An inspiring work by Paulo Coelho, the Alchemist is a philosophical story that is told in a fictional sort of way. Coelho is the bestselling author of books such as Eleven Minutes, The Pilgrimage, etc.
The Alchemist portrays the life of a shepherd, Santiago, living in Spain where he grazes his sheep in the fields of Andalusia. He wanted to travel all around the world and presumed that as a shepherd he could travel. Lately, he had had recurring dreams about the pyramids in Egypt where he is guided by a child to a treasure, but the dream vanishes before he could get to the treasure. So he goes over to a gipsy who tells fortunes. She says that he indeed had a treasure waiting for him at the pyramids. Then when he went over to a village to sell the wool from his sheep, he met an old man who said that he was the king of Salem and gave the boy two stones “Umin” and “Thumin” which were considered to be stones that could help him read Omens.
So he sold his sheep to a friend and set out to Africa where the Pyramids awaited him. It was a foreign land and he got his money stolen by thieves. So he started to work for a crystal merchant who considered him to be lucky. After a year of working there, he collected enough money to continue his journey. So he set out with a caravan towards the pyramids. During his journey, he met an Englishman who wanted to meet an Alchemist who lives in an Oasis. So they travel to the Oasis and settle there for some time. During their stay, the boy meets Fatima, a local of the Oasis, when she comes to fetch water. He instantly grows a liking to her and during the course of events learns that she likes him too. One day he saw signs of an army approaching the Oasis. He informed about this to the chieftains of the Oasis who made precautions about the coming danger and were able to avert the danger. Hence, they made him one among the chieftains and he married Fatima. He then met the Alchemist who offered to travel halfway with him to the pyramids.
So the boy went to the pyramids and started digging there when some raiders stopped him and called him a fool for believing in his dreams. One of them said that he had a dream about finding a treasure in the fields of Spain where shepherds and their sheep slept. He also mentioned about a ruined church where under a Sycamore tree he would find gold.
The raiders left and the boy travelled back to Spain and found his treasure at the same place where he started his journey. The Soul of the World took him all over and made him realise his dreams, in the end rewarding him for it.