The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (audio magic!)

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 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

38 Comments on “The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (audio magic!)

  1. Thanks for the review. I think I want this book on audio now!. It sounds fantastic!

  2. Hmmm…Our opinions on this differ, but I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Thank you for sharing this wonderful review! Any book that makes the heart gush, is well worth the read! I want to read it now too! I had a similar experience when reading Jane Eyre. It was on my radar but I didn’t read it until we did so for book club. I LOVE the book!

    • Jane Eyre is my arch enemy…LOL. I have TRIED and TRIED to read that book and have decided that…
      she hates me.
      I will try again though…. 😀

  4. I’ve had this on my shelf for years. I keep thinking it is so thin I should pick it up, but then I don’t. Maybe I will reconsider soon. Thanks for the review!

  5. I just put a hold on this audio book at the library. Thank you. I am always looking for good audio books. I mainly listen in the car though. 🙂

  6. I’ve had this sitting on my shelf … unread … for years. Hmmmm…maybe I should go ahead and stop putting it off too after hearing about your experience with it.

  7. I was disappointed with this book as I really had such high hopes for it. I thought it would be a life changing style book that would make me question the way I think because that was the way it was marketed. Just like The Celestine Prophecy – changes the way you think. It is a good story but it didn’t make me feel any different.

    • I think it was audio that made the difference for me Vivienne… it is one of those that I wonder if I would have got as much out of it if I had read it…. I do not know why it makes a difference but sometimes when I hear the “tone” to the book… I have a better feel for it. 😀

  8. I found this a tough book to read and to understand as well though I am glad that you enjoyed it so much.

  9. I read this book years ago. I didn’t like it as much as you did though. DOWN BY THE RIVER PIEDRA… is still my favorite book by Coelho.

  10. Figured out the secret, visit blogs while grandson is sleeping, lol, this is usually my reading time but have visited 10 blogs already. YEA! me!!

    Have a great week and thank you!!

  11. Wonderful review, Sheila. I read this book many years ago for one of my book groups and enjoyed it also. Interesting that you loved the audio so much – I would have thought the audio might have been hard to follow, just because this book is so thoughtful and thought-provoking. I remember having to read slowly to take it all in.

    I felt the same way you did about all the important quotes. This book filled up many pages in my Quote Journal!

    Glad you enjoyed it so much –


  12. I haven’t read this yet. After reading your (I would say enthusiastic) review I’m going to get the audio copy. My audio tbr pile is much smaller than the print pile. I tend to listen more than actually sit down and read during the warmer months.

  13. I too loved this book! I have a theory about it: this book finds the reader when the reader needs it most.

    I never even heard of this book until I was studying in Europe for the summer a couple of years ago, and (horror of horrors!) I ran out of books to read, so I borrowed it from a classmate. I was blown away – just like you. It was exactly what I needed at that time in my life where I was at a sort of crossroads and not sure what to do. Ultimately I made the right choice and followed my dreams. (Here is my post on it, if you’re interested: ).

    I’ve tried hard to get others to read it, but no one is very receptive – even after my enthusiasm. But then recently a friend I had told about it long ago told me that she finally read it and it was at the perfect time in her life.

    I’m so glad it found you!

    • Thank you Brooke – I like the way you put that! It did find me and I did pick up great vibes from it. When you say it finds the reader when they need it… that could be true. I have had a really interesting year as far as “life happenings and life lessons” and I know I am suppose to learn from everything and this book… well… that too. 😀

  14. Hello my friends. thanks for a nice review. I need the audio book of the Alchemist but couldn’t find it. I’m from Iran so we have some limitation for downloading. If anybody has it, I will be happy to get by my e mail.
    This my mail it’s very kind of you if send it to me.
    thanks in advance to all dear friends.

  15. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added
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