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The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho Review/Summary

Writer: Paulo Coelho
Publication Harper; Later Printing
ISBN-13 978-8172234980
Language: English
Genre: Self-Help
Best Sellers Rank: #25 in Books
Custoer review 4.6/5
Publish Date: 1988

"The Alchemist" is a novel that follows the journey of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who dreams of a treasure hidden at the Egyptian pyramids. The book is a metaphor for the journey of life, and the obstacles and opportunities that arise along the way.

The story begins with Santiago having a recurring dream of a treasure, which he consults a Gypsy fortune-teller about. She interprets the dream as a prophecy and tells him that he will find the treasure at the Egyptian pyramids. This sets Santiago off on a journey to pursue his dream.

On his journey, Santiago meets various characters who guide and challenge him. The first is an old king named Melchizedek, who advises Santiago to sell his sheep and travel to Egypt to fulfill his "Personal Legend," or his true purpose in life. He then encounters a thief who steals all of his money, leaving Santiago stranded and penniless in a foreign land.

Santiago then finds work at a crystal shop, where he learns important life lessons and saves up enough money to continue his journey. Along the way, he meets an Englishman who is searching for an alchemist, and the two of them travel together to an oasis where Santiago meets and falls in love with Fatima, an Arabian girl.

However, Santiago must continue his journey to the pyramids, and Fatima promises to wait for him until he returns. Along the way, Santiago meets an alchemist who teaches him important lessons about listening to his heart, following his intuition, and connecting with the universe. Together, they cross the desert and encounter many obstacles, including warring tribes and personal doubts and fears.

When they finally reach the pyramids, Santiago is robbed by thieves who ask him what he is digging for. He tells them about his dream of a treasure, and they scoff at him. However, Santiago realizes that the true treasure was back in his homeland all along, where he had his initial dream of the treasure.