Audiobook Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist
by Paulo Coelho, Jeremy Irons (Narrator)

Publication date: October 4th 2005
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1988)


The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho continues to change the lives of its readers forever. With more than two million copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has established itself as a modern classic, universally admired.

Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells 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.

The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories can, 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.

Source: Goodreads


“When you really want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho is extremely popular, award winning and has been translated into many languages. Looking at Goodreads this morning, It seems to be one of those that you love or you hate. I didn’t hate it per se, but I just didn’t really get it and I didn’t find that it spoke to me in the way that it has for so many.

This story tells the tale of a young man as he follows his dreams and finds his happiness, like an adventurer searching for treasure. The story is quite simple, but it’s the message of the book that’s more important. I’m sure there are messages that went over my head at points, but my understanding is that it’s about following your dreams without fear or worry, finding your passion and finding yourself.

I chose to listen to this book and I wonder if in print I may have enjoyed it more, I’ve even seen some copies of the book are illustrated. The language is beautiful yet simple and I have to admit that some of the philosophical quotes certainly made me think, but in general I felt that this wasn’t my kind of read and I didn’t find it overly inspirational or eye-opening.

I have nothing bad to say, but I won’t personally be recommending this one either. That said, if the blurb sounds like something you’d enjoy, go for it! This book is well loved by millions!

Overall rating: “The Alchemist” is loved across the globe and is said to have changed many lives. I didn’t find that to be case for me and I would say I was quite underwhelmed. This was a 2 star read for me.


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