The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

77%

35 Critic Reviews

It's a strong story related to the reader by the omniscient narrator, told in a way reminiscent of fairy tales or spiritual texts like the Bible or Koran.
-Blog Critics

Synopsis

A special 25th anniversary edition of the extraordinary international bestseller, including a new Foreword by Paulo Coelho.

Combining magic, mysticism, wisdom and wonder into an inspiring tale of self-discovery, The Alchemist has become a modern classic, selling millions of copies around the world and transforming the lives of countless readers across generations.

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 of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.

 

About Paulo Coelho

See more books from this Author
Paulo Coelho, born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, is one of the bestselling and most influential authors in the world. The Alchemist, The Pilgrimage, The Valkyries,Brida, Veronika Decides to Die, Eleven Minutes, The Zahir, The Witch of Portobello, and The Winner Stands Alone, among others, have sold 115 million copies in more than 160 countries. Paulo Coelho nació en Brasil en 1947 y es uno de los autores con más influencia de hoy día. Conocido mundialmente por el bestseller internacional El Alquimista, Coelho ha vendido más de 100 millones de libros en todo el mundo, los cuales han sido traducidos a 68 idiomas y publicados en 150 países. Paulo Coelho escribe una columna semanal que se publica en los periódicos más importantes del mundo.
 
Published February 24, 2015 by HarperOne. 213 pages
Genres: Other, Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction, Self Help, Education & Reference, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's Books, Comics & Graphic Novels, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure, Westerns, Romance, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon5
Peak Rank on Oct 05 2014
icon9
Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
2
Want to Read
1
Have Read
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for The Alchemist
All: 35 | Positive: 25 | Negative: 10

Kirkus

Below average
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on May 01 1993

it's an interdenominational, transcendental, inspirational fable--in other words, a bag of wind.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Good
on May 31 1993

Comparisons to The Little Prince are appropriate; this is a sweetly exotic tale for young and old alike.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by mairakozhuhar on Apr 12 2014

First of all, I must say that this is one of the books which grips your whole attention and, even more, makes you think about your life in a philosophical manner...I believe it is a great book to read and I thoroughly advise every single person to read it, especially those who are interested in philosophy.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Trishit on May 11 2012

This book is brilliantly written. It touches your heart as the story comes to an end. It teaches that every treasure lies in our own hearts and there is no need to search for it in the outside world.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Trishit on May 11 2012

This book is brilliantly written. It touches your heart as the story comes to an end.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist | See more reviews from Guardian

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Jul 02 2001

The book's inspirational message...is oblique enough, to allow readers to interpret it in any way they choose, with whatever degree and form of spirituality one adheres to

Read Full Review of The Alchemist | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Blog Critics

Excellent
Reviewed by A. Harper on Jul 04 2008

It's a strong story related to the reader by the omniscient narrator, told in a way reminiscent of fairy tales or spiritual texts like the Bible or Koran.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Blog Critics

Excellent
Reviewed by Betty Wong on Jul 17 2007

What I like about the book is that it teaches you to live your life well. Live every moment in the moment. Let go of anything that is an encumberance. Follow your dreams.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Fran Hart on May 26 2012

The Alchemist is a tale well told; it’s an enchanting parable of a young man, a dream and the obstacles he faced in order to achieve his goals...I recommend this book to anyone who is ready to face the challenge.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

Examiner

Below average
Reviewed by Sean Chumley on May 16 2011

Perhaps a little too teleological for my taste (it very much sets out with the goal of being inspirational), the formal tone and simple plot may turn off some readers. But the novel is short, so I suggest you give it a shot, even if its New Age ideas aren't your cup of tea. As quick a read as someone like James Patterson, but more fulfilling.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

BellaOnline

Excellent
Reviewed by JOY Madden on Apr 08 2014

The charm of this book is that it can be enjoyed by age groups from young teens to adults. If you are seeking your path in life, this book will get you on your way.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

The Gospel Coalition

Above average
Reviewed by Micah Mattix on Sep 20 2012

Despite all its feel-good clichés, the novel can be rather cold in another respect...While Coelho claims to be a Catholic, the novel promises readers what all other religions except Christianity promise: personal salvation, not by grace through faith, but, in the words of Milton's Satan, by our own “unconquerable will.”

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

Journey With Jesus

Above average
Reviewed by Dan Clendenin on Apr 08 2014

There's a sense in which The Alchemist feels rather hokey. It's message might be summarized in simplistic cliches — to thine own self be true, follow your heart, live your dream, and don't die with the music left inside of you. This isn't great literature. But it has spoken to 65 million readers, so it's fascinating to ask why.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

Greenwood Public Library

Above average
Reviewed by Emily on Apr 13 2013

I really enjoyed reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. Did it change my life? No, not really. Many reviews claimed that the story would do just that…change my life. And I could feel the author trying to tell me something, but I’m not a deep reader.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

Scholars And Rogues

Above average
Reviewed by Chris Mackowski on Oct 21 2010

Caught as I’ve been in the throes of personal transformation—a life relaunch drastic enough that I call it “Chris v2.0”—it was hard not to look at Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist as an omen.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

New Model Adviser

Excellent
Reviewed by Tom Butler-Bowdon on Mar 08 2011

dog-eared, stained copies of Coelho’s classic have become the constant companion of people who need to make fearless decisions daily to keep true to a larger vision.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

http://yareviews.wikispaces.com

Above average
on Apr 08 2014

This fulfillment of one's personal legend recurs throughout the book as Santiago and others consider what do and would complete their lives - though in ways one might not expect. For Santiago, this becomes a quest for identity and self-realization, which leads him to find the greatest treasure of all.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

http://yareviews.wikispaces.com

Good
on Apr 08 2014

...I would highly recommend the book to middle school, high school and adult readers. The quest for discovering one’s Personal Legend is something that every person is in the process of realizing. Like young Santiago, there is no better time to realize one’s Personal Legend than when one is young.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

All Things Girl

Above average
Reviewed by Frances on Oct 09 2009

...The Alchemist is the story of the boy and his struggle on his path towards his dream, his Personal Legend. As I said, the language is simple but rich in messages...

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

Interfaith Family

Good
Reviewed by Dan Bindschedler on May 27 2013

...I have found this text to be more than just a piece of enlightened reading, but rather an inclusive text for people of Jewish faiths who are seeking to reconnect with their roots.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

Teen Ink

Below average
Reviewed by jkandrews, on Oct 25 2011

After a promising beginning, the book is full of contradictions and confusing references, leaving much to be desired.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Amy H.

The Alchemist is a touching and inspiring story. After reading this book I can truly respect Coelho...This book has already inspired many readers around the world, and now I am a devoted follower as well.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by Amy H. on Apr 08 2014

The Alchemist is one of the greatest books I have ever read. After reading it, I felt as though I had learned something so valuable that I wanted to cherish it and share its message with everyone.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

Yahoo! Voices

Excellent
Reviewed by Lucy Tonic on Aug 12 2010

I finally got around to reading one of Paulo Coelho's most infamous short novels, and I found it nothing short of inspiring and uniquely heart-warming.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

Yahoo! Voices

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer Morrison on Apr 28 2009

Take a few hours to become reinvigorated and pick up a copy of The Alchemist. The 208 page paperback will soon become your own cherished treasure.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

Yahoo! Voices

Above average
Reviewed by Stacey Laatsch on Apr 27 2009

...The Alchemist is an enlightening story, an easily deciphered fable about embracing the present and following one's heart to fulfill one's purpose in life. Spiritualists will find nothing new in The Alchemist except, perhaps, a fresh perspective and an entertaining story.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

EzineArticles

Good
Reviewed by Nathalie Himmelrich on Apr 08 2014

This book is for you if you like to be inspired in following your destiny. Coelho has a way that allows the reader to identify with the hero, take from the story your own little messages, which might be different from what your friend will.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

http://www.bookdrum.com

Above average
Reviewed by sammycumes on Apr 08 2014

The Alchemist is simplistic - some say too simplistic. A cynical reader might label it trite or irrelevant to our complex modern lives. Yet for millions it has been a remarkably powerful piece of writing...

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

Book Review Circle

Good

I’m glad this book is a bestseller because it instills positivity into its readers...It not just ‘says’, it makes you believe!

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

Savidge Reads

Below average
on Jun 11 2010

...I started to think ‘but why would that character say that?’ It became almost unnatural that these different random strangers would speak of destiny and omens in a few seconds of meeting each other.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

Tales Untangled

Below average
Reviewed by Tales Untangled on May 07 2014

Life is a full rich experience, but sometimes it requires sacrifice, loyalty...Ultimately, this was not my favorite novel because it seems trite, full of self-importance and I did not enjoy the writing and character development. I might have enjoyed it more if ultimately Santiago found no treasure other than wisdom, love and service to others.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

Creative Writing for Entertainment

Above average
Reviewed by Seth Tomko on May 29 2014

The Alchemist is a short and easy-going novel that does play around with a few interesting concepts, and though it takes a while, there is some actual alchemy in the story. If, however, a reader is searching for a novel of real philosophical inquiry or even a traditional novel...then those elements are better sought elsewhere.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

Asian Efficiency

Good
Reviewed by Aaron Lynn

The Alchemist has sold a lot of copies and it’s [easy] to see why. It’s short enough to read over a lunch break or two, and imparts a lot of powerful lessons in the form of easy-to-digest stories...

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

Old Musty Books

Good
Reviewed by Rachel Baker on Mar 18 2009

this book is one of those timeless publications that can be enjoyed by every reader. This book spoke to me in a very profound way.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

The World Of Books

Good
Reviewed by Peter on Oct 30 2007

It’s a simple story, but rich on experiences, observations, dreams, and longing - some of the main ingridents of life itself.

Read Full Review of The Alchemist

Reader Rating for The Alchemist
85%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 9402 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

User Review

Michael Manley 20 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 4 out of 5

User Review

Sepúlveda Fuentes Luisa 16 Feb 2015

Rated the book as 3 out of 5

Leselle Leuterio

Leselle Leuterio 17 Jul 2015

Added the book to want to read list

Sepúlveda Fuentes Luisa

Sepúlveda Fuentes Luisa 16 Feb 2015

Has read the book

Erica C

Erica C 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list

×