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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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.

ArapahoeJulia 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.

Oct 28, 2017

I had heard great things about this book and actually looked for it at the used book store while in Chicago but they didn't have it. When I was grabbing some books from the library I made sure to check this one out. It's a story about a shepherd boy traveling through the desert in search of his Personal Legend and a treasure. The fable reminds us never to give up hope and to chase down our dreams with everything we've got. Oh yeah, and the fact that the greatest treasure is always found within ;) It's short and simple, but definitely worth the read. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

aduckie88 Oct 11, 2017

The Alchemist reminds you have the power to create your reality.

Sep 18, 2017

I wasn't expecting a very religious book since alchemy incites magical and scientific overtones. However, this book was very heavy handed in the way it emphasized "God's destiny" and people's "Personal Legend." It implied that you have a personal destiny laid out by a religious power and you encounter people who either help you to achieve that destiny, or provide roadblocks for you to overcome. It had a very preachy feel that was off-putting. The writing was okay, but nothing extraordinary or even great, really.

Jul 17, 2017

Reminds me of Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. It has a fluffy, feel-good prose, as if in a dream, but lacking a certain substance for my tastes. Nevertheless, I completely get how The Alchemist grew to become one of the most popular books of its time. It pushes all the right buttons—an exotic landscape, believe in yourself, follow your dreams, etc.

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Jul 13, 2018

SF_READER thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Jul 10, 2016

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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

Jul 20, 2008

kokosowe thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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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."

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.”


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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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