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The Alchemist Summary and Book Review

Alchemist is a short fictional novel of around 167 pages, written by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho in 1988. The book is full of inspiring and motivational quotations, wisdom and philosophy, and life lessons. In this write-up, you will read a short but crisp summary of the novel “The Alchemist”.

The Alchemist sheds light on the importance of the journey and struggles in life in order to achieve life goals and objectives despite the limited resources we have.

Moreover, we find the ways of nature; how nature helps us in reaching our goals by placing various signs and signals in our way. All these signs serve us in understanding the right direction in life and carry on the journey.

The novel lays emphasis on the importance of optimism, faith, and continuous struggle in the face of all the odds in life.

It is actually a sort of motivational and self-help book that would help us re-igniting the extinguished spark within.

The Alchemist Summary

The Alchemist is a novel about Santiago, a young shepherd from Andalusia who dreams of finding a treasure in Egypt.

Santiago decides to follow his dream after meeting a mysterious old man named Melchizedek, who tells him that he has a Personal Legend, which is his true purpose in life. Melchizedek also gives him two stones, Urim and Thummim, to help him read the omens along the way.

Santiago sells his sheep and travels to Tangier, where he is robbed by a thief. He works for a crystal merchant for a year and earns enough money to join a caravan across the Sahara desert.

On the caravan, he meets an Englishman who is looking for an alchemist who lives in an oasis. The Englishman teaches Santiago about alchemy, the science of transforming metals into gold and finding the Elixir of Life and the Philosopher’s Stone.

The caravan reaches the oasis of Al-Fayoum, where Santiago falls in love with a beautiful girl named Fatima. He also meets the alchemist, who tells him that he will help him find his treasure if he is willing to risk everything.

Santiago agrees and leaves Fatima, promising to return after fulfilling his Personal Legend.

The alchemist and Santiago travel through the desert, facing many dangers and tests. They are captured by a warring tribe but manage to escape by showing their power of alchemy.

They also encounter a monk who keeps part of the Philosopher’s Stone and the Elixir of Life. The alchemist gives Santiago some gold and tells him to follow his heart to the treasure.

Santiago arrives at the pyramids and begins to dig. He is attacked by some robbers who beat him and take his gold.

One of the robbers tells him that he had a dream of a treasure buried under a sycamore tree in an abandoned church in Spain.

Santiago realizes that this is where his sheep used to sleep and that his treasure was there all along. He laughs and thanks the robbers for saving him the trouble of digging.

Santiago returns to Spain and finds a chest of gold and jewels under the sycamore tree. He also finds Urim and Thummim which he had lost along the way.

He remembers his journey and all the people he met and learned from. He decides to go back to the oasis and reunite with Fatima, who is waiting for him.

He understands that his Personal Legend was not only about finding a treasure, but also about discovering himself, his love, and his connection with the Soul of the World.

Book Review

The Alchemist is one of the highly recommended books; especially if you are just starting to develop a taste in fictional books. Written in very simple language, this book is easily understandable by a person of any age group. 

So, just grab one copy and enjoy the ventures by a boy ‘Santiago’ who is apparently just like you but might be different on the basis of willpower and determination.

Motivational Quotes from the Novel

Following are some highly motivational quotes from the novel ‘The Alchemist’.

  • “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve the fear of failure.”
  • “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, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
  • “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

You can buy “THE ALCHEMIST” from Amazon

About the author


A versatile human being with a passion for reading and writing - always striving for growth, living in the moment but trying to keep pace with the evolving world.

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