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Publication Date: 2006
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"My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky." Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams."
Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. The Alchemist is such a book. With over a million and a half copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has already established itself as a modern classic, universally admired. Paulo Coelho's charming fable, now available in English for the first time, will enchant and inspire an even wider audience of readers for generations to come.
The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist.
The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, above all, following our dreams.
The Brazilian author Paulo Coelho was born in 1947 in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Before dedicating his life completely to literature, he worked as theater director, actor, lyricist, and journalist. Coelho wrote song lyrics for many famous performers in Brazilian music, such as Elis Regina and Rita Lee, yet he is best known for his work with Raul Seixas. Together they wrote such successes as "Eu nasci há dez mil anos atrás" ("I Was Born Ten Thousand Years Ago"), "Gita," and "Al Capone."
His fascination with the spiritual quest dates back to his hippie days, when he travelled the world learning about secret societies, oriental religions, etc. In 1982, Coelho published his first book, Hell Archives, which failed to make any kind of impact. In 1985, he contributed to the Practical Manual of Vampirism, although he later tried to take it off the shelves, since he considered it "of bad quality." In 1986, Paulo Coelho did the pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostella, an experience later to be documented in his book The Pilgrimage.
David Crumm and ReadTheSpirit.com
There's no question that he's popular around the world. His books have sold tens of millions of copies in dozens of languages.
That's not to say there aren't critics. Some literary critics call his mythic storytelling too simplistic. Other readers are frustrated by their inability to nail down Coelho's personal religious point of view. After all, he describes himself these days as Catholic, but says that he also believes all religions are one. Some of his themes are as wholesomely uplifting as a Norman Rockwell painting; but he's also famous for dabbling in esoteric spiritual pathways.
Think of "Lord of the Rings" blended with "Life of Pi." If that intrigues you, give "Alchemist" a try!
“An adventure story full of magic and wisdom.”
“An entrepreneurial tale of universal wisdom we can apply to the business of our own lives.”
“A remarkable tale about the most magical of all journeys: the quest to fulfill one’s destiny.”
“A touching, inspiring fable.”
“A magical little volume.”
“[This] Brazilian wizard makes books disappear from stores.”
“[His] books have had a life-enchanting effect on millions of people.”
“A beautiful story with a pointed message for every reader.”
“As memorable and meaningful as Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince.”
“A sweetly exotic tale for young and old alike.”
“A most tender and gentle story. It is a rare gem of a book.”
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