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"The Alchemist"

An Overview of "The Alchemist"

Every few decades a book is published that becomes not just a best-selling self-improvement book but changes the lives of its readers forever. Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist" is just such a book. This is the story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who dreams of travelling the world in search of a treasure as extravagant as any found. From his home in Spain, he journeys to the exotic markets of Tangiers and then into the Egyptian desert, where a fateful encounter with the alchemist awaits him.

About Author Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1947. In 1970, after leaving law school early, he travelled through much of South America, North Africa, Mexico, and Europe. Returning to Brazil, he began a successful career as a popular songwriter. In 1974, he was imprisoned for a short time by the military dictatorship. In 1988, Coelho published The Alchemist, which has sold more than 11 million copies and been translated into 41 languages, making it one of the top best-selling self-improvement books of all time.

A Review of "The Alchemist"


Dreams, symbols, signs, and adventure follow the reader like echoes of ancient wise voices in "The Alchemist", a novel that combines an atmosphere of Medieval mysticism with the song of the desert. With this symbolic masterpiece Coelho states that we should not avoid our destinies, and urges people to follow their dreams, because to find our "Personal Myth" and our mission on Earth is the way to find "God", meaning happiness, fulfillment, and the ultimate purpose of creation

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"The Alchemist" is one of the works that features in the top 10 list of all-time life-changing books. For a review of this and other best-selling self-improvement books, see the MTL E-book, "Life-Changers." 

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