rating: 3 of 5 stars
I list Paulo Coelho as one of my favorite authors, and I love a number of his books. While I liked this one, it definitely wasn't my favorite. That being said, I also think a lot of people just won't get it.
The Winner Stands Alone follows a number of characters through twenty-four hours at the Cannes Film Festival. Igor is a powerful Russian entrepreneur who goes to the festival to get back his wife Ewa, who left him. He is trying to catch her attention by destroying worlds. We follow a variety of characters: Igor, a notorious film distributer, an aspiring actress, model on the rise, and an unknown film director. Igor believes that his mission is one that must be carried out at any cost. I won't say a whole lot more about the plot, as I don't want to spoil it for anyone who would like to read this book.
I do think that Coelho paints an interesting picture of this world of excess. No one is happy in this novel, regardless of how famous they are or how much money they have. He illustrated the fleeting quality of life and I believe, tries to acknowledge what really should matter--not money and fame, but love and people. I think I'll read this book again in a few months and try to think about it more. While I did like it, I don't know if many people will. The vast majority of society clings to the idea that if we just had a little more money, or were famous, or more beautiful, then everything would be all right. Not so, says Coelho and while I believe this is an important message, I'm not sure that the world is ready to hear it, nor am I really sure that is what he intended, it's just my own interpretation.
At any rate, I would definitely recommend this book. It was a good read, and was structured in an interesting way. As a writer, I really appreciated the structure and his interesting points of view. It definitely read quickly, but like I said, I think I will read it again to delve into the deeper meaning.
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