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The Alchemist - Gift Edition
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"My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky." Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams." Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. The Alchemist is such a book. With over a million and a half copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has already established itself as a modern classic, universally admired. Paulo Coelho's charming fable, now available in English for the first time, will enchant and inspire an even wider audience of readers for generations to come. The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. 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 life's path, and, above all, following our dreams.
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`` `In order to find the treasure, you will have to follow the omens. God has prepared a path for everyone to follow. You just have to read the omens that he left for you.' Before the boy could reply, a butterfly appeared and fluttered between him and the old man. He remembered something his grandfather had once told him: that butterflies were a good omen. Like crickets, and like expectations; like lizards and four-leaf clovers.'' The boy is Santiago, a Spanish shepherd who wants to fulfill his dream of seeing the world. When he meets some people who tell him that he will find his treasure near the Pyramids, he decides to take the risk and sheds his old life like a snake shedding skin. The boy's journey and metamorphosis are subjects of the tale. The book is peopled with gypsies, old men, kings, warriors, desert-dwellers, and an alchemist, who describes Santiago's fate if he decides to settle for less than his dream. Destiny conspires with ambition to move him to realize his potential. A familiar theme in a New Age package.-- Peggie Partello, Keene State Coll, N.H.

"As memorable and meaningful as Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince."--Austin American-Statesman "A most tender and gentle story. It is a rare gem of a book."--Gerald G. Jampolsky, M.D., co-author of Change Our Mind, Change Your Life "A magical little volume."--San Francisco Chronicle "A remarkable tale about the most magical of all journeys: the quest to fulfill one's destiny."--Anthony Robbins, author of Awaken the Giant Within "[His] books have had a life-enchanting effect on millions of people."--London Times "An entrepreneurial tale of universal wisdom we can apply to the business of our own lives."--Spencer Johnson, M.D., co-author of The One-Minute Manager "An adventure story full of magic and wisdom."--Rudolfo Anaya, author of Bless Me, Ultima "A beautiful story with a pointed message for every reader."--Joseph Girzone, author of Joshua "A sweetly exotic tale for young and old alike."--Publishers Weekly "A touching, inspiring fable."--Indianapolis Star "[This] Brazilian wizard makes books disappear from stores."--New York Times "A wise and inspiring fable about the pilgrimage that life should be."--M. Scott Peck "it changed my whole life. I realized of all of the people who had conspired to get me to this place."--PHARRELL WILLIAMS, MUSICIAN AND SONG-WRITER "It's a brilliant, magical, life-changing book that continues to blow my mind with its lessons. [...] A remarkable tome."--NEIL PATRICK HARRIS, ACTOR

Brazilian writer Coelho has published five titles in 45 languages in 120 countries, and has sold 23 million books. It's easy to see why. This charming, simple and well-written allegory tells of a boy, Santiago, who has the imagination and courage to follow his "Personal Legend." Santiago finds fairy godfathers at many turns who help him learn to keep up his courage, and to read omens and his own heart. The book's inspirational message follow your heart and do your own thing is oblique enough, to allow readers to interpret it in any way they choose, with whatever degree and form of spirituality one adheres to: "To realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation." But apparently only men need apply; a woman's destiny is to wait for her hero to find his treasure and return home to her. The real treasure here is Jeremy Irons. His intriguing, subtle and powerful performance carries us along on the boy's adventures, into his confusions and insights, through discussions with kings and animals, through the desert and the sun and even through the philosophical passages. Based on the Harper San Francisco hardcover. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

YA-- This simple, yet eloquent parable celebrates the richness of the human spirit. A young Spanish shepherd seeking his destiny travels to Egypt where he learns many lessons, particularly from a wise old alchemist. The real alchemy here, however, is the transmuting of youthful idealism into mature wisdom. The blending of conventional ideas with an exotic setting makes old truths seem new again. This shepherd takes the advice Hamlet did not heed, learning to trust his heart and commune with it as a treasured friend. Enjoyable and easy to read, this timeless fantasy validates the aspirations and dreams of youth.-- Sabrina Fraunfelter, Fairfax County Public Library, VA

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