The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist

Title:The Alchemist
Author:
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Alchemist Reviews

  • Christopher

    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

    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

    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

    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.

  • Sithara

    I need to start this review by stating 1) I can't stand self-help books and 2) I'm a feminist (no, I don't hate men- some men are quite awesome, but I am very conscious of women and our place in the world.)

    Short summary (mild spoilers): A boy named Santiago follows his 'Personal Legend' in traveling from Spain to the Pyramids in Egypt searching for treasure. Along the way, he learns 'the Language of the World' the 'Soul of the World' and discovers that the 'Soul of God' is 'his own soul.'

    If the

    I need to start this review by stating 1) I can't stand self-help books and 2) I'm a feminist (no, I don't hate men- some men are quite awesome, but I am very conscious of women and our place in the world.)

    Short summary (mild spoilers): A boy named Santiago follows his 'Personal Legend' in traveling from Spain to the Pyramids in Egypt searching for treasure. Along the way, he learns 'the Language of the World' the 'Soul of the World' and discovers that the 'Soul of God' is 'his own soul.'

    If the statements in quotes above ('personal legend', etc) fascinate you, then you'll enjoy this book. If you think they are hokey and silly, then you'll think this is a terrible book. If you think statements such as "When you want something, all the universe conspires you to achieve it" and "All things are one" are moving and life-changing, you'll love this book. If such statements have you rolling your eyes, then this isn't your cup of tea.

    Its not that I find anything wrong with these messages. They are important, but must be balanced with responsibility. In my experience, 'following your dreams' (or personal legend) is not the only way toward wisdom and strength. Is the person who struggles to put food on the table every day for his or her family, consciously realizing that he or she may not be following his or her 'personal legend' any less heroic than some traveler who leaves everything and everyone he or she is responsible for to go on a spiritual quest? Coelho comes close to labeling such people, as losers in life, which I find completely off the mark as some of these people have the most to offer in terms of wisdom.

    The issue of responsibility is also part of this book's sexism. The main male characters in the novel have 'Personal Legends' - they are either seeking them, or have achieved them, or have failed to achieve them. But Coelho never mentions 'Personal Legend' with regard to women, other than to say that Fatima, Santiago's fiance, is 'a part of Santiago's Personal Legend." Thats fine, but what about her own Personal Legend? Instead of traveling to find her dreams, she is content to sit around, do chores, and stare everyday at the desert to wait for his return. This is her 'fate' as a desert women. The fact that women don't have Personal Legends is even more galling considering the fact that according to Coelho, even minerals such as lead and copper have Personal Legends, allowing them to 'evolve' to something better (ie, gold).

    In the ideal world presented in THE ALCHEMIST, it seems that the job of men is to seek out their personal legends, leaving aside thoughts of family and responsibility, and its the job of women to let them, and pine for their return. Of course, someone has to do the unheroic, inconvenient work of taking care of the children, the animals, the elderly, the ill...If everyone simply goes off on spiritual quests, deciding they have no responsibility other than to seek their Personal Legends, no one would be taking responsibility for the unglamorous work that simply has to take place for the world to run.

    On the other hand, what if both men and women are allowed to struggle towards their 'Personal Legends,' and help each other as best as they can towards them, but recognize that their responsibilities may force them to defer, compromise, or even 'sacrifice' their dreams? This may seem depressing, but it isn't necessarily. Coelho seems to think that Personal Legends are fixed at childhood (or at birth, or even before) and are not changeable: they have to be followed through to the end, no matter how silly. But in my experience, many people have chosen to adjust, compromise, and even 'give up' on their dreams, only to find that life grants them something better, or they have a new, better dream to follow, a path providing greater wisdom. For me, these people have a more realistic, more humble, more fair, and less cliched vision of the world than Paulo Coelho's vision in THE ALCHEMIST.

  • Lamski Kikita

    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.

  • asma Qadah

    عرفته أوّل مرة من روايته إحدى عشر دقيقة.. كانت المرة الأولى التي أقرأ فيها قصة أو رواية مترجمة؛ نظراً لعدم وثوقي غالباً في الأدبيّات المترجمة فيما سبق..

    أنهيت قبل أيام قراءة الخيميائي، شدّني الاسم؛ خاصة أنها في الانجليزية تسمى The Alchemist ولا أدري هل كانت الكيمياء فيما سبق تسمى خيمياء؟

    تدور الرواية حول راعٍ أندلسي ترك مهنته ليحقق حلماً تكرر مرّتين، زار من بعدها غجرية أوّلت له حلمه ووثقت به حين لم تأخذ منه ثمن تأويل الحلم أو تفسيره إلا بعد تحقق تأويلها حيث عليه أن يسافر من (طيفا) الأندلس إلى الأه

    عرفته أوّل مرة من روايته إحدى عشر دقيقة.. كانت المرة الأولى التي أقرأ فيها قصة أو رواية مترجمة؛ نظراً لعدم وثوقي غالباً في الأدبيّات المترجمة فيما سبق..

    أنهيت قبل أيام قراءة الخيميائي، شدّني الاسم؛ خاصة أنها في الانجليزية تسمى The Alchemist ولا أدري هل كانت الكيمياء فيما سبق تسمى خيمياء؟

    تدور الرواية حول راعٍ أندلسي ترك مهنته ليحقق حلماً تكرر مرّتين، زار من بعدها غجرية أوّلت له حلمه ووثقت به حين لم تأخذ منه ثمن تأويل الحلم أو تفسيره إلا بعد تحقق تأويلها حيث عليه أن يسافر من (طيفا) الأندلس إلى الأهرامات عبوراً بالبحر ثم التنقل من مدينة عربية إلى أخرى انتهاءً بالصحراء ثم الواحات..

    كـ راعٍ؛ كان عليه تعلّم الكثير من الأمور و اكتساب صفاتٍ أخرى لم تعلمه إياها رعاية الأغنام، بدءاً من الصبر و إتقان اللغة العربية و الاعتياد على أجواء الصحراء و السير وِفق أنظمة أخرى..

    إصرار سانتياغو على تحقيق حلمه رغم تعرّضه للسرقة في إحدى الحانات مما دفعه العمل في محل بلّوريات لمدة عامٍ كامل يمكّنه فيما بعد لشراء عدد كبير من الخرفان، لكنه تنازل عن ذلك في مقابل تحقيق حلمه و هو الحصول على الكنز المدفون عند الأهرامات.. المضحِك في القصة أنه كان على الراعي العَودة إلى حيث كان، إلى طيفا ليجد الكنز مخبّأً في نفس الدير الذي نام فيه يوماً و راوده الحلم!

    تدور كذلك القصة حول علاقة الإنسان بربه و مدى إيمانه و يقينه بـ”ذاته هو” و يقينه بالله و بالإشارات التي يرسلها للعبد.. جعلتني الأحداث التي دارت في القصة على مراجعة حياتي و الرياح التي هبّت عليها.. لوهلة؛ شعرت كم أنا ساخطة على حياتي فيما سبق! تساءلت عن معنى الصبر، الإيمان بالقضاء و القدر، التسليم الكامل لله!.. كلها معانٍ كانت خافية عني في الشهور الماضية، هذا إذا ما اعتبرت نفسي كثيرة الشكوى و التذمر سواء من وظيفتي أو الحياة أو أطفالي.. المرة الوحيدة التي شعرت فيها براحة نفسية عميقة حينما كنت في محنةٍ كادت أن توقف قلبي خلال شهر فبراير، لم أكن أعرف ماذا عليّ أن أفعل حينها و لم أجد أمامي سوى الاستسلام لقضاء الله، أذكر أنني دعَوْت حينها “اللهم سلّمت أمري لك أنت وحدك العالِم مابي و لا مُعين لي سواك اقضِ لي بالخير و رضّني بقضائك” كان (و ما يزال) من المهم بالنسبة لي الرضا بالقضاء و الحكم ذاته..

    باولو كويلو الرائع جداً احتفل ذات عامٍ ببيع روايته للسنة العشرين و هي النسخة الموجودة لدي، له أقف احتراماً لكاتب استمرّ الآخرون في قراءة كتابه كل هذه الأعوام!!

  • Lujayn Alyamani

    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

    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

    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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