The Alchemist

A Fable about Following Your Dream

Paperback, 192 pages

English language

Published Nov. 19, 1993 by HarperCollins Publishers Canada, Limited.

Copied ISBN!

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (19 reviews)

The Alchemist details the journey of a young Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago. Santiago, believing a recurring dream to be prophetic, decides to travel to the pyramids of Egypt to find treasure. On the way, he encounters love, danger, opportunity and disaster. One of the significant characters that he meets is an old king named Melchizedek who tells him that "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." This is the core philosophy and motif of the book.

47 editions

reviewed The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Read this at just the right time

5 stars

I have read many critical reviews of this book and I can absolutely see the reasons why so many people dislike it. For me, however, the book came at just the right time of my life, and it had a huge impact on me.

You see, The Alchemist is about following your dream. In my case, I felt stuck in a life that didn't suit me at all, unable to move. This book comes with a certain naivety that is liberating. The kind that says, it doesn't matter, just go for it. Yes that sounds like a recipe for disaster for some people, especially since some events in the books might seem to have a rather dubious meaning. But for me it was a lifesaver. And most of the more rational books that I read as well did no remotely have the same effect. The book might suggest to stop …


  • Alchemists -- Fiction.
  • Shepherds -- Spain -- Andalusia -- Fiction.
  • Andalusia (Spain) -- Fiction.