A 1988 novel by Creator/PauloCoelho.

Shepherd Santiago lives a peaceful life in the fields of Andalusia, tending his flocks and crushing on a local wool merchant's daughter, untroubled save for a strange [[PsychicDreamsForEveryone recurring dream]]. When a fortune-teller interprets his dream as a [[CallToAdventure prophecy telling him to find treasure hidden in the pyramids]] Santiago, (with encouragement from a strange old man who calls himself the King of Salem) follows the dream's message, seeking out his "personal legend." Aided by Urim and Thummim, a pair of fortune-telling stones gifted to him by the King, Santiago travels on foot to Egypt, meeting diverse range of people along the way: a crystal merchant dreaming of making Hajj[[note]]The traditional [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca]] every Muslim is required to make at least once in their lifetime[[/note]], a desert-dwelling beauty named Fatima, an Englishman seeking the philosopher's stone, and the titular Alchemist. From each encounter and event Santiago gains a new understanding of himself and what he seeks, and ultimately leads his quest to the most unexpected of conclusions.

Written in the span of two weeks, The Alchemist was an [[SleeperHit unexpected bestseller]], remaining to this day one of Coelho's most popular works. Surrounding the main plot is a mythology combining the mystical traditions of the Abrahamic religions with Hermetic philosophy and aspects of Alchemy, a surprisingly sensitive (one might say affectionate) portrayal of Bedouin culture through the eyes of a Spanish youth, and an overarching message about following your dreams to even the most unexpected of places. These factors have contributed to the novel's success, giving it a broad appeal across cultures and age groups.

!!The Alchemist provides examples of:

* AbsenceMakesTheHeartGoYonder: Why Santiago goes to Africa (without realizing it) and later returns to the oasis: to be with Fatima.
* AlchemyIsMagic: Averted: Alchemy is used to do some pretty amazing stuff, but it's very explicitly not magic; it's a form of understanding "The Soul of the World". At the most, it can be considered a sort of EnlightenmentSuperpower.
* AllMythsAreTrue: The book treats some of the fundamental truths of Christianity, Islam, and Hermeticism not only as true, but ultimately in harmony with each other.
* AnAesop: "Following what you truly want in your life, even if it is a lot of hard work, will ultimately make you happier than living a comfortable life dictated by what other people think that you should do." Also, [[spoiler: "Sometimes you have to go a long ways away in order to discover something that was with or near you the whole time."]]
* ArcWords: Many, especially one's Personal Legend, The Language of the Soul, and ''maktub'' (Arabic for "destiny", literally "written").
* AsTheGoodBookSays: The Alchemist quotes the New Testament directly. "Where your treasure is, there your heart shall be also" is a direct quote from Luke 12:34 (and Matthew 6:21). He also offers a paraphrase of the story of Joseph.
* BlitheSpirit: Santiago, pretty much wherever he goes, but especially in the crystal shop.
* {{BookEnds}}: The story begins and ends with Santiago in a church.
* ChekhovsGun: [[spoiler:The sycamore tree.]]
* DrawSwordDrawBlood: While travelling with a caravan, Santiago gets a premonition that they're going to be attacked. He informs the chief, who tells him that they'll make defensive preparations, but if he was wrong they'll kill him, since apparently "blood must be shed once weapons are drawn". Fortunately for him, he was right.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: A journey from Andalusia to Egypt, which takes well over a year.
* HiddenDepths: Melchizedek at first appears to be an annoying old man who asks to see Santiago's book. [[spoiler:He's actually an angelic figure whose job it is to encourage people on their quests to find their own Personal Legends]]. Santiago appears to be just another shepherd, but is actually literate and quite intelligent. [[spoiler:He was training to become a priest but left the seminary to pursue a life of adventure.]]
* ItsTheJourneyThatCounts: [[spoiler: Santiago goes through the whole book just to find out that the treasure was buried right under his location from the first page. While dismayed at first, he realizes that he never would have learned a new language, seen the Pyramids, met the love of his life, or learned how to turn himself into the wind]].
* ItWasWithYouAllAlong: Santiago's knowledge of alchemy, which helps him [[spoiler:transform into wind to escape from hostile Arabs, and find the treasure]].
* IWillWaitForYou: Fatima to Santiago, before he leaves the oasis for Egypt.
* JumpedAtTheCall: Santiago is eager to set out for Egypt immediately, but things don't quite turn out as planned at first...
* KnightInSourArmor: The Englishman, who has spent years searching for the secrets of alchemy without much luck, and is very bitter about it. Luckily, the Alchemist sets him on the right track.
* LanguageOfLove: Not what you think it is. It's that everything in the universe is connected and love renders one capable of understanding it.
* LastGirlWins: Santiago is infatuated with a girl from the village at first, and it looks like it might go somewhere. But at the end of the book, he decides to go back to [[spoiler:Fatima]].
* LoveAtFirstSight: Santiago and Fatima.
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: The Alchemist is over 200 years old, since he has the Elixir of Life.
* ShownTheirWork: Coelho mentions a lot of details about Islam and North Africa which he mostly gets right, as well as Christianity, classical mythology and of course [[CaptainObvious alchemy]].
* ThePowerOfLove: Directly invoked. Santiago's "listening to his heart" allows him to finally understand the secrets of alchemy and [[spoiler:lets him turn himself into wind]].
* ThisIsSomethingHesGotToDoHimself: The Alchemist leaves Santiago on the last stage of his journey.
* WantingIsBetterThanHaving: The crystal merchant and his pilgrimage to Mecca.
* WholePlotReference: Tale Of Two Dreamers, a short story of Creator/JorgeLuisBorges, which in turn is based fron a story of the ArabianNights.