The Illustrated Alchemist: A Fable about Following Your Dream

The Illustrated Alchemist: A Fable about Following Your Dream

4.8 16
by Paulo Coelho

Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. Paulo Coelho1s The Alchemist is such a book. Since its original publication in 1988, The Alchemist has sold millions of copies throughout the world. This handsome new edition, beautifully illustrated by the artist Moebius, will allow Coelho1s charming fable to inspire…  See more details below


Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. Paulo Coelho1s The Alchemist is such a book. Since its original publication in 1988, The Alchemist has sold millions of copies throughout the world. This handsome new edition, beautifully illustrated by the artist Moebius, will allow Coelho1s charming fable to inspire an even wider audience of readers for generations to come.

The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who travels in search of a worldly treasure. From his home in Spain, he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist. The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life1s path, and, above all, following our dreams.

Author Biography:

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, andEurope. 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.

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.76(w) x 9.56(h) x 0.81(d)

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Part II

"When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it;" the old king had said.

But the old king hadn't said anything about being robbed, or about endless deserts, or about people who know what their dreams are but don't want to realize them. The old king hadn't told him that the Pyramids were just a pile of stones, or that anyone could build one in his backyard. And he had forgotten to mention that, when you have enough money to buy a flock larger than the one you had before, you should buy it.

The boy picked up his pouch and put it with his other things. He went down the stairs and found the merchant waiting on a foreign couple, while two other customers walked about the shop, drinking tea from crystal glasses. It was more activity than usual for this time of the morning. From where he stood, he saw for the first time that the old merchant's hair was very much like the hair of the old king. He remembered the smile of the candy seller, on his first day in Tangier, when he had nothing to eat and nowhere to gothat smile had also been like the old king's smile.

It's almost as if he had been here and left his mark, he thought. And yet, none of these people has ever met the old king. On the other hand, he said that he always appeared to help those who are trying to realize their Personal Legend.

He left without saying good-bye to the crystal merchant. He didn't want to cry with the other people there. He was going to miss the place and all the good things he had learned. He was more confident in himself, though, and felt as though he could conquer the world.

"But I'm going back to the fields that I know, totake care of my flock again." He said that to himself with certainty, but he was no longer happy with his decision. He had worked for an entire year to make a dream come true, and that dream, minute by minute, was becoming less important. Maybe because that wasn't really his dream.

Who knows . . . maybe it's better to be like the crystal merchant: never go to Mecca, and just go through life wanting to do so, he thought, again trying to convince himself. But as he held Urim and Thummim in his hand, they had transmitted to him the strength and will of the old king. By coincidenceor maybe it was an omen, the boy thought-he came to the bar he had entered on his first day there. The thief wasn't there, and the owner brought him a cup of tea.

I can always go back to being a shepherd, the boy thought. I learned how to care for sheep, and I haven't forgotten how that's done. But maybe I'll never have another chance to get to the Pyramids in Egypt. The old man wore a breastplate of gold, and he knew about my past. He really was a king, a wise king.

The hills of Andalusia were only two hours away, but there was an entire desert between him and the Pyramids...

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Illustrated Alchemist 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am in eighth grade and had to read this book for school. What a bad book! It is very difficult to understand and the messages are too implicit. The beginning was good, the ending was decent, but the middle was terrible. There is little action.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book in One day. It was delightful and magical. I was so inspired, I acted upon my own personal legends the very next day and it's changed a way of thinking that has always been inside me.....
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is an excellent work of literature. Paul Coleho is a very good author. The Alchemist goes very deep. I have the 10th anniversary edition and it is a very good book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alchemist is a satisfying read, an understanding mentor, a bible of sorts all packed into one. The not more than 250 pages of text has a charm that remains even after the illuminating pages are read. The book is about a young shepherd boy who makes a journey to follow his dream. Many a times the comforts of a simple life try to dishearten him but ultimately the he does what he wanted to do. The story is based on a fable from Arabian nights but the impeccable style of coelho breathes life into it. Life posses many questions and very few of them are answered, if you are lucky. The Alchemist is a story which unravels so beautifully that before you expect or comprehend so many illuminating things have been said that you slow down and ponder for a while, and all these things happen without disturbing the storyline in the least. This is the only book that for which I have written a review. Spend the few bucks it cost I personally proclaim that you will never regret it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A boy named santiago was going throuhg his journey and trying to find his dream of treasure and as he walking through his journey somehow he star believing on his heart and what ever the heart says, and he does it and does good,'cause our heart is neverwrong.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i was refered this book...and i remember i couldn't keep it down after the page number, when he meets the old felt so true, so sencible, as if i knew about his advices deep inside somewhere, but couldnt relate to them, it helped me to relate it and once again search for my destiny that i had thought didnt exist amymore...or shall i say i left it on fate....
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read this book more than 10 times and the more I read this book the more I like it. Each episode is good for your bedtime reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is a amazing book and like many have said a life changing book.It is a book that makes you reflect on your own life and dreams that you have for yourself.I would recomend it to anyone that I know.Don't lend it out you may not get it back,I give it as a gift to friends who don't have it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The only version available when I bought the book was the illustrated version and those few illustrations really give your imagination a boost. This book could have changed the path of my life had I read it when it first came out. I think this book should be a reading requirement in high schools or colleges. After reading this book I have seriously thought about my life and my dreams in a different way. I can't wait to start following my own dreams.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Coelho is himself a true alchemist... his story in its simplicity is brilliant, inspired, and mesmerizing.... he has told the story of all our lives... our dreams... our fears... and most especially the truth that hinders us from seeing what we already possess... this book spoke to me in a way that no other ever has... this is trully Coelho's 'master work'...
Guest More than 1 year ago
A beautiful little story with simple life lessons.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the most wonderful book i've ever read. As soon as i finished reading the last page, i was left staring at the back flap,having an introspective look at my life; for i was forever changed. Never thought a book this small could mean so much. It's absolutely wonderful.