The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream by Paulo Coelho
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The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream by Paulo Coelho was first published in 1988. The audiobook is about a young shepherd boy named Santiago. He was sleeping under a tree in barren lands when he gets a dream of treasure hidden in the great Egyptian pyramids. He approaches a fortune teller who says that he should go to the Egyptian pyramids and unearth the treasure. She said that she will charge him one-tenth of the treasure when he finds it.
Santiago sets out for the search for treasure. He meets an old king Melchizedek. He introduces Santiago with the concept of Personal Legend as something which one always wanted to achieve. He also says to Santiago that he should sell his sheep so that he can travel to Egypt for the treasure. He also says to him that “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.” When Santiago reaches Africa, he is robbed of his money which he got from selling his sheep. Santiago then works for a crystal merchant for earning money to continue his journey.
Further, in his journey, he meets an Englishman who is searching for an Alchemist. Upon reaching an oasis, Santiago meets Fatima, an Arabian girl and falls in love with her. He asks her to marry him, to which she says that she will marry him only if he completes his journey.
Santiago then meets an Alchemist who helps him discover his true self. Santiago finally reaches the pyramids and starts digging for the treasure. He is asked by refugees what he is doing and he tells them the truth. The leader of the group says to him that he also dreamt of a treasure in a place where shepherds slept with sheep under the sycamore trees. This makes Santiago realize that the greatest treasure is within him.
The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream by Paulo Coelho is beautifully written and an international bestseller. The author gives the message that there is no need to search the treasure outside, it lies inside people. The character of Santiago is well described and the readers feel and root for him in his journey. The narrative is simple yet engaging. It is a great read and a timeless classic.