Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Reading Now: Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho

When i picked up the first book of Paulo Coelho, which was THE ALCHEMIST .. i immediately fell in love with his style, philosophical way of writing and spirituality (which is resonant of sufi influence).

Eleven Minutes is the second book by the author that i'm reading. The synopsis goes like this, "A new, international bestseller by the author of The Alchemist tells the story of Maria, a young girl from a Brazilian village, whose first innocent brushes with love leave her heartbroken. At a tender age, she becomes convinced that she will never find true love, instead believing that "Love is a terrible thing that will make you suffer ..." A chance meeting in Rio takes her to Geneva, where she dreams of finding fame and fortune. Instead, she ends up working as a prostitute.


In Geneva, Maria drifts further and further away from love as she develops a fascination with sex. Eventually, Maria's despairing view of love is put to the test when she meets a handsome young painter. In this odyssey of self-discovery, Maria has to choose between pursuing a path of darkness, sexual pleasure for its own sake, or risking everything to find her own "inner light" and the possibility of sacred sex, sex in the context of love.

In this gripping and daring new novel, Paulo Coelho sensitively explores the sacred nature of sex and love and invites us to confront our own prejudices and demons and embrace our own "inner light."

At first read, it might seem that the story is on a very common theme. It might be. But the way Paulo Coelho writes is really brilliant. He has this extra ordinary way of inserting philosophical ideas, spirituality inside the writing (in this novel in the form of a diary kept by maria and often comments by the author). Once i started the book, i found many thoughts coming to me. I will be posting on them in some future posts.
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