Skip to main content
Displaying 1 of 1
Please select and request a specific volume by clicking one of the icons in the 'Find It' section below.
Find It
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

`` `In order to find the treasure, you will have to follow the omens. God has prepared a path for everyone to follow. You just have to read the omens that he left for you.' Before the boy could reply, a butterfly appeared and fluttered between him and the old man. He remembered something his grandfather had once told him: that butterflies were a good omen. Like crickets, and like expectations; like lizards and four-leaf clovers.'' The boy is Santiago, a Spanish shepherd who wants to fulfill his dream of seeing the world. When he meets some people who tell him that he will find his treasure near the Pyramids, he decides to take the risk and sheds his old life like a snake shedding skin. The boy's journey and metamorphosis are subjects of the tale. The book is peopled with gypsies, old men, kings, warriors, desert-dwellers, and an alchemist, who describes Santiago's fate if he decides to settle for less than his dream. Destiny conspires with ambition to move him to realize his potential. A familiar theme in a New Age package.-- Peggie Partello, Keene State Coll, N.H. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

Brazilian novelist Coelho's 1988 myth-laden story of the shepherd who follows his Personal Legend in spite of assorted travails is rendered into a richly colored and faithful sequential-art version. With Santiago, we see the glories, the mysteries, and the threats along his way from the Andalusian pasture to foreign cities to Egypt; experience his devotion to reading and his attraction to mysterious women; and watch as he reads omens with the help of magical stones and other artifacts given to him by the various wise men he meets. Although the landscapes, city crowds, and animals are gorgeously rendered, the faces can be jarring even in his youth, Santiago (and everyone else) has dark lines awkwardly scattered on his cheeks and forehead in lieu of expressive changes. Because facial close-ups are essential to our seeing Santiago and to what Santiago sees, this is disconcerting, but otherwise, this adaptation provides a long-popular novel an interesting new life.--Goldsmith, Francisca Copyright 2010 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

Coelho is a Brazilian writer with four books to his credit. Following Diary of a Magus (1992--not reviewed) came this book, published in Brazil in 1988: it's an interdenominational, transcendental, inspirational fable--in other words, a bag of wind. The story is about a youth empowered to follow his dream. Santiago is an Andalusian shepherd boy who learns through a dream of a treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. An old man, the king of Salem, the first of various spiritual guides, tells the boy that he has discovered his destiny: ``to realize one's destiny is a person's only real obligation.'' So Santiago sells his sheep, sails to Tangier, is tricked out of his money, regains it through hard work, crosses the desert with a caravan, stops at an oasis long enough to fall in love, escapes from warring tribesmen by performing a miracle, reaches the pyramids, and eventually gets both the gold and the girl. Along the way he meets an Englishman who describes the Soul of the World; the desert woman Fatima, who teaches him the Language of the World; and an alchemist who says, ``Listen to your heart.'' A message clings like ivy to every encounter; everyone, but everyone, has to put in their two cents' worth, from the crystal merchant to the camel driver (``concentrate always on the present, you'll be a happy man''). The absence of characterization and overall blandness suggest authorship by a committee of self-improvement pundits--a far cry from Saint- Exupéry's The Little Prince: that flagship of the genre was a genuine charmer because it clearly derived from a quirky, individual sensibility. Coelho's placebo has racked up impressive sales in Brazil and Europe. Americans should flock to it like gulls. (First printing of 50,000)
Summary
<p>Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. The Alchemist is such a book. With over two million copies sold in English and twenty-one million copies worldwide, The Alchemist has established itself as a modern classic that will enchant and inspire readers for generations to come.
Displaying 1 of 1