English Note

The Alchemist (English Edition)|Learning English with the best seller adventure novel by Paulo Coelho

(29, April, 2023)

This article is about;
The Alchemist (1988), fantasy adventure novel, written by a Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho.
The book information, Plot, and my review in terms of English learning material.
・You could check out some sentences quoted from the book. Feel the portion of ancient adventurous stories.
・It is one of the worldwide best seller books, translated into 81 languages, and sold 85 million copies.

The author of this article is a Japanese who is learning English as a second language. I have read this book for English learning & Vocabuilding.


The Alchemist is a fantasy adventure novel, written by a Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho. I have read this worldwide best seller book in English for my vocabuilding purpose. This article will bring you the book information, Plot, and my review as an English learning material. You can go on a short book trip with some quotes from the book. Feel the world of The Alchemist.
The book was issued by 85 million copies, translated into 81 languages all over the globe. This masterpiece will never let you down; Exciting reading experience is assured.





2.Book Information|The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Title The Alchemist
Author Paulo Coelho
English Translation by Alan R. Clarke
Country Brazil
Genre Adventure, Fantasy
Publisher HarperTorch
Publication in 1988 (Eng. ver in 1993)
Number of pages 163
Number of words 38,871 appx.

Reference:Wikipedia The Alchemist (novel)


A boy, named Santiago lived in Andalusia, Spain, was a shepherd, traveling around, making money by selling wools. He was always together with a flock of sheep. One day, he saw a dream, while sleeping, of going to the Egyptian Pyramid and finding Treasure there. He saw the dream repeatedly.

People, encountered him during travel, such as a fortune teller and the King of Salem, also told him that the dream is the language of God. He decided to go across the African desert, heading to the Pyramid. During Santiago’s tough journey, he was involved in many troubles or happy event sometimes; cheated to lose all of his money, worked in a jewelry shop successfully, or found a loved one.

While he struggled to go through these difficult events, he learned many important lessons of life. Can Santiago reach the Pyramid to make his dream come true?

・English level~For intermediate learners

English written in The Alchemist is intermediate level, not so hard, not so easy. If you have TOEIC 700 score, you can try to read this book without major difficulty.
This novel involves many symbolic lessons which makes it like a self-help book. It makes it special and differentiate from other adventure novels. You can learn new important life lessons every time you read this book.

After all, if you are an intermediate English learner and looking for an adventure/self-help book, The Alchemist is the best choice that will give you exciting reading experience.

・My review in terms of learning material and English vocabuilding (3.5 stars among 5)

My review for The Alchemist in terms of English learning material is 3.5 stars (among 5). The writing style looks like a self-help book or like an essay, so it is not best to learn conversational English.

The theme of this book is “to believe in your own dream and pursue”, in which you can feel the author’s lifetime philosophy. If you sympathized with Paulo Coelho’s idea, this book would be a bible for your life. If not, you might get bored. Seeing Internet reviews, people say those who love The Little Prince, you’ll love The Alchemist too.

Personally, I am in my late 30s and have read many self-help books, the message of this book was not new for me. I wanted to see more adventures rather than life lessons. If I were young when I read this book for the first time, my impression would have been different though. So, The Alchemist is recommended especially for the younger generation.

3.Quotes from the book|The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

In this chapter, you can check out quotes from The Alchemist (English edition). Feel the adventurous world and learn lifetime lessons in English.

✅You should have a clear idea about your own life.

If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.

Coelho, Paulo. The Alchemist (p.24). HarperCollins. Kindle 版.

✅World’s greatest lie

“What’s the world’s greatest lie?” the boy asked, completely surprised. “It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.”

Coelho, Paulo. The Alchemist (p.26). HarperCollins. Kindle 版.

✅Personal Legend

“Why would a king be talking with a shepherd?” the boy asked, awed and embarrassed. “For several reasons. But let’s say that the most important is that you have succeeded in discovering your Personal Legend.”

Coelho, Paulo. The Alchemist (p.29). HarperCollins. Kindle 版.

✅What “Personal Legend” is.

The boy didn’t know what a person’s “Personal Legend” was. “It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is. “At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their Personal Legend.”

Coelho, Paulo. The Alchemist (pp.29-30). HarperCollins. Kindle 版.

✅How you achieve your goal

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Coelho, Paulo. The Alchemist (p.30). HarperCollins. Kindle 版.


The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, tells you the importance of having a dream, mindset to achieve it and many life lessons. Even if you are not a learner of English, I recommend you to read it in your own language.
It depends on whether you could sympathize with the author’s sense of value to enjoy the book, but this big hit bestseller assures the quality reading experience with a lot of exciting adventure. Don’t miss it.

Back to Chapter 2 to see Book Information



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