The Alchemist Book (Summary - Book Review - Book Order)

Author Paulo Coelho
Original title O Alquimista
Country Brazil
Language Portuguese
Genre Questadventurefantasy
Publisher HarperTorch (English translation)
Publication date
Published in English
Media type Print (hardback, paperback, and iTunes)
Pages 163 pp (first English edition, hardcover), 208 pages (25th Anniversary Edition)
ISBN 0-06-250217-4 (first English edition, hardcover)
OCLC 26857452
Preceded by The Pilgrimage (1987)' 
Followed by Brida (1990)' 

The Alchemist (in Portuguese: O Alquimista) is a novel by the Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, which was first published in 1988. Originally written in Portuguese, it became a widely translated international sales success. An allegorical novel, The Alchemist follows a young Andalusian shepherd on his trip to the Egyptian pyramids, after having a recurring dream of finding a treasure there.

Throughout the years there have been film and theater adaptations of the work and musical interpretations of it.

The Alchemist (Novel) Online and PDF Download


The Alchemist follows the journey of an Andalusian shepherd named Santiago. Believing that a recurring dream is prophetic, he asks a Roma fortune teller in a nearby town about its meaning. The woman interprets the dream as a prophecy that tells the child that he will discover a treasure in the Egyptian pyramids.

At the beginning of his journey, he meets an old king named Melchizedek or the king of Salem, who tells him to sell his sheep to travel to Egypt and presents the idea of a Personal Legend. Your personal legend "is what you have always wanted to achieve, everyone, when they are young, know what their personal legend is".

At the beginning of his arrival in Africa, a man who claims to be able to take Santiago to the pyramids steals the money he had earned by selling his sheep. Santiago then embarks on a long road of work for a crystal merchant to earn enough money to fulfill his personal legend and go to the pyramids.

On the way, the boy meets an Englishman who has come in search of an alchemist and continues his travels in the company of his new companion. When they arrive at an oasis, Santiago meets and falls in love with an Arab girl named Fatima, whom he proposes to her. She promises to do it alone after he completes his trip. Frustrated at first, he later learns that true love will not stop, nor should one sacrifice oneself for personal destiny, since doing so robs the truth.

The child meets a wise alchemist who also teaches him to realize his true self. Together they risk a journey through the territory of warring tribes, where the child is forced to demonstrate his unity with "the soul of the world" by becoming a simoom before he is allowed to continue. When he begins to dig at the sight of the pyramids, he is robbed once more, but accidentally learns from the leader of the thieves that the treasure he seeks was all the time in the ruined church where he had his original dream.


"My heart is afraid of having to suffer," the child told the alchemist one night as he looked toward 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 you go in search of your dreams."

Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. The Alchemist is such a book. With more than a million and a half copies sold worldwide, The Alchemist has already established itself as a modern classic, universally admired. The charming fable of Paulo Coelho, now available in English for the first time, will delight and inspire an even broader audience of readers for generations to come.

The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd who yearns to travel in search of a mundane treasure as extravagant as the one that has never been found. From his home in Spain, he travels to the markets of Tangier and crosses the Egyptian desert for a fateful encounter with the alchemist.

The story of the treasures that Santiago finds along the way teaches us, a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the auguries scattered along the path of life and, above all, following our dreams.

About the 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, The Winner Stands Alone, Aleph, Manuscript Found in Accra, and Adultery, among others, have sold 150 million copies worldwide.

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