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The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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"To realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation."--from The Alchemist

The Alchemist tells the story of Santiago, the young Andalusian shepherd who dreams of buried treasure in Egypt and embarks upon a challenging journey to find it. With all the simplicity and symbolic richness of a fable, Coelho's novel is both a hunt for buried treasure and a spiritual quest, with a hero who overcomes trials along the way with the help of teachers who guide him.

Paulo Coelho's books have difficult--and valuable--lessons to impart, but much of their appeal comes from the way Coelho dramatizes these lessons. With exquisite simplicity, the author brings to these stories his own experience of confronting life's most profound challenges, his broad knowledge of philosophy, psychology, and literature, and a deeply-felt humanity.