The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho Audiobook Review

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The Alchemist

Written by: Paulo Coelho

Narrated by: Jeremy Irons

Length: 4 hours

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date: October 5, 2005

Publisher: HarperAudio

Do you absolutely adore adventurous novels? There are many of them out there, but none can parallel the amazing tale of Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. This timeless classic has been passed down through the generations and has always managed to capture the imaginations of the readers. Although the tale is ultimately simplistic, it still holds significant meaning. In fact, the book was previously referred to as a self-help book. Whether you’re looking for a great adventure or want to motivate yourself, The Alchemist is an excellent way to fulfill your desire. 

Although the novel has been critically acclaimed, the audiobook is somewhat lesser known. Is Jeremy Irons’ vocal adaptation worth your time? Is the four-hour audiobook capable of doing the novel justice? Below, you will be able to find out!

The Narration

Over the years, Jeremy Irons has made quite the name for himself, as a highly skilled narrator. He is a prolific narrator and has worked on some of the best-known novels in the world, including Empire of the Sun, Lolita, The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde, and Brideshead Revisited. The majority of his projects have turned out to be brilliant successes. Although his accent is a little strange, it really wears on the listener, with time. Another slight problem is Jeremy’s slight lisp. It isn’t always present, but it does manage to slip through the cracks every so often. Within the four-hour audiobook, the lisp was evident, but not overwhelming. It doesn’t take anything away from the tale.

For an unabridged audiobook, The Alchemist is somewhat short. This could be labeled as a good thing, but others may desire a longer story for their money. This isn’t to say that the story is rushed, because it is not. Instead, it is straight to the point and doesn’t dwindle on unnecessary deals. Jeremy does a fabulous job reading and interpreting the story, while keeping the pace consistent throughout. During the four-hour tale, there was never a moment of boredom.

Jeremy should also be credited with his ability to make Santiago into a cheerful, sympathetic figure. When Santiago converses with the old king, the moment instantly becomes a classic and one that will live on for eternity. Is it true that the whole universe will conspire together to make Santiago’s wish become a reality? Jeremy’s voice during this moment definitely gives hope to the listener and fills them with anxiousness.

It should be known that The Alchemist is filled with many quirky characters. Jeremy does a good job changing voices, in order to give individualism to each. This allows the listener to easily identify the fictional speaker. Although Irons does allow his vocal volume to drop too low at times, it doesn’t hinder the audiobook in the least. Despite a few hiccups here and there, Jeremy does an excellent job. The audio quality is excellent, Jeremy is easily understandable and he ultimately elevates the book to a new level.

An Enduring Tale Of Finding Treasure

Paulo Coelho, a Brazilian author focuses his novel The Alchemist on the coming of age and finding destiny. Paulo creates a character that follows his dream wherever it takes him and along the way he meets people from all walks of life. Santiago is a young shepherd boy that believes his recurring dream is trying to tell him something important.

Coelho inspires his readers by taking them on a journey that is out of reach for most. He also creates characters that encourage Santiago to do whatever it takes to make his dream a reality. This novel is a daring tale that should encourage all young readers to follow in the footsteps of Santiago. When looking deeper into the text, you will also see that Coelho makes a bold twist to the story, by tempting Santiago with the beautiful Fatima.

Although it appears that Santiago would be willing to stop searching for his treasures and marry Fatima, she would have none of it. This amazing expression of love is not something that many will experience in their lifetime. As a matter of fact, many individuals will give up their dreams to get married and have children, but will regret their decision later on down the road.

The Alchemist offers a special teaching course for all, especially the young at heart. Coelho expresses the importance of keeping your mind and ears open. Never be afraid to take risks, since playing it safe will most likely deter you from working your way towards finding destiny.

Many experts believe that dreams can actually provide insight into the mind, body, and soul. Dreams can also give you motivation to reach a specific goal that you are striving for, which is why every young enthusiastic reader should take the time to explore The Alchemist. In the end, this is an uplifting tale, which will keep the listener engaged and entertained from the very beginning all the way to the satisfying conclusion.


Although there are a few flaws in the narration of The Alchemist, they’re easy to ignore. The audiobook is only four hours long, which makes it a quick listen and one that everyone can enjoy. It is fun, uplifting and very motivational. Despite being somewhat simplistic, the book is definitely very insightful and can give hope to those in the direst circumstances. The book encourages everyone to go out into the world and take risks, in order to achieve their destiny. Santiago usually played things safe, until he was forced to take a risk, in order to defend his freedom. This tale might be cliché, but few others do it as well as The Alchemist.

When it comes down to it, the novel is an excellent starting point, but the audiobook is even better. It is charming, adventurous and very uplifting. Paulo Coelho’s writing combines with Jeremy Irons’ excellent vocal performance to achieve one of the finest audiobooks of this generation! If you’re looking for a simplistic, but heartfelt story, The Alchemist should not be ignored!

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