Book Review: The winner stands alone by Paulo Coelho

Book Review: The winner stands alone by Paulo Coelho

A couple of weeks ago, Mark Zuckerberg announced one of his 2015 new year’s challenge – to read books regularly. Thus A year of Books facebook group was created.

I joined the book club just to be in.. :D

I’ve been reading books regularly anyways. So for this year, the first book that I’ve read is a book written by Paulo Coelho- The Winner Stands Alone. Thanks to Maria, a backpacker travel buddy from Colombia, for giving it to me as a Christmas present.

book review - the winner stands alone
To be honest, it’s the least favourite book by my favourite Author… in the book, characters do anything for money, power and fame. I guess its the violence that puts me off.. I was thinking if the book reflects the current society, then there must be some superclass out there that is just like Igor. Scary.

Paulo did went out of the box and this time, I really didn’t like it. Igor even used God to justify his scary means of killing people.. wait, that’s what religious extremists do when they kill people right? Omigosh, there’s really an Igor among us.

Anyway, it is said that the novel is a mirror image of the world we live in, where our commitment to luxury and success at any cost often prevents us from hearing what the heart actually desires. Here are some excerpts from the book:

“For the past few decades, we have lived in a culture that privileged fame, money, power.. and most people were led to believe that these were the real values to pursue.. What we don’t know is that, behind the scenes, the real manipulators remain anonymous”

“Fashion is merely a way of saying – I belong to your world. I’m wearing the same uniform as your army, so don’t shoot. Ever since groups of men and women started living together in caves, fashion has been the only language everyone understood, even for complete strangers. We dress the same way. I belong to your tribe. Let’s gang up on the weaklings as a way of surviving”

“The father works overtime to be able to buy his son the latest sneakers because if his son doesn’t have a pair, he’ll be ostracized at school. The wife weeps in silence because her friends have designer clothes and she has no money. Their adolescent children, instead of learning the real values of faith and hope, dream only of becoming singers and movie stars. Girls in provincial towns lose any real sense of themselves and start to think of going to the big city, prepared to do anything, absolutely anything, to get a particular piece of jewelry. A world that should be directed toward justice begins instead to focus on material things, which, in six months’ time, will be worthless and have to be replaced”

“Life sometimes separates people so that they can realize how much they mean to each other”

“The Cannes can be divided into two categories

a. The tanned, who spend the whole day in the sun and have necessary badge to gain entry to certain restricted areas of the Festival. They arrive back to their hotels to find several invitations awaiting them, most of which will be thrown in the bin.

b. The pale, who scurry from one gloomy office to the next, watching auditions, and either seeing some really good films that will be lost in the welter of other things on offer.”

Apparently, as much as I’d like to strut my dark brown skin, being tanned or dark has the reverse effects in Asia. Oh well.. For those who still wants to read the book, here’s the link. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you of the violence.

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