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Alchemist by Paulo Coelho to be turned into a film


The Alchemist, the best-­selling book by Paulo Coelho, is to be turned into a film.

By Anita Singh
Last Updated: 11:25PM BST 18 May 2009

Laurence Fishburne will direct, write and star in the £30 million production, which is being made by Harvey Weinstein.

The book has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and translated into 67 languages. Such is its enduring appeal, it is currently at number six on The New York Times bestseller list, 20 years after it was published.

It tells the story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who travels across the Egyptian desert in search of treasure, leading to an encounter with an alchemist who teaches him the meaning of life.

Weinstein unveiled details at the Cannes Film Festival and said it was a project dear to his heart.

He said: “It is a book I have been truly inspired by and I have agreed to personally produce it. The Alchemist is simple and spiritual, and the screenplay will reflect that.

“The book means so much to people on a spiritual level yet there is also a great love story in it. It is an incredibly moving, emotional story.

“I think this story will act as a bridge to the Middle East. In the Middle East, the book has been an overwhelming success.

“That is a world that we need to know more about and extend a bridge to. This movie could be a healer in that region, bringing the West and the East together, especially the Middle East.”

Fishburne will play the alchemist of the title and Weinstein said he was determined to cast Penelope Cruz after seeing her in Vicky Cristina Barcelona at the Cannes festival earlier this week.

“One way or another I’m finding a part for Penelope Cruz,” he said.

The project has been in gestation for over a decade and will mark the major directorial debut of Fishburne.


Filed under: Snippets, , ,

New Books



One night@ a call centre

Five point someone

3 mistakes

By Chetan Bhagat

Kite Runner By Khalid Hosseini

By Maria Puzo

The Prophet By Khalil Gibran


Brida, Zahir and Pilgrimage By Paulo Coelho


The Motorcycle Diaries By CheGuveara

Filed under: New Book Alert, , , , , , , , , , , ,



Paulo Coelho

Reviewed by Karen Moller ,

Published by HarperCollins, out now, hardback, 249 pages, £14.99.

In a nutshell…


simply magical Coelho creation.

What’s it all about?

Brida is a young Irish woman who is searching for knowledge, spirituality, love, purpose and her elusive Soulmate. Her journey leads her to encounters with a mysterious Magus and a teacher called Wicca, as well as dreamy escapes to parallel universes.

Who’s it by?

Brazilian-born Paulo Coelho published his first book Arquivos do Inferno (Hell Archives) a quarter of a century ago, but it was his fourth work, O Alquimista (The Alchemist) that made him somewhat of a household name.

It has been translated into 67 languages and across the world, some 41 million copies have been sold. Overall, more than 100 million copies of his books have been sold.

Apart from writing novels and columns and actively communing with his fan-base online, Coelho is also a UN Messenger of Peace.

As an example…

“Magical places are always beautiful and deserve to be contemplated. Waterfalls, mountains and forests are all places where the spirits of the Earth tend to play and laugh and speak to us.”

Likelihood of becoming a Hollywood blockbuster

Brida is a brilliant story and it is easy to imagine the tale being brought to life on the big screen with Ireland’s forests and ancient mysteries setting the perfect tone. However, with the world still waiting on the film of Coelho’s most famous work, The Alchemist, it is unlikely that Brida will come to cinemas any time soon.

What the others say

“If you are open to spirituality in all of its dimensions and are looking for a book that touches upon this area, Brida shall be very rewarding for you.” – Brida “izumi” (Amazon Top 500 reviewer)

“You might like this story if you’re a Coelho fan… Anyone else – [especially] pagans, Goddess followers and Wiccans – stay away from this book.” – Silma (Barnes & Noble reviewer)

So is it any good?

Brida brings the reader everything that is wonderful about the books of Paulo Coelho. It tells the story of a young woman (and you’d imagine her as being beautiful) who goes in search for deeper meaning to her life.

Coelho is a master storyteller and the reader finds it easy to be magically transported to an ancient parallel universe where Brida discovers so much about herself, her purpose and her Soulmate.

Like an alchemist, Coelho adds just the right mix of mysticism and realism, love and fear to Brida’s tale to make it a wonderful read.

Coelho fans are likely to love this book and be left wanting more after reading the last page.


Filed under: Book of the week, ,


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