The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist is a novel by Paulo Coelho first published in 1988. Originally written in Portuguese, it has been translated into 71 languages as of 2011. An allegorical novel, The Alchemist follows a young Andalusian shepherd named Santiago in his journey to Egypt, after having a recurring dream of finding treasure there.

From the book

The boy's name wasSantiago . Dusk was falling as the boy arrived with his herd at an abandoned
church. The roof had fallen in long ago, and an enormous sycamore had grown on the spot where the
sacristy had once stood.
He decided to spend the night there. He saw to it that all the sheep entered through the ruined gate, and
then laid some planks across it to prevent the flock from wandering away during the night. There were no
wolves in the region, but once an animal had strayed during the night, and the boy had had to spend the
entire next day searching for it.
He swept the floor with his jacket and lay down, using the book he had just finished reading as a pillow.
He told himself that he would have to start reading thicker books: they lasted longer, and made more
comfortable pillows.
It was still dark when he awoke, and, looking up, he could see the stars through the half-destroyed roof.
I wanted to sleep a little longer, he thought. He had had the same dream that night as a week ago, and
once again he had awakened before it ended.
He arose and, taking up his crook, began to awaken the sheep that still slept. He had noticed that, as
soon as he awoke, most of his animals also began to stir. It was as if some mysterious energy bound his
life to that of the sheep, with whom he had spent the past two years, leading them through the countryside
in search of food and water. "They are so used to me that they know my schedule," he muttered.
Thinking about that for a moment, he realized that it could be the other way around: that it was he who
had become accustomed totheir schedule.
But there were certain of them who took a bit longer to awaken. The boy prodded them, one by one,
with his crook, calling each by name. He had always believed that the sheep were able to understand
what he said. So there were times when he read them parts of his books that had made an impression on
him, or when he would tell them of the loneliness or the happiness of a shepherd in the fields. Sometimes
he would comment to them on the things he had seen in the villages they passed.

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