The Alchemist is a novel by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho which was first published in 1988. Originally written in Portuguese, it became a widely translated international bestseller.
The Alchemist Summary
The Alchemist is a classic novel in which a boy named Santiago embarks on a journey seeking treasure in the Egyptian pyramids after having a recurring dream about it and on the way meets mentors, falls in love, and most importantly, learns the true importance of who he is and how to improve himself and focus on what really matters in life.
It only took Paulo Coelho two weeks to write the original Portuguese version of The Alchemist in 1987. He could write that fast because, as he put it, the book was “already written in my soul.” And although it didn’t sell well at first, the universe conspired to make Coelho’s dream happen and the book became a hit.
Today, it’s sold over 65 million copies. It’s spent more than 315 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. And the book also holds the Guinness World Record for the most translated book by a living author.
It’s also setting a record here on Four Minute Books as our first ever summary of a fictional book.
So why did we choose to summarize it? We know that Gregory Cowles was right when he wrote in the New York Times that the book “is more self-help than literature. But that hasn’t hurt it with readers.”
And honestly, we’ve read it, and regardless of what Cowles or anybody says, the book really is full of lessons that will improve your life beyond what you could have ever imagined. We know because that’s what it’s done for us.
Here are just 3 of the many inspiring and eye-opening lessons from The Alchemist:
- You have a Personal Legend that you must follow if you want to be happy and fulfilled.
- Your fear is holding you back more than anything else.
- “The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”
Let’s jump right into this wonderful book and see how much we can learn!
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About the Author
Paulo Coelho de Souza is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist and a member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters since 2002. His novel The Alchemist became an international best-seller and he has published 28 more books since then.