The desert is a place of death, thirst, illusions--and perhaps the best place to overcome your fears. The protagonist in the novel travels from a comfortable lifestyle as a carer of sheep to the Arabian desert where he weathers the hardships to meet the great Alchemist. The Alchemist is the only man who is said to be able to turn lead into gold and turn fair weather into storms. Along the journey to meet the living legend, the
protagonist stumbles upon many self-realizations and gains the wisdom that will make him able to be the next Alchemist.
The review of this Book prepared by Laura Fong
Tthe Alchemist tells the magical story Santiago, an Andalucian shepherd boy inspired by a dream to go in search for treasure. During his adventures in which he travels as far as the great pyramids of Egypt, he meets a range of advisors in the forms of old men, intellectuals and farmers, all of whom
not only help Santiago in his quest but also in gaining an understanding of his identity and the meaning of his life.
The review of this Book prepared by bonzai
Santiago, a simple boy who lives by travelling with his sheep, is suddenly enchanted by a dream he dreamt while resting under a tree, inside a ruined church. He dreamt that if he travels to the pyramids, he will find his fortune. So he went on for an uncharted journey and along the way encontered magical phenomenon, involving a King and then meeting The Alchemist himself. He also met the girl of his life, Fatima, on his way to Egypt. When he got to the pyramids, he met a desert soldier who told him that two years ago, in the exact same spot where Santiago is, he dreamt that in a tree that has grown inside the ruins of a church in Spain, he will find his treasure. In that instant, Santigo realized that what he's been looking for all these years is right where he left it.
The review of this Book prepared by Teresa Anne Cruz Salvador
A Treasure of a Book! July 11, 2000
I found The Alchemist to be a wonderful tale on pursuing one's dreams. Coelho shows how easy it is to give up ever attaining one's dreams due to complacency - or not wanting to move out of one's comfort zone. "People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don't deserve them, or that they'll be unable to achieve them." Another endearing quote from the book, "There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure." Yet Santiago does want to pursue his dream of finding his treasure and yes, at times we see and feel his fear, but along his journey, he has learned to listen to his heart and to trust what his heart teaches him.
"When a person really desires something all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream." Santiago is constantly tested along the way, yet he continues to listen to the murmurings of his heart, which are never wrong. Santiago learns about love along the way and helps others to face their fears as well. Coelho states, "And that's where the power of love comes in. Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are."
Some may see this fable as contrite, or overworked or too new age for their tastes. I disagree and loved the messages that this book imparted, interwoven in the tale of the desert, The Alchemist, and Santiago. This book, I found, imparted to me numerous jewels of wisdom. I was captured and absorbed into the tale and found myself relating to the fears, but I completely understood the message of following one's dreams, listening to one's heart, trusting, loving and learning to let go of fear. "Listen to your heart. It knows all things, because it came from the Soul of the World, and it will one day return there. Wherever your heart is, that is where you'll find your treasure. Your heart is alive. Keep listening to what it has to say." The Alchemist imparts these words of wisdom to Santiago when Santiago begins to doubt and question.
"Everyone on earth has treasure that awaits him," his heart said. "We, people's hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them - the path to their destinies, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place. So we, their hearts, speak more and more softly. We never stop speaking out . . "
This tale is inspiring, imaginative, and captivating. Santiago grows throughout the story and in the end, even though he was tested severely, he preserved and obtained his treasure by following his dream. We only limit ourselves - only we place limitations on us, as the universe conspires to aid us in all directions.
I highly recommend this book and since this is the second book I have read by Coelho, I now need to read them all! These words speak to my heart!
The review of this Book prepared by Judith E. Pavluvcik
This is a story of a shepherd boy who is after his treasure.
The treasure has been buried in Egyption pyramid. On the way of finding his treasure, the boy meets different people and passes through different nations, and finally by the end of the story, he finds out that the treasure is the journey itself.
The review of this Book prepared by Faranak Farzan
The Alchemist is an enlightening story about a shepherd's quest to "find his treasure". Along the way, he encounters helpful guides as well as seemingly insurmountable obstacles. As he nears the end of his journey, he finds, in an ironic twist, that it isn't what or where he thought is was. This is recommended reaing for all the seekers of the world.
The review of this Book prepared by gwenda