, and was named the Messenger of Peace of the United Nations in 2007. His wife, Christina Oiticica, and him, divide their time between Europe and Rio de Janeiro.


Author Paulo Coelho
Book Details
Publication Year 2005
ISBN-13 9788172234980
ISBN-10 8172234988
Language English
Edition 1stEdition
Binding Paperback
Number of Pages 192 Pages
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Most Helpful Reviews (5 of 232)

29 August 12
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Scintillating Work By Paulo Coelho

"When you really want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you achieve it"
The whole fable circumnavigate in the vicinity of the above adduce."The Alchemist" is an audacious and cogitative story (written as fable) of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy,who like all of us, is in search for his destiny. Unaware of all the contingencies he takes the risk and travel in search of a treasure from his home in Spain to the alien markets of Tangiers and then into the Egyptian desert, where a fortunate encounter with the alchemist awaits him. Paulo Coelho has embellished the story with many provoking thoughts through minuscule incidents which Santiago encounters in his struggle. The book also lay emphasis on many variables such as positive invisible forces, wisdom of listening to our heart, dreams as languages of God, nocturnal cold, elixir of life, central role of every individual in history of earth, beauty as the greatest seducer of men etc.
Published in 67 different languages, highly extolled by the critics, the book was originally written in Portuguese in the year 1988 and has now sold 65 million copies!!! The alchemist has made it to the bestsellers list in 74 countries and thereby has attained the status of modern classic. What else you want? A book with such a brilliant record. I strongly recommend this book specially for people seeking their path in life. I completed the book in 3 days time, a cinch book, about 160 pages, with very less difficult words. The most notable feature of the book despite of OK type vocabulary was that it is highly inspirational and increases the motivation level from nadir to zenith, of the reader. Some sentences in the book will compel you to think how to go beyond the rock walls of perceptions, prejudice and conditioning to achieve splendid success and your true heart's desire.

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89% of 28 users found this review helpful.
03 February 12
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The ultimate guide to being fulfilled..

To start with I have to say that though i am an avid reader but i hadn't read any serious novels before this one.
Only Chetan Bhagat was the one i managed to complete.
After reading this and if you are able to implement its teachings, your life will change completely.

This book is not easy to start reading. I myself read the first few pages a few times and never went on. Once you read 30 to 50 pages, you will start appreciating the book. For those saying the story was not worth it have failed to completely understand the book.
This is not meant to be a one night read. Its something you need to read slowly, cherishing and appreciating the writing. I took a month reading it and i read only one or two pages at a time, afraid it would end.
However, i warn you this book is no magic. Expect it to be good and you will love it. If you begin expecting it to be out of this world, you won't be able to cherish it.
In conclusion : Read this! There is a reason why it has sold numerous copies worldwide. No other book can ever come close to this for me.

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63% of 32 users found this review helpful.
Sudhir Krishnan
13 April 12

I purchased the alchemist with certainly no prejudices in mind, other than the fact that it is targeted at readers constantly interested in “self-improvement”.
When I was going through the Alchemist at one of the book stores it said that The alchemist opened the eyes of the editors and that reading the alchemist was like waking up to a morning lit by the sun. Crass-I tell you. It is no such thing.
But certainly the Alchemist is a book written many years back in the 1988 in a foreign language was translated into a English. It initially sold only a few copies and it was only after some marketing exercises that the book actually did sell. The alchemist is a set in a fairy tale world and that is why I must say a few people will dislike it. As I read though; it really did reflect pages from my own life. I should say that it is one of the best books that I’ve read in the self-help category. It’s complete and covers every aspect of life. Paulo Coelho’s has since then written many books ranging on subjects from life, sex to suicide. He makes excerpts from his books available on his website and says that the internet Generation must read his books. Everyone from Madonna to Bill Clinton has read The Alchemist. Paulo Coelho writes a Blog and also maintains a twitter account too interact with his readers and audiences. But in a world of increasing use of technology people are losing touch with themselves hence self-help books are bound to sell more than fiction novels.

Some “inspiring” quotes from the alchemist include “And, when you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” which is astonishing because in spite of following our dreams we face unmanageable obstacles. There are many such quotes by self help writers which are motivational but are not entirely true. Finally I do suggest Jiddu Krishnamurti and Osho who are Indians but may be not well known in the global sphere to be read by everyone. Theirs is a school of thought and no Fairy tale.

We all turn to self help books at some point of our life but the school of thought that we adopt is essential. Paulo Coelho is a school of thought not as convincing and thoughtful as Jiddu Krishnamurti or Osho which are my recommendations.

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53% of 17 users found this review helpful.
16 September 13
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Very Motivational & Life Transforming.

It's a fable about a person who wants to turn his dream into reality.
The book describes everything in story form, which is needed to turn one's goal or dream into reality.
The story is written in very simple words and is very interesting.
I completed the entire book in just 10 hours and I remained influenced by the story for about a week. And I'll remain influenced by its teachings for my lifetime.

The book teaches you few of the following things:
a) When you want something, the entire universe conspires to help you achieve it.
b) Nothing in the world comes for free.
c) God always comes in some form to help those who help themselves.
d) Everything happens for our betterment.
e) Courage is the only skill that will take you across the difficult times.
f) Listen to your heart, it's always right.
g) Never become overconfident on coming nearer to the cost after crossing the entire sea.
f) God is within us and continuously speaks with us, we just need to question him.
h) The treasure is always around us, but life still takes us to long journey just to teach us skills required to become capable of handling the treasure.

These are just few, but there are a lot of teachings of the story, that will transform your thought process to make you worth achieving something.

Go ahead and read this book and become motivated.
Please write a review to help others.

Happy Reading!!!

Negative: The only negative thing about the story is that it's very short, it has to be longer enough to get finished at least within a week.

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4 of 4 users found this review helpful.
28 July 13
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Good Read

Ordered this book on Flipkart seeing the high ratings and good reviews it had received. This is the first book of Paulo Coelho that I've read. And I must say, it was a good read. The story unfolds in a very interesting manner starting from the meadows of the Spain to the desserts of the Egypt keeping the reader wanting to turn the pages for more. An inspiring book that makes us understand that everything that happens around us is for a reason and its up to us to see the good or bad in it( as in the book, good omen or bad omen).
I loved the line-"When you really want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you achieve it". I believe in it. When we desire something from the bottom of our hearts, when we have an ambition, a dream and if we focus all our energy in realising that dream, its certain it will come true.

My rating:4/5

(And Flipkart: Very Good packing On time delivery as always)

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Most Recent Reviews

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Well, its Paulo Coelho!

The book is great in terms of build quality (the pages feel great)
It speaks about a lot of things and it will enlighte...

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18 April 14
An Awesomeeee Book

This is the first book which I read. Started with just an urge for reading books, but this Book made me to READ. Alchemist is f...

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18 April 14
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piece of work from an open mind..

The story of Alchemist is somehow inspiring for those pursuing their dreams and passion... The plot of the story has been laid...

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13 April 14
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Paulo you Rocked it

As expected, paulo coelho has rocked this amazing novel with his spritual writings. This book is worth a read, and much much be...

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10 April 14
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One of the best book i have read

this book has something for everyone, its about a adventures journey of a boy and how its change his life. Its a great book eve...

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09 April 14
    ISBN Number: 8172234988, 9788172234980, 978-8172234980


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