Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who one night dreams of a distant treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. And so he’s off: leaving Spain to literally follow his dream.
Along the way he meets many spiritual messengers, who come in unassuming forms such as a camel driver and a well-read Englishman. In one of the Englishman’s books, Santiago first learns about the alchemists–men who believed that if a metal were heated for many years, it would free itself of all its individual properties, and what was left would be the “Soul of the World.” Of course he does eventually meet an alchemist, and the ensuing student-teacher relationship clarifies much of the boy’s misguided agenda, while also emboldening him to stay true to his dreams. “My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy confides to the alchemist one night as they look up at a moonless night.
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself,” the alchemist replies. “And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
Do you ever have one of those books on your list….you know the one that you say you will always read “someday”… Well that was what this book was for me. This is a book I have had on my shelf for many years. I felt it would be important for me to read, and that alone kept it on my radar. Yet unread it went – year after year…
thank you Audible.com for putting it on sale and making me think “why not?”
Now – going back to my initial thought here… have you ever had that “must read” on your radar for so long and then when you finally do read it, realize that you knew nothing about what it was about… merely was attracted to the title, the cover, the buzz….. and universal knowledge that you must must must read this book?
Ok that’s just me then…. 😉
I am going to come right out and say it – LOVED this audio. LOVED it. LOVED IT LOVED IT. I may not have known what I was about to read (for some reason I felt it was going to be a heavier read…) but the buzz, the hype…. all was correct in making me know I had to read this. YOU have to read this, or listen to it on audio because….
Ok… I will try to take the gush level down enough to actually write a review…
I did not know going in this book would read like a fairy tale – but it does. It reminds me of one of those long ago stories told, handed down from generation to generation… it really is breathtakingly beautiful.
As soon as I started listening to this audio I knew I was going to like… told in that “story telling” pace and voice I settled in for what was going to be a GOOD READ. It is a reoccurring dream that takes Santiago on a journey far and away from his family. The obstacles along the way only add to the story as he spends almost a year in a glass shop assisting the owner in bettering his shop and profits, each set back – becomes part of the journey.
Why this is not a movie, I do not know. I seen that the rights to the film were bought by Warner Brothers in 2003, but the movie never panned out due to problems with the script. I read that in one scene they had 10,000 soldiers for a battle and that has nothing to do with the book. Kudos in that case for the movie being stopped as that would just have rated: annoying.
The book is really a story about following your dreams and filled with intelligent and thought-provoking quotes. I embraced the words at every opportunity, basking in their internal meaning:
“When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.”
“The boy and his heart had become friends, and neither was capable now of betraying the other.”
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.” You’ve got to find the treasure, so that everything you have learned along the way can make sense. “
I really wish I could do this book more justice by telling you it made my heart gush – it is beautiful and if you have not taken the time to read this I would highly recommend you put this on the priority reading list.
The 2011 WHERE Are You Reading Map has been update to include The Alchemist
I purchased this from audible.com