Like the one-time bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, The Alchemist presents a simple fable, based on simple truths and places it in a highly unique situation. And though we may sniff a bestselling formula, it is certainly not a new one: even the ancient tribal storytellers knew that this is the most successful method of entertaining an audience while slipping in a lesson or two. Brazilian storyteller Paulo Coehlo introduces 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." –Gail Hudson, Amazon.com Review
Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the city where he now lives. His own life has in many ways been as varied and unusual as the protagonists of his internationally acclaimed novels. Like them, Paulo Coelho has followed a dream in a quest for fulfillment. His own dream, to be a writer, met with frustration throughout much of his early adult life, a time in which he worked at various professions, some of them materially rewarding but spiritually unfulfilling. "I always knew," he says, "that my Personal Legend, to use a term from alchemy, was to write." He was 38 when he published his first book.
In 1970, after deciding that law school was not for him, he traveled through much of South America, North Africa, Mexico, and Europe. Returning to Brazil after two years, he began a successful career as popular songwriter. In 1974, he was imprisoned for a short time by the military dictatorship then ruling in Brazil. In 1980, he experienced one of the defining moments of his life: he walked the 500-plus mile Road of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. On this ancient highway, used for centuries by pilgrims from France to get to the cathedral said to house the remains of St. James, he achieved a self-awareness and a spiritual awakening that he later described in The Pilgrimage.
Paulo Coelho once said that following your dream is like learning a foreign language; you will make mistakes but you will get there in the end. In 1988, he published The Alchemist, a novel that explores this theme, and it launched him as an international bestselling author. Specifically, Paulo Coelho is recognized for his powerful storytelling technique and the profound spiritual insights he blends seamlessly into his parables. Since then, The Alchemist has sold more than 11 million copies worldwide and has been translated into some 41 languages. In addition to The Pilgrimage and The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho has written luminous novels about the different streams of our lives, including By The River Piedra I Sat Down & Wept, The Valkyries, The Fifth Mountain, and Veronika Decides to Die. A winner of numerous literary prizes, Paulo Coelho is also a prominent speaker for humanitarian causes. In 1999, he received a Crystal Award for Artistic Achievement at the Davos Economic Forum Conference.
@ poiuny When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream @ Neeya 大爱他的书。 @ 红毛苏门打蜡 N年前读过法语版。当时觉得很好。现在看太过fataliste了。但也算文青必修课8。 @ Cainlee when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. @ NICOLE One of my favourite. @ 雨肖 The omens will abandon you if you've stopped listening to them, and your treasure will be buried forever. In the end you'll be a rich merchant,you'll spend the rest of your days knowing that you didn'… @ 海鱼 很有意思的故事，但似乎过于唯心主义 @ 海绵菌 很短 也没有很多波折 少年的几段经历让我继续读下去 不要轻易放弃梦想吧 虽然我一时想不出我想追求啥 @ 软软 45天过得好快quq 看着少年实现他的梦想 不禁感叹勇敢的人真的很值得奖励 只是现在又有谁会相信这些呢… 最后的结局高中的时候把我看傻了 但是重看的时候完全没有印象 像一本新书 所以我还是没有领会书的主旨吧哈哈哈 @ 95266666 那个书写命运的手其实是自己的手寻找的宝藏其实是沿途的经历，对自己的认识，以及一个很好的自己一本书好不好本来就很主观，跟信命的人说命运掌握在自己手里是永远说不通的，除非他们自己认识到，所以不必多话，自己享受就好了