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Monday, September 21, 2009

11 Minutes and Veronika decides to Die by Paulo Coelho


ISBN-13: 9780060589288
buy here:

Once upon a time, there was a prostitute called Maria"-thus begins Coelho's latest novel, a book that cannot decide whether it wants to be fairy tale or saga of sexual discovery, so ends up satisfying the demands of neither. In his dedication, bestselling Brazilian novelist Coelho (The Alchemist) tells readers that his book will deal with issues that are "harsh, difficult, shocking," but neither his tame forays into S&M nor his rather technical observations about female anatomy and the sad but hardly new fact that many women are dissatisfied with their sex lives will do much to shock American readers. In Maria, however, the author has created a strong, sensual young woman who grabs our sympathy from the first, as she suffers unrequited love as a child, learns a bit about sex as a teenager and, at 19, makes the ill-advised decision to leave Rio on a Swedish stranger's promise of fame and fortune. Maria's trials and triumphs-she goes from restaurant dancer to high-class prostitute-would make for an entertaining if rather prosaic novel, but Coelho, unfortunately, does not leave it there. Instead, he embarks on a philosophical exploration of sexual love, using Maria's increasingly ponderous and pseudo-philosophical diary entries as a means for expounding on the nature of sexual desire, passion and love. At the end, the story boils down to a rather predictable romance tarted up with a few sexy trappings.

Fo Danica. I read this every year back to back with his other book Veronika decides to die (see review below this, you might like that one too) Thanks for reading. Hope this helps you buy the book.
Paulo Coelho is one of my favorite author of our time. He writes beautiful prose, dramatic truths and brave visuals thru his scenes. He makes me contemplate on the things that I don't normally consider having strong views on. He challenges my reasoning and makes me do a double take on my opinions. 11 Minutes is my 2nd favorite from all his books.
From the back cover of the book and from the blurbs I gathered from AMAZON.COM the book sounds like your typical erotic books that portrays a young girl that got mixed up with the world of prostitution thus comes graphic descriptions of sex. Nope, this book is more than that. The book is about the difference of Sex and Love. One girl's journey from innocence to understanding the real world will make you want ot read the book page after page until you sigh on how wonderful her story goes.
I find the book overpowering due to the subject it presents. Especially the moral vindication and the metaphysics (inner being and the soul) approach on the subject.


ISBN-13: 9780061124266
buy here:

Twenty-four-year-old Veronika seems to have everything -- youth and beauty, boyfriends and a loving family, a fulfilling job. But something is missing in her life. So, one cold November morning, she takes a handful of sleeping pills expecting never to wake up. But she does -- at a mental hospital where she is told that she has only days to live.

Inspired by events in Coelho's own life, Veronika Decides to Die questions the meaning of madness and celebrates individuals who do not fit into patterns society considers to be normal. Bold and illuminating, it is a dazzling portrait of a young woman at the crossroads of despair and liberation, and a poetic, exuberant appreciation of each day as a renewed opportunity.

For Jessica, yes, reading the book first and see if the movie rendition is worhty. That's what I always do. LOL. And This is my favorite Coelho book.

In one his his many interviews Coelho said this is a book about life and death. Agreed 100%.
It starts off with our protagonist Veronika's night when she deided to overdosed herself with sleeping pills. only to wake up in an asylum called the Villet, the doctor then explained how they managed to revived her but barely, she was told that she only have a few days to live. She then found and met interesting people. The horrifying treatments and the heartbreaking story of their life made me finish the book in one sitting.

I can never really describe how much this book change the way I view mental illness. Veronikas situation is so colloquial that I felt the depression that drove her to suicide. But like any other person looking outside the box I also feel that her stunt earned her a place in the aylum and then I got to know her, like Zedka, Mari and most especially Eduard.

In a society that one simple act of temporary violence is considered a disease thus said people are shunned by the public and most of their relative. Example: Mary, in a heated arguement with her co-worker pulls her hair, out of frustration. Said co-worker then pressed charges and Mary was sent to a mental institution backed up with paper works from a professional that labeled her as a bi-polar, Mary then was given medications that they think would help her "get well" and the result... could be many things. She maybe now suicidal, lost or even dead. I respect the professionals but I question the authenticity of their diagnosis. My point is, can someone really say one is truly disturbed, based on one given situation? Because for me people who annoys you or people who lost their temper and smash, say an ex-husbands windshield because she caught him cheating doesn't count. (ok, enough reality shows. LOL)

Beautifully written. Based on Paulo's personal experience in the asylum. Prepare to cry. A life changing book.


SophiesMark said...

Love, love, love Coehlo, but the last book of his I read was such a dissappointment. I am going to see if this read is redeeming. Thanks

PeaceLove&Pat said...

@SophiesMark - what book? The Winner Stands Alone? I haven't read any reviews on that one yet. yes, you will love 11 minutes.
Happy reading.

SophiesMark said...

nod, The Winner Stands Alone was so disappointing.

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