Book Reviews of The Alchemist

The Alchemist
The Alchemist
Author: Paulo Coelho
ISBN-13: 9780007155668
ISBN-10: 0007155662
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 192
Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 11

3.8 stars, based on 11 ratings
Publisher: HarperCollins
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

182 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Alchemist on + 902 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 27
I had such high expectations for this book. In the end, I was very disappointed. The story was very simple, very predictable, and came across like a children's story attempting to play dress-up as a deep, spiritual, inspirational epic.

Fortunately, this book was short (less than 200 pages) so I didn't feel like I wasted too much of my time. If you are looking for a simple little tale and aren't looking to get much out of it (or you're 12 years old) then perhaps this would be worth a look. But if you want more out of this book than that, perhaps you should skip it and look for something else.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 373 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 20
I found this book overly philosophical. Coelho sacrificed what could have been a good story by pushing an agenda of his own philosophy. Although yes, it was cute, and I was genuinely curious about whether or not Santiago would find his treasure, this is not good fiction. If you want to feel good and need inspiration, then this IS a good book for you -- and you'll read through it pretty quickly, too.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 16
I was told that this book would change my life, but I was sorely disappointed. It's a fable that reminds me of a children's story in its simplicity, but seems too fuzzy and predictable to be enjoyable. I also wanted something more concrete than its vague hints at spirituality. A disappointing read, but as it comes in at under 200 pages at least it didn't waste much of my time.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 26 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 15
I tend to stay away from the "it" books. You know what I mean--those books that every bookclub is reading, the ones that non-readers rave about (possibly because it's the only book they read all year), the ones on the bestseller lists for years and years. Yeah, those books. Several have proved me wrong (Water for Elephants, the Harry Potter series, The Kite Runner), but overall, those books that appeal to the masses typically do not appeal to me. This is no exception to that rule. If you are one of those non-readers I mentioned above, this book is perfect for you. It's easy to follow, has a cute little moral, and talks about God a lot. None of those aforementioned characteristics are bad on its own; but together they tend to be a nightmare. While this wasn't exactly a nightmare, it just simply wasn't for me and definitely does not live up to the hype. I did like the message, but it's not exactly realistic for me...or pretty much anyone. Discover your Personal Legend at all costs or your life will never mean anything. Listen to your heart. Blah blah blah. This is the kind of book that makes people feel intellectual. It made me feel dumber.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 82 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
A magical mysterious story of a travel loving shepard seeking his true destiny and meeting many people who will shape the rest of his life along the way.

We all complicate life and after reading the Alchemist it is easy to see how it does not need to be that way. Each one of us have to realize that we are on our own personal journey and have we approach it is up to us. We can complicated it and make it difficult only if we are not ready to pursuit it or we can accept the truth for what it is and enjoy the journey.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 193 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
A well written easy read. Reminisent of the Little Prince. Interesting flow of events showing that life is always teaching through trial and tribulations and that maintaining your faith in your dreams should always be a priority. Happiness comes to those who look for it.
reviewed The Alchemist on
Helpful Score: 6
I heard so many good things about this book. I read some of it and just couldn't finish.....just wasn't for me.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 200 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This book was pretty good. It seemed to be told in parable style and was a little slow for me.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 27 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This fairy tale-philosophical essay shimmers throughout its 167 pages---as one reads he accompanies the boy on the strange and marvelous journey in quest of his dream. I'm very glad to have become acquainted with this gifted Brazilian author.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This book is inspirational and full of life lessons. I read this book in one sitting. But it will be read many more times. I highly recommend this book.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 143 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I loved this book. It's about a young man's search for his dream and following his heart.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is a wonderful book, one that I will read over and over. The story and morals are timeless and whenever I need something to remind of what is important in life, I pick this book up.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Interesting book. Unexpected story line.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
It's truely as wonderful as everyone says...a magical tale.
reviewed The Alchemist on
Helpful Score: 3
I agree with Lauren B. that this story is "too fuzzy and predictable to be enjoyable," and I found "its vague hints at spirituality" rather annoying. I realize that I might have liked it when I was 13. In my sixties, I just found it boring.

"The Little Prince" it is not. At least, I have read that book more than once and still gotten something out of it. I felt that The Alchemist was written using a formula or something and couldn't bear to finish it.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 224 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I received this book as a gift and just could not get into it. For me, it seemed like a story that was better told in Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. You have to really appreciate a slow, thoughtful, spiritual journey to enjoy this book, and I apparently do not.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 136 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Wonderful. Like an adult fairy tale. Very thoughtful and interesting.
reviewed The Alchemist on
Helpful Score: 3
A quick read, keeps you interested and can bring a sense of comfort in listening to your heart and pursuing its path. Nothing new or earth shattering, but good.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
"The Alchemist" is the story of Santiago, who leaves his home in search of his "dream". We only learn Santiago's name at the very beginning of the book. After that, the author always refers to him as "the boy" even though it's clear that Santiago is at least 18, which is young but certainly not a boy.

The author fills the book with sayings that I suppose he thinks are profound. I find such books to be a bit of a bore, but in a book aimed at children, things like that are OK. However, what's really disturbing about "The Alchemist" was the sexism. Santiago meets and immediately falls in love with Fatima, a girl who lives at a huge oasis in the desert. He then has this conversation with the wise old Alchemist:

"'Fatima is a woman of the desert,' said the alchemist. 'She knows that men have to go away in order to return. And she already has her treasure: it's you. Now she expects that you will find what it is you're looking for.'

Uh huh. Apparently all the desert women are the same...their "treasure" or "dream" is just to get a man, and then they stay home and wait while the man goes off in search of his own dream. Yikes.

All of the wise ones who Santiago meets on his journey are men, except for the brief appearance of an old Gypsy women at the beginning, although Santiago does believe that she is deceitful and full of trickery.

And what happens when Santiago finally fulfills his dream? It is not the journey itself, the things he learned, or the people he met along the way...it's a...Ha! Bet you can't guess! (Or can you?) And guess where he finds it? Apparently if we all follow our hearts and pay attention to our dreams, we too will find a treasure. As long as we're men.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I found this book to be a little hard to read/follow. It was okay but did not make it to my favorite list.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Interesting read, however at times it felt that it was symbolic for symbolisms sake. Like it was trying to hard to be "deep and insightful".
reviewed The Alchemist on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I liked this book quite a lot and it was a quick read. An inspiring story about searching for what is truly important and getting all you can out of life...Taking risks, and focusing on your goals. Not a self-help book; told in more of a fable format. The story dragged for me a little bit at times, but sometimes less action and more reflection is a good thing. I kept thinking as I read this book that it would be one that I would need to reread in order to understand and appreciate it more fully. Maybe I will someday.
reviewed The Alchemist on
Helpful Score: 2
I found this kind of lightweight, a simple parable that hardly makes for a whole book. Not life-changing, but not unpleasant to read.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
such a unique story! my western brain kept waiting for the climax, and there is one, but it's such a gentle ride to it... sit back and enjoy and breathe it!
reviewed The Alchemist on
Helpful Score: 2
Glad I finally read this book. It was a nice story that's easy to read and the author does an excellent job with symbolism.
reviewed The Alchemist on
Helpful Score: 2
This is my first novel in 3 decades. I absolutely loved it.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
My son read this for a college class and then convinced me to read it. Deep thinking!!
reviewed The Alchemist on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
One needs to be in a contemplative mood to enjoy a book written in a somewhat allegorical style. The lessons learned are profound if the reader has ears to hear.
Best,
Rob
reviewed The Alchemist on + 60 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
From the very first chapter I had trouble laying the book aside to accomplish other things. It is a well written tale with many lessons and surprises. One lesson is to follow your hearts dream another is to be open to new ideas. I read it a second time and may read again. Excellent
reviewed The Alchemist on + 200 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I would describe this as a light, inspirational read. I can see why so many people enjoyed it. I think most people can see themselves in the boy or in some of the people he meets. The storyline is simple and easy to follow.

My biggest qualm with this book is that for such a short book, certain phrases are used in such repetition that they get annoying. Although I was expecting it, I was still disappointed by the fact that in the end, the boy's treasure was still only a physical thing. It ruined it for me.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I read this book years ago, and actually listened to it on itunes this year. I wanted to have a copy for my collection as well as my book club is considering reading it in early 2012. Great story, that gives so much meaning and wisdom if you allow the words to settle into your soul! Namaste! =)
reviewed The Alchemist on + 337 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Really the title says it all. An easy to follow tale about a young man who leaves his homeland in search of treasure revealed n a dream. He meets many and learns much in his trek, develops and exercises his courage, his discretion, his fortitude and his trust in his heart. A lovely tale.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is definitely one of the more quotable books I've read, and it does encourage one to ponder. However, while I did enjoy the book, I didn't find it as good as popular praise had led me to believe it would be. I never became particularly attached to any of the characters, and while I was intrigued by their situations and liked learning the various things that the book demonstrated about different cultures, I didn't have a problem putting the book down if I felt like doing something else. All-in-all, it's a cute book, but I doubt it would have sold as well if it had been any longer.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I loved this book... it took me one day to read it, and it was amazing. :)

It's a great feel good book.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 70 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A wonderful, enlightening story (fable) that inspires the reader to follow their dream. The main character experiences all of the highs and lows we all experience, yet he was on the path to follow his dream. I will remember the lessons this story revealed for a long time.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 57 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is the first book I've read of his and since then I've read them all.
reviewed The Alchemist on
Helpful Score: 2
I read this for my book club, and was excited about the pick since I've heard good things about it. Although the book started out with great promise, by the end I had grown bored of it, which is surprising since it is a short book! The ending felt flat to me, and I felt the book did not live up to all I had hoped it would be.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 58 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This philosophical book was easy to read. I found it comforting and insightful, yet simple in its presentation. The fable is inspiring and reminds us all of what is really important in life. The main message is one we hear repeatedly any many realms, but few listen to: "Follow your heart."
I'm hanging on to this one for awhile.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Beautiful, inspiring story of a boy seeking treasure and following dreams and how we all have the potential inside of us to realize our dreams even when the situation looks impossible and to look for the best in whatever we are faced with.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I have it because it was a bookclub selection in not one, but two clubs I have belonged to over the years. I didn't like it either time I read it but others find it inspiring. Good luck!
reviewed The Alchemist on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A short, yet deep, little book about following your dreams, a very good choice for book club discussions.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 882 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
It's a wonderful read. I have put more of this author's work on my TBR as he writes so very well. This is a tale of a shepherd boy named Santiago who wants to travel in spite of his father's wish that he become a priest. The father stakes the boy who buys himself some sheep. He travels throughout Andulasia with his herd, getting to know the land and the people. However, he has a dream that he asks an old woman to interpret and with this interpretation sets off to see the pyramids in Egypt where he is to find treasure and become rich. The key message of the tale is to follow our dreams. Never give up say the people the boy meets and so says the author as well in an interview in the back of the book. It's simple, inspiring and a delight to read so friends read this one and get a new look on your own life in spite of whatever obstacles you encounter and like Santiago you may find your dreams can come true. Above all, don't give up.
reviewed The Alchemist on
Helpful Score: 1
I expected this book to be enlightening and deeply moving from what I had heard about it. I found it to be a huge let down. I didn't find the story edifying or even entertaining. I guess I just didn't get it, but I learned nothing from this story. I did not identify with the character or his journey at all, and I didn't find him to be worthy of admiration. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone I know.
reviewed The Alchemist on
Helpful Score: 1
I had never heard of this book until one day I read about it on a blog. The poster didn't even talk about it explicitly- it was in pictures of some things he had packed for a trip. Since then, it haunted me. In the library, it was on the display shelf. In a bookstore I had never been in- it was in a very prominent place. In my local bookstore, it was on sale. Every time I saw it I would read the first sentence, and put it back, and know that if I ever got down to actually reading it, it would disappoint, because by then I had put it on a pedestal. It didn't. This book changed the entire way I live my life. I highly recommend it to anyone who has ever felt restless, fidgety, or simply curious.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The Alchemist is a story about following your own life path. It reminds you about the importance to listen to your own voice and notice signs that fate puts on the road for you. The novel is a typical reflection forcing you to stop for a moment, to look from a distance into your own life- identifying what really you would like to achieve and what is important to you. Enriches internally and reminds you of your own dreams.
reviewed The Alchemist on
Helpful Score: 1
As cliche as it sounds, this book made me remember some things I care a great deal about but have pushed to the side to deal with everyday life. It reminded me that I can only get as far in life as I allow myself to go. The Alchemist is worth the read, especially if you're looking for something to put you back on course.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
After reading several reviewers who complained about the simplistic writing style of Paulo Coelho, I was cautious about ordering this book.

Yes, it is simplistic. Might be called a parable or allegorical writing. But it is still engaging and can be powerful, or at least meaningful, to those looking for that.

The story, simple or not, has plot and has things happening.

Other reviewers claim that they could have just read the Introduction and obtained the four obstacles to one pursuing their Personal Legend. We all know it--that one thing we wanted to do as a child or young adult, but life and "practicality" talked us out of it--but it is still there, feeling unfulfilled.

And I do believe, as Coelho writes, that you can tell those who haven't followed their Personal Legends. They are unhappy in their work, especially.

So, it's an inspirational book. I don't know if it really will motivate me to "go for it"--but it does illuminate the problem.

Worth the short read it is.
reviewed The Alchemist on
Helpful Score: 1
Waaaaay over-rated! This book is pure hype and I'm embarrassed I fell for it. The philosophical text used by this author is pure stupidity. I caught myself rolling my eyes more times than none. On a better note, there are like 2 quotes that I liked in all 167 pages...
reviewed The Alchemist on + 155 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was amazing. It was chosen for our book club and I believe that everyone enjoyed it. It was light hearted yet thought provoking. Serious yet funny. It had something for everyone and always kept you on your toes. It also had a nice twist ending.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a must have. Read it over and over when you feel like you are at the crossroads in life. This short book always brings a tiny light of insight and brings hope that no matter what choices we make, the universe will conspire to ensure we meet our destiny.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book came highly recommended so I started into it with high expectations. I had been led to believe that there were some real pearls of wisdom to be had here. I went through several chapters without anything that looked like a pearl and was tempted to abandon my search. Nevertheless, I got caught up in the story and continued on as the protagonist makes his vain search for the truth he has been promised and so desperately seeks. This book bears some similarities to Og Mandino's Rishest Man in Babylon, but is not a chapter by chapter list of aphorisms. Rather, the author is trying to make just one point, and he makes it with great skill; to the point that I wanted to go out and challenge the world when I had finished reading it. Think of it like an onion, with layer after layer that has to be peeled back until at last the truth is laid bare and you find the exercise well worth the effort. Fun read, and I highly recommend it.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Paulo Coelho tells a great story of following your dreams. If you have a dream and are looking for the motivation to believe in it, read this book. If your goal is simply to be entertained, this is not for you. Although this book is a nice read, the story has more impact if it addresses the right audience. I enjoyed this story and like many of the author's other books.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed The Alchemist on
Helpful Score: 1
This book was not exactly what I was expecting but was very thought-provoking none the less. Definitely a book that makes you think!
reviewed The Alchemist on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I found this book to be very thought provoking. It is the story of a journey that comes full circle. It really is true that sometimes you aren't satisfied until you come completely around and see things from the end of the journey. I enjoy Paulo Coehlhos writing.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 334 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
An enchanting story, a modern fable. This was a quick read, but very meaningful to those searching the path of following one's dreams.
reviewed The Alchemist on
Helpful Score: 1
This was a great read about following your Personal Legend or dreams.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 81 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Beautiful story with pointed message for every on seeking to fulfill their destiny.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 473 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
An interesting Fable. I am very glad I read it.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 88 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a beautiful, spiritual story reminiscient of "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" or "Illusions",A very fast read {2 Hrs} I loved it so much I really debated about reposting it, but you read it now pass it on and I'll get a copy later
reviewed The Alchemist on + 127 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Most people love this book but I am not sure that I did. On the positive side- it is a quick read, and there is no denying that Coelho is a good writer. why I didn't like it- too much like a self-help book disguised as a cute story mixed with philosophical ramblings about following your dreams.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
EXCELLENT book. Not many like it around, in style, content and thought.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 124 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book. I just could not put it down. It is a fiction book, but it has principles you can use on a daily basis.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A very inspirational fable. This book makes a great gift for a graduate.
reviewed The Alchemist on
Helpful Score: 1
The story was very interesting, the neat take on his subject, his obvious love for what he was writing, and the spiritual reflections make it beautiful. Searching for your personal legend.......... Amazing book. Great read.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A beautiful gentle alegory about listening to your heart. I enjoy Coelhos writing. It puts me in a right mind and reminds me to continue walking the path set by my heart
reviewed The Alchemist on + 73 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I could not put this book down. It is my favorite!
reviewed The Alchemist on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was a nice quick read, but it was too cheesy and new-agey for my liking. There were moments where I wanted to like the book, but I never quite got there. It's all about trying to make your dreams come true no matter what you have to sacrifice (and the protagonist makes some pretty ridiculous sacrifices along the way).

Everyone I've talked to either loved it or didn't. I didn't hate it, but I also wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.
reviewed The Alchemist on
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book! My husband liked it also which is a rare thing (for us both to really enjoy a book). It was an easy read but also contained thought provoking messages interspersed throughout the book. I will NOT be reposting this as I will keeping it in my book collection.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
this is another book encouraging selfishness and ideas contrary to my Judaeo-Christian belief system. The author is simplistic in his thinking, regarding all religions as the same.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 207 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Hmmm... I listened carefully to an unabridged audio version of this book. I'm still wondering what all the hoopla was about. I'm not that insensitive but I just didn't get anything new, worthwhile, or even entertaining out of it. What am I missing here?
reviewed The Alchemist on
Helpful Score: 1
OTHER means this is an abridged audio tape.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 31 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I thought this was a great book. "Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great book. Has a lot of meaning even though it is a very easy read.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 275 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A fable about following your dream.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 59 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Another great one by Paulo Coelho.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 80 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very good classic story that everyone should read.
reviewed The Alchemist on
Helpful Score: 1
This was a great book about love and survival.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Literally, the worst book I have ever read. It tries to be all spiritual and metaphysical but it is nothing but nonsense. I read this with a book club and every single member of our group hated it.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Loved this book. Very inspirational.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great Book, Spiritual and easy to read!
reviewed The Alchemist on + 157 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a gentle and surprisingly modern parable about a young man who seeks his personal destiny. He learns about life with each day he gets closer to his goal. With every experience he is taught some truth about life. An easy read, but also one that provokes thought. D.
reviewed The Alchemist on
Helpful Score: 1
Excellent story with deep meaning regarding our path in life, how we must follow our hearts, trust God/the Universe/Divine Being, set goals, and be open to every possibility along the way.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 62 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A short fable and a very quick read, The Alchemist follows Santiago on his pursuit of his Personal Legend. As we all know, life experiences are changed and shaped based on who we meet, what we experience, how we learn, and how we apply the new information to our lives and our realities. Each person Santiago meets shares new wisdom with him that change and add value to his Personal Legend. As he learns to listen to his heart, his quest becomes more endearing as he fights struggles within himself.

Ive been wanting to read this book for a while because of so many others telling me how amazing it was and that I should definitely read it. I suppose its just that kind of build up that can set you up for disappointment. Though I wouldnt say I was disappointed in the book, I dont feel it changed my life in any dramatic way. Most of the wisdom Santiagos new friends shared with him based on ancient history or a man who lived long ago came from familiar Bible stories. And in that regard, I believe there is much to learn from stories of those in the Bible. Which is probably why the end of the book was meaningful to me. Santiago used that wisdom and learned to follow his heart and use prayer to achieve his dreams. And isnt that what its all about anyway?
reviewed The Alchemist on + 33 more book reviews
A classic, simple book about living your best life. Inspirational and an easy read.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 12 more book reviews
I know this is a popular book, I didn't get it.
reviewed The Alchemist on
wonderful book. I highly recommend this to anyone at a crossroads in life, it reminds you of what is important and to alwyas follow your dreams
reviewed The Alchemist on
Very inspirational.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 258 more book reviews
This was a sweet little story, about a boy who is pure of heart who finds his way through life in order to reach his destiny. Very enjoyable reading.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 293 more book reviews
Coelho took threads of the various religions at the time (sometime after the invention of the printing press and before modern day) and braided them together beautifully. Santiago gains wisdom from nearly everything he interacts with throughout the story the people, his sheep, the desert, and the wind.

Jeremy Irons has been one of my favorite actors for some time, and one of the reasons is because of his voice. I have always found his voice intense and somewhat mysterious; he was an excellent choice for this novel.

What I liked: Adventure; magic; a story about personal growth; sheep; pyramids; Jeremy Irons.

What I disliked: There are only 3 women in this book, all with small roles, 2 of which have the role of Romantic Interest; none of the ladies have a Personal Legend to fulfill.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 66 more book reviews
This little book teaches more than many positive thinking courses.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 27 more book reviews
I was disappointed in this fable about following your dreams. I have read others like the Dreamgiver and The Traveler's Gift that were great! I didn't really enjoy this one.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 2 more book reviews
This is a book that should be picked up and re-read every year. What an inspiring book!
reviewed The Alchemist on + 8 more book reviews
Very interesting fable. Gives one food for thought.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 5 more book reviews
A charming book about chasing your dreams in life. Reminds me abit of "The Monk who sold his Ferrari."
reviewed The Alchemist on + 10 more book reviews
Wow. I was like a hungry wolf with this book! I thought the underlying messages were though provoking and powerful... in a way it became a 'bible' to me & my lifestyle of following my heart. I will definitely read this book over & over the inspiration and motivation is refreshing.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 8 more book reviews
Different. While it was interesting, it wasn't really as good as I expected it to be, based on the premise of the book.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 41 more book reviews
An amazing book! A wonderful story of a boy growing up and discovering himself and his purpose in the world. A beautiful tale of self-discovery.
reviewed The Alchemist on
This book was wonderful. It was a quick read and really hit a place in my heart. I would recommend this book to everyone.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 168 more book reviews
This is in my top 3 Coelho books. I've read all his books, and a lot of them are a bit too ... weird for me. However, this one was a good story/parable about following one's path. The book is comforting for those of us who fling ourselves into adventure, and trust everything will work out.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 4 more book reviews
My book club read this book but it made for a pretty boring discussion. We all felt that this book could have been a short story of 5 to 10 pages. It was all just a little too simple for as many words as Coelho squeezed out.
reviewed The Alchemist on
What is all the hype about? This book is nothing but fluff! It's definitely an easy read. I don't see how anyone could find reading this book to be life changing or inspiring. I think it should be considered a children's book at best. Very disappointed with this read.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 4 more book reviews
The Alchemist is a very interesting book with a very though inspiring message. The philosophy is told through an adventurous story about a young man attempting to follow his dream. Several members of my family also read the book and quite enjoyed it. I, personally, found the writing style a bit annoying, but others didn't mind it. My son who speaks Portuguese says that it is common for them to think in a simple straightforward manner. Although I appreciate that background, it was still not a pleasant read for me. Notwithstanding my personal opinion on the writing style, the book is well worth reading.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 3 more book reviews
This is my first Coelho book. It was amazing, the story and characters were delicate. I found that my Personal Journey was starting as I read this book. The question of what would I sacrifice to realize my personal legend came up many times. I could read this book several times and get something out of it each time.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 4 more book reviews
What a great story! This is one of those books that you can go for years in-between readings and come back to, feeling like you're meeting with an old friend. At the same time, every time I read it, I discover something new. Really an excellent novel for gifts--especially at graduation time instead of, "Oh the Places You'll Go!"
reviewed The Alchemist on + 10 more book reviews
I like the message this book is trying to get across but I guess I'm just not spiritual enough to appreciate it as much as others. I read it because m...moreI like the message this book is trying to get across but I guess I'm just not spiritual enough to appreciate it as much as others. I read it because my mother-in-law is crazy about Paulo Coelho but I just dont think his books are for me.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 2 more book reviews
This was a wonderful, inspiring book. It makes one think of thier own journey through life. I would recommend it.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 41 more book reviews
Well written. It reminded me of The Prophet by Gibram.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 902 more book reviews
I had such high expectations for this book. In the end, I was very disappointed. The story was very simple, very predictable, and came across like a children's story attempting to play dress-up as a deep, spiritual, inspirational epic.

Fortunately, this book was short (less than 200 pages) so I didn't feel like I wasted too much of my time. If you are looking for a simple little tale and aren't looking to get much out of it (or you're 12 years old) then perhaps this would be worth a look. But if you want more out of this book than that, perhaps you should skip it and look for something else.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 4 more book reviews
This book was very light reading and just a feel-gooder. For one who is unsure where they are headed in life, The Alchemist will show you the way. Both inspiring and motivating.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 31 more book reviews
A fable that that shows you how life should be lived...simple and without obstacles to get in your way.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 113 more book reviews
This book was interesting. It read like a fable to me and was very short so I did not feel like I really got to know the boy. In some ways, I felt that he understood his treasure all along but he was misled by others, telling him that he would regret not searching for the treasure. It took his search though, for him to see what his treasure was. I felt that as the reader, I knew all along.
reviewed The Alchemist on
Inspirational, like a story from the bible
reviewed The Alchemist on + 8 more book reviews
This book came to me from my "spiritual soulmate" Peter, whom I was madly in love with all through the summer of '04. I sat in the coffee shop where he worked one lazy Sunday afternoon, in an overstuffed chair with sunlight filtering in through those awesome gothic windows and drank each word of this book into my soul.

If you are looking for a nice meaty book filled with twists, turns and life-like characters - this is NOT your book. Wait until you are more in a more introspective mood. Coelho's prose is simplistic and at times childish. And the read is easy - I finished in around an hour and a half I suppose. But the meanings left scattered throughout the chapters are intense and authentic. Omens and signs - all around us, the universe directing us and helping us, wanting us to succeed. All we have to do is be aware - to listen.

I have a leather bound journal filled with nothing but quotes, sayings, important sentences scrapped from here or there. In it, there are a couple wise words from my friend Peter because he was a deep, old soul. But overwhelmingly some of my favorite gems in that little book come from Coelho's Alchemist. He is a master at speaking to the soul. Here are two of my favorites:

"One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving."

"People become facinated with pictures and words, and wind up forgetting the Language of the World."

A deep, deep novel if you read it with your spiritual mind. Too simplistic if you are reading it for entertainment
reviewed The Alchemist on
I heard so many good things about this book and I was somewhat disappointed. I know there was a moral and everything to it, but I guess I was just expecting more.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 4 more book reviews
This is an amazing read, that really should be read by people of all ages. It's inspiring and eye opening. READ IT!!
reviewed The Alchemist on + 4 more book reviews
A touching, inspring fable.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 9 more book reviews
This is a great Book. It borrows a lot from the bible and is a great parable about following your inner dreams.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 17 more book reviews
Wonderful story! I highly recommend reading it!
reviewed The Alchemist on
Although this is Will Smith's favorite book (a person I admire a lot) I found this book to be vapid, dreary, and offering nothing in the way of insights. It shares a lot in sentiment with "The Secret" so I feel readers who enjoyed that may enjoy this book as well, as it appeals to the human conceit that life magically always gives you what you want (unless you live in Africa- for some reason it only works in materially abundant western democracies with plentiful opportunities.) A rather prosaic story wrapped in the pretense of spiritual profundity, The Alchemist offered no value except one good quote, "A man's eyes reflect the strength of his soul." The rest was quasi-spiritual blather about 'The language of the world' and 'omens' which kept rubbing up sharply against its borrowed biblical references to Jesus. Altogether an un-insightful mess. Readers would be far better off to dig into something offering real value for personal transformation, such as "The Self Talk Solution."
reviewed The Alchemist on + 50 more book reviews
A wonderful book!
reviewed The Alchemist on + 8 more book reviews
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. However, "The Alchemist" must be read with an open mind. Despite the simple diction, this book presents a synthesis of ideas leading towards a reflection on personal beliefs. At first, the content seems too far-fetched from reality, but (with patience) Coelho's style gradually draws the reader to the characters and into the plot.

I recommend this book to young readers.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 275 more book reviews
I found this to be a good book on various levels. The surface story is an interesting tale with deeper layers of insight.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 19 more book reviews
Absolutely loved this book. It will have you thinking and looking at things in a different way. Truly a gem.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 475 more book reviews
A good read; short, thought-provoking. A different kind of book.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 307 more book reviews
The Alchemists main protagonist is a young man who starts out as a shepherd. The young man is only known to the reader as The Boy, he is never given a name. The boy wonders about a dream he has had twice in a row. He sees a gypsy to read his future and then meets a strangely dressed person claiming to be a King. He is encouraged by both to search for the treasure that is in his dreams.

There were many things in The Alchemist that come up that I am able to relate with in life. The Alchemist, although fiction, is written with much wisdom, and mysticism. The Alchemist is such a good book that the whole time I was reading it I kept thinking After I am done I will read it again because there is just so much in the book to grasp and understand. I have not read it a second time but it is a book I plan to keep and read again maybe once a year.

I truly find nothing wrong with the book. There is maybe things I disliked about the story like the surprising ending. Still does not ruin the greatness this book shows.

The Alchemist is a tale for those still looking for themselves and their lifes treasure.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 2 more book reviews
This book is about a journey of a shepherd who seeks to find his "Personal Legend". I found myself looking at my own life's "Personal Legend" and found it not to be what I thought it was.. An inspiring book and I look forward to reading more of Paulo Coelho's works.
reviewed The Alchemist on
Fairly decent book but the ending was abrupt
reviewed The Alchemist on + 96 more book reviews
I started reading this book and it was definitely different. It irritated me at first because it was so childlike. I put it aside for a little bit. Then I picked it up again and read for a while. Then I picked it up again and did finish the book, less than 200 pages long. As I read more, it got interesting. The message is so simple that it can be appreciated, if you have the wisdom to know what the author is trying to say. Sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to understand. I can appreciate it because I have experienced a lot of things being older, just 59. I was quite content after I finished this. You have to be ready to read this book and understand it.
reviewed The Alchemist on
very thought provoking
reviewed The Alchemist on + 11 more book reviews
Fabulous book!! Really touching and moving. A great book to read when you feel "stuck" in life. An amzing Paulo coelho classic!!
reviewed The Alchemist on + 4 more book reviews
The story was different. It reminded me of a fable with some religious overtones. I enjoyed it more than some members of my book club. I think it is worth reading.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 2 more book reviews
This classic is one of my all time favorites for insights on love and life. I have heard selections read at weddings and memorials and given copies to friends and young adults who are searching for truth and meaning. Yes, it is written in a different style than most fiction, but its parable framework offers you the chance to join in, weaving your own life's patterns as awareness awakens.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 2 more book reviews
A great story, full of whit and omens. Delightful following the thoughts of law of attraction and other positive "mystic" books.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 4 more book reviews
I thought this book was okay. I enjoyed parts of it, but I thought it was a little out there. I am glad I read it to find out what all the fuss it about.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 15 more book reviews
Many people have raved about this book. I liked it, but I can't even remember the ending.
reviewed The Alchemist on
I did not love this book, but I'm not sorry I read it. It was a selection for our Book Club and many times I go to the gathering, not really caring for the book and after the discussion, I think, "actually, that was a pretty good book." I didn't care for the style of writing, but that could be due to the translation. But there are countless 'pearls of wisdom' in these mystical pages, that are worth unearthing. Definitely would appeal to people in their twenties and early thirties. I am recommending it to my 29 year-old.
reviewed The Alchemist on
I loved the Alchemist. Then again I love to be transported to unfamiliar places and times. I was charmed by the descriptions and felt like I was on a journey to "find my treasure" just like the main character. Several times I found myself smiling at the way the author describes things. Finally I loved the Christian themes and undertones. It is rare in today's world.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 902 more book reviews
I had such high expectations for this book. In the end, I was very disappointed. The story was very simple, very predictable, and came across like a children's story attempting to play dress-up as a deep, spiritual, inspirational epic.

Fortunately, this book was short (less than 200 pages) so I didn't feel like I wasted too much of my time. If you are looking for a simple little tale and aren't looking to get much out of it (or you're 12 years old) then perhaps this would be worth a look. But if you want more out of this book than that, perhaps you should skip it and look for something else.
reviewed The Alchemist on
This is a excellent book to read. It is so good that I'm reading it a second time. It's a book about life and having a goal and the people, places, and things around us that help us get to our goals. This book really makes you think. It is a keeper and you can always go back to reflect on it
reviewed The Alchemist on + 27 more book reviews
deep..I thought it dragged on and on
reviewed The Alchemist on + 1237 more book reviews
This is a wonderful book. A story for those who are willing to seek and find the beauty in everyday life and the changes that go with that life. You will appreciate the trials and successes of the characters and even relate to the process they go through to find beauty and peace in life. A excellent read.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 5 more book reviews
This book follows a boy's journey from Spain to Egypt. It is written in the style of a timeless fable. Thought-provoking and a good beginning for discussion.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 20 more book reviews
I loved it! Its now one of my favorite books!
reviewed The Alchemist on
Inspiring!
reviewed The Alchemist on + 161 more book reviews
I wasn't quite sure what this book was about when I picked it up and started reading it. It's a nice story, but it also makes you think about life. I'm happy where I am in my life right now, but this story makes me think of choices I've made and how I became the way I am. I've always believed everything happens for a reason, and this story fits into that kind of thinking. I will definitely recommend this one!
reviewed The Alchemist on + 266 more book reviews
Santiago chases his dream to the Egypt pyramids in search of treasure, and meets an alchemist along the way. Interesting analogy of what life is like when lived in search of your dreams.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 41 more book reviews
Not as interesting as I thought - meanders a lot.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 11 more book reviews
"A wise and inspiring fable about the pilgrimage that life should be."
-M. Scott Peck

"Just listen to your heart... That's what I do."
-Napoleon Dynamite
reviewed The Alchemist on + 23 more book reviews
I read this book when my son was required to read it as a freshman in high school. I enjoyed it, it made me want to follow my personal journey. He also enjoy the book.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 18 more book reviews
Book was very uplifting and spiritual. About life and it's true meaning and the things you THINK you want.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 711 more book reviews
"To realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation." This story, dazzling in its simplicity and wisom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treausre buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an Alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to srmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a meditation on the teasures found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transorming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 359 more book reviews
A young Andalusian shepherd boy sets off on a quest for his Personal Legend. On his journey he meets a fortune teller, a king, an odd Englishman, and an alchemist as well as a young woman. Each will influence his journey and path. I enjoyed the book which is heavily based on symbolism and life philosophy. However, it wasn't quite what i expected.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 4 more book reviews
I was told that the book would change my life -- maybe I just didn't read it right! It is a nice story, tho'. Quick read, too.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 285 more book reviews
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. One friend that read it really loved it. Another friend couldn't stand it and couldn't even finish it. I went into it not sure if I even wanted to try. It turns out to be a very simple read. Nothing profound, no big flattering words, no elegant prose but I found myself enjoying it all the same. It had a lot of ideas and philosophy that I liked to sit back and ponder on. I love a book that makes you think. It is about a simple shepherd boy who seeks out his own personal legend. The book is about the journey he makes, the people he meets and the things he learns. Don't open this book thinking it is a literary masterpiece... just ease into it a look at it for the simple meaning and beautiful story it gives.
reviewed The Alchemist on
An easy read for a quiet rainy day, this book offers the reader the opportunity to reflect on important life truths we know, but may need reminding. The color of the Andalusian and North African locales is fun.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 2 more book reviews
LOVED IT
reviewed The Alchemist on + 4 more book reviews
I LOVED this book. It is definitely a keeper, a book to read a second time.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 5 more book reviews
Everyone should read this book. It is beautifully yet simply written, and it speaks to people of all walks of life. Definitely a book I can pick up any time and reread just for the pleasure of it.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 33 more book reviews
an inspiring life changing story. a must read
reviewed The Alchemist on + 40 more book reviews
I loved this book.
Everyone should read this inspiring book. Beautifully written.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 846 more book reviews
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is a fable a story of the young shepherd Santiago who learns the valuable lesson of pursuing one's dream in the face of obstacles; and the even more valuable lesson of being present in every moment of the process it takes to get there. It is a simply told story with a lot of absorb. It spoke to my heart. Worth reading and re-reading.

Read my complete review at: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2014/06/the-alchemist-25th-anniversary-edition.html

*** Reviewed based on a copy received through a publishers giveaway ***
reviewed The Alchemist on + 2 more book reviews
A fantastic book, superbly written. It was required reading when I started my new job as a college counselor and now I recommend it to students who are bright, inquisitive, insightful and searching. now that I hace my own paperbackswap copy, I love to share my copy with them.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 384 more book reviews
try as i might...i could not finish this book which came highly recommended...someday i will try it again
reviewed The Alchemist on + 28 more book reviews
One of my favorite books. I have read it 4 times and get something different out of it each time.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 3 more book reviews
Quick read, greatly inspirational.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 29 more book reviews
Boring!!!!
reviewed The Alchemist on + 17 more book reviews
This book is to be read more than once, loved it
reviewed The Alchemist on
Interesting read.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 22 more book reviews
Everyone should read this book.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 344 more book reviews
I honestly could barely put this book down. I would have read it in one sitting if my sons did not need my attention, but in the first sitting I read 75% of the story. It was very unique.

A shepherd boy loves his flock and his parents wanted him to be a priest. He travels about and comes across Melchizedek who tells him that he should take a personal journey in search of a treasure at the pyramids in Egypt, in which the boy had dreamed about twice. Along the way the boy has mishaps and meets some people who either guide him or cause problems for him.

The entire story is basically about finding yourself and trusting in God. The scene with the wind was tremendous and amazing. I enjoyed this story and smiled at the end because in a way I figured something like what happened was bound to be. I am glad I read it after having it on my to-read list for a few years.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 12 more book reviews
I suggest this book to people all the time. Its one of my favorite books of all time. Its a fable about following your dreams and finding love. I think that the people who dont get it or who say they didnt like it must have a pretty sour outlook on life.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 2 more book reviews
I found The Alchemist to be an entertaining read, in the vein of Herman Hesse's Siddharta. The author, Paulo Coelho, weaves a web of a young teenage boy's coming-of-age journey amid a strange culture and a strange land. The boy is assisted in his journey by mystic forces who guide the boy to find his Personal Legend. The simple, adventurous shepherd boy learns to speak the language of the Soul of the World, and the language of love for a desert princess.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 813 more book reviews
Santiago, a young shepherd, finally activates his dream to travel, and to find the alchemist and hidden treasure. From his native Andalusia he travels to Tangier, is robbed of his savings, finds wealth again, and finally continues to pursue his dream. This takes him across the northern Sahara on the trade route to Egypt and the pyramids. Finally he will meet his alchemist only to return home where his dream is finally realized; back where he started. Along the way he learns to read omens, to listen to his heart, and to pursue his dream.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 5 more book reviews
great philosophical book
reviewed The Alchemist on
why is this system so stupid that i have to submit a word review? i already gave it four stars. that means it's good.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 67 more book reviews
great book!
reviewed The Alchemist on + 35 more book reviews
magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who travels in search of a worldly treasure from Spain to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 5 more book reviews
I was expecting much more than I found... This is a simplistic story about a boy who doesn't give up, who perseveres through his challenges, and in the end finds his reward. Good story for youth level reading.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 8 more book reviews
Quick read.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 40 more book reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book - so much that I picked up several other Coelhos. However, I can't seem to remember what the book was about. My favorites always stick with me.
reviewed The Alchemist on + 80 more book reviews
FABULOUS BOOK!!!!!!!!