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The Alchemist

A Fable About Following Your Dream
Written by: Paulo Coelho
Narrated by: Jeremy Irons
Length: 4 hrs
4.5 out of 5 stars (630 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 32.19
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Publisher's Summary

Paulo Coelho's enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its simplicity and wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of treasure 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 surmount the obstacles along the way But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a meditation on the treasures found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is art eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.
©1988 Paulo Coelho (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers

What the critics say

"The story has the comic charm, dramatic tension and psychological intensity of a fairy tale, but it's full of specific wisdom as well, about becoming self-empowered, overcoming depression, and believing in dreams." (Publishers Weekly)

"It is short, but certainly packs a wallop. What makes the story even better is Jeremy Irons's unforgettable narration.... Irons's voice is crystal clear, and every word is given its own starring role in the text. He creates wondrous characters, male and female, that stay with us." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Enjoyable book

It was an easy listen while I commuted to and from work. The author kept my attention through out the audio book I found my mindnthinking how this relates to my life. Well worth the listen!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic

It's a Great story. Full of wisdom and inspiration. Very nicely narrated. I highly recommend it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great for self reflection in the audio version

I have enjoyed this story for 2 decades and have found the audiobook to be a refreshing re-telling of the story I'm so familiar with.
Jeremy Irons is a perfect narrator.
With the audiobook, I can stop and bookmark and reflect upon my own journey through life.
A very nice take on a yearly reading ritual for myself.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Cute

Were it not for the preformence I dont think id have enjoyed this book. Im glad its only 4 hours. I didnt love the book but i enjoyed it, thought it was cute.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic

Absolutely fascinating story that seems so simple but hits deep in the heart. Makes you think about your decisions and following your dreams.

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Cool story

Worth listening to. I wish I had heard this advice when I was younger. Beautiful.

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DEEP

loved it!!!! speaks volumes to me... I've finally got it!!! it's my life story, what a beautiful journey I am on . and now, I have found my my treasure! hi J

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amazing story. wonderful narrator. touched my soul

amazing story read by an amazing actor. this as perfect. will enjoy hearing this story again and again.

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Excellent narration.

It’s wonderful when a well established actor does the narration. Jeremy Irons was fantastic narrating this wonderful tale. He changed his voice and tone and accents for the various characters in the story. It was like watching a movie...I really enjoyed it...better then reading the book itself.

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Enthralling and captivating

There are so many messages throughout this book. I will listen again. Absolutely loved the narration by Jeremy Irons.

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  • Judi
  • 2007-01-07

A Timeless Tale

I've been listening to Audible books for years, but this is the first one that, after finishing it, I immediately bought a hard copy. In fact, I bought TWO!! One for me to (re)read and mark up with highlights and notes, and one to pass around to my family and friends! This story is an amazing parable, richly layered with insights for finding and living a richer, more grounded, more meaningful life. Never "preachy", this is an allegorical story written in lyrical language that stands beautifully on its own. Add the richness that Jeremy Irons's delivery brings to this Audible edition, and it becomes a transcendent experience.

205 of 217 people found this review helpful

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  • Linda
  • 2007-02-02

Marvelous Book & Expressive Reader

No better choice to read this magnificent book by Paul Coelho than Jeremy Irons. It is exceptionally well read, with great expression, and wonderful adaption of voice to characters. I have had it on audio cassette since it was first released in that format and was delighted to find it available in audio-book format at CD quality. It's truly a must have and is suitable for all ages. The book is also most profound yet told simply with grace and depth.

130 of 142 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kir Kanos TN
  • 2007-06-20

A must for every young person

I really enjoyed this book. While it is not necessarily the enthralling Hero's journey that I thought it would be, this book should be on every high school and college student's reading list. It helps to put your "personal legend" or life's mission into perspective. While it isn't nearly a basis for theology, it touches on the many issues that people face as they embark on their life's journey. I especially liked the Alchemist's advice about not giving up on your life's mission for love. While admirable and definitely worth while, if one ends their life journey to pursue love, they will regret it and eventually resent the one they love. On the other hand if that significant other truly loves you, they will encourage you to pursue your personal legend and even wait for you if need be. To stand in the way of another person fulfilling their purpose does an injustice to that person, but is also self detrimental. Each person is on this earth for a purpose. It is up to each of us to be open enough to God's plan to find and pursue that purpose. Then we can truly live rich and fulfilling lives.

97 of 108 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • 2013-12-30

Made me think about my own dreams not followed

I was given this book as a gift. Because it falls under the category of a "Fable" with a hint of fantasy, I probably would not have got it for myself. I really liked this book through and through. It really made me stop and think about how I have let a busy life and possibly some fears stop me from pursuing things I want to accomplish - Not need to accomplish.

Jeremy Irons was obviously Jeremy irons and told the story very well. It was a great story and I am glad I listened to it.

J

37 of 41 people found this review helpful

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  • Jo
  • 2012-11-16

A quest for dreams come true

Santiago is a young man who proceeds in literally making his dreams come true. He is an ordinary man, full of doubts and fears, like you and me, but he has this drive inside of him and a courage to continue on his path. This is a fantastic fable filled with unsurmountable challenges and life changing choices. I do agree with a previous reviewer in that Paulo over uses "omen", but it's kind of funny when you expect it. Jeremy Irons does an amazing job with changing voices to match each character (his voice does get low at points though). This is, hands down, my favorite book.

47 of 53 people found this review helpful

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  • Ed Maximus
  • 2014-11-13

A Superb Tale of Finding Your Personal Legend!

Where does The Alchemist rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Through four audiobooks, this one was amongst the top of all of them.

What did you like best about this story?

What I liked best was the main character's interactions with the different characters he met along his journey.

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite scene was when the boy tried to tell Fatima the reason why he loved her and she stopped him and told him he didn't need to.

If you could rename The Alchemist, what would you call it?

Realizing Your Legacy.

Any additional comments?

The narration was perfect.

32 of 36 people found this review helpful

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  • DIANE
  • 2014-07-28

Very special... a keepsake.

This book is one that I will read (listen to) over and over. The lessons one learns from this book are very similar to those one understands when studying Law of Attraction. The principles are sound and the story is a wonderful one. Jeremy Irons does a fabulous narration. Some chide me for not "reading" books... but when one can have the treat of hearing a talented actor such as Jeremy Irons do a rendition of such a special book, it's a win win as far as I'm concerned. I am now anxious to read other books by Paulo Coelho!

30 of 34 people found this review helpful

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  • JennStokes
  • 2017-09-01

Brilliant story

I am completely in love with this story. I actually plan to listen to it again very soon because I expect it to be something that you get something different from it each time you hear it. Many important thoughts and lessons are throughout the book, and it is a great story too with wonderful characters.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kent
  • 2012-03-20

What a nice little allegory!

This is a pleasant little story. And, it's one of those books that bears re-reading (or re-listening, if you did the audiobook format, such as I did)! I has the same sort of feel as "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran, or "Siddhartha" by Herman Hesse - and similarly carries a lot of subtle and overt life-messages in it's concise text. It is one of those stories that I'll ponder for quite a long time!
Jeremy Irons did a fantastic job with the narration - lots of variety in voices, and LOTS of emotion and feeling in the emphasis of dialogue!
This was a short, quick, and easy listen, and was very much worth my time!

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Kyria
  • 2006-01-04

Wonderful!

This is everything you want in an audiobook: a gorgeous story, beautifully read. I could listen to Jeremy Irons for hours... in fact, I did!

56 of 71 people found this review helpful

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  • Alice
  • 2018-12-06

I've been so moved by this Tale.

I don't think I had ever read such a beautiful and spiritual but simple story. It made me feel magic in my heart and wings on my back. AND it reminded me of what my own dream is, I had long forgotten about it...

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-10-23

Must read

Amazing, I wish there would be more books like that.
Story of Life. You'll learn more than in 99% other books.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-08-08

Génial !

The best grownup fairytale with great life advice and lots of stuff to think about.