"The Alchemist"

Jeremy Irons reads an excerpt from Paulo Coelho's novel about a shepherd boy who travels from his homeland, Spain, to Egypt in search of a mysterious treasure buried in the Pyramids.

Published November 13, 2001 9:02AM (EST)

"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 is 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.

"In his native Brazil, novelist Coelho is outsold only by Colombia's Gabriel García Márquez, and he will undoubtedly establish himself here with the publication of this, his second novel, which has been a hit all over Latin America, Europe and Asia. Coelho's story seems like something from the land of Scheherazade, told by one lover to the other in postcoital bliss, all with the outward simplicity yet deep resonance that is common to fables." -- Brad Hooper, Booklist

Paulo Coelho was born in, and still resides in, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Since it was first published, "The Alchemist" has sold more than 11 million copies worldwide and has been translated into some 41 languages. In addition to "The Alchemist," Paulo Coelho has written luminous novels including "The Pilgrimage," "By the River Piedra I Sat Down & Wept," "The Valkyries" and "Veronika Decides to Die." A winner of numerous literary prizes, Paulo Coelho is also a prominent speaker for humanitarian causes.

Listen to an excerpt from "The Alchemist" [Harper Audio], read by award-winning actor Jeremy Irons.

By Paulo Coelho

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