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Eleven Minutes [Kindle Edition]

Paulo Coelho , Margaret Jull Costa
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The bestselling novel, now in ebook, from international literary phenomenon Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist.

A chance meeting in Rio takes Maria to Geneva, where she dreams of finding fame and fortune, yet ends up working the streets as a prostitute. In Geneva, Maria drifts further and further away from love while at the same time developing 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.

A daring modern fable about the nature of love and sex.



Product Description

Amazon.co.uk Review

Paulo Coelho's astonishingly beautiful writing in Eleven Minutes virtually guarantees it the cult status that The Alchemist already enjoys. But what is the Paulo Coelho phenomenon? How can an author who (only a short time ago) was virtually unknown to most readers have taken the world of books by storm--and without the benefit of glitzy advertising? The answer is simple: quality. Such books as The Fifth Mountain andThe Devil and Miss Prym are enough to explain a considerable following for the author, with their atmospheric prose and involving characters.

Eleven Minutes tells the story of young Maria living an innocent life in a Brazilian village and is played out in a measured fashion, but with all the author's brilliant scene-setting (very lush here) fully in place. But then Maria experiences love and suffers great pain. From this point, Coelho has us inexorably in his grip. Maria's disillusionment with love leads her to Geneva where she finally ends up selling her body (Coelho may offer us the beauty of life, but never at the expense of its harshness). Maria's approach to sex is complex--this is no mere revulsion arising from what she is now doing with her life. And then she meets a seductive young painter, who may or may not offer her a new path in life. But does she prefer to continue on the dark sexual odyssey she has embarked on, at the expense of real love?

There are echoes of DH Lawrence in Coelho's exploration of the sacred and spiritual aspects of sex and it's a brave author who tackles a subject that can so easily slip into strained seriousness. That never happens here, and Maria's journey is one that the reader willingly undertakes; the lesson she learns are lessons for the reader. --Barry Forshaw

Amazon Review

Paulo Coelho's astonishingly beautiful writing in Eleven Minutes virtually guarantees it the cult status that The Alchemist already enjoys. But what is the Paulo Coelho phenomenon? How can an author who (only a short time ago) was virtually unknown to most readers have taken the world of books by storm--and without the benefit of glitzy advertising? The answer is simple: quality. Such books as The Fifth Mountain andThe Devil and Miss Prym are enough to explain a considerable following for the author, with their atmospheric prose and involving characters.

Eleven Minutes tells the story of young Maria living an innocent life in a Brazilian village and is played out in a measured fashion, but with all the author's brilliant scene-setting (very lush here) fully in place. But then Maria experiences love and suffers great pain. From this point, Coelho has us inexorably in his grip. Maria's disillusionment with love leads her to Geneva where she finally ends up selling her body (Coelho may offer us the beauty of life, but never at the expense of its harshness). Maria's approach to sex is complex--this is no mere revulsion arising from what she is now doing with her life. And then she meets a seductive young painter, who may or may not offer her a new path in life. But does she prefer to continue on the dark sexual odyssey she has embarked on, at the expense of real love?

There are echoes of DH Lawrence in Coelho's exploration of the sacred and spiritual aspects of sex and it's a brave author who tackles a subject that can so easily slip into strained seriousness. That never happens here, and Maria's journey is one that the reader willingly undertakes; the lesson she learns are lessons for the reader. --Barry Forshaw


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 497 KB
  • Print Length: 296 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New Ed edition (28 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004XYX4WU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,128 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947. He has become one of the most widely read and loved authors in the world. Especially renowned for The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes, he has sold more than 100 million books worldwide and his work has been translated into 67 languages. The recipient of numerous prestigious international awards, amongst them the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum and France's Legion d'Honneur, Paulo Coelho was inducted into the Brazilian Academy of Letters in 2002. He writes a weekly column syndicated throughout the world.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing change 10 Feb. 2006
Format:Paperback
I was recommended this book by my partner who was reading it in French, otherwise I probably would never have looked twice at it. I was however pleasently surprised by this book.
It is very easy to read, so easy in fact I read it in 7 hours. It wasnt what I would call a page turner as such but yet somehow I found myself unable to put it down. Not perhaps a life changing book, but very easy and enjoyable to read.
The book follows a girl called Maria and her quest for love. But it is not a typical love story even if the ending is. Some very bold writing looking into the world of prostitution, with two erotic scenes that I think have been stamped in my memory forever.
I would recommend this book if you are looking for a very easy read where you dont have to stretch your mind too much, it flows so well and the plot moves quite quickly. But if you are looking for a challenge in a book with a big beefy plot then it might not be for you.
As a reader of all kinds of literature, from challenging to the not so challenging I found it nice refreshing change.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
By Brida TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
The latest novel from Paulo Coelho considers if sex and spirituality can go together. While Coelho has included sex and love in other novels, in this novel he writes more explicitly. Because the main character is a prostitute, the obvious focus fro the book is sex in its various forms. Despite being about a young girl who feels that prostitution is her only hope, the book is not sordid, nor does Coelho preach about her profession.
As her dreams of becoming a dancer start to dwindle, as she realises that the man who promised her everything really has nothing that special to offer, Maria turns to prostitution.
Maria later decides that to be the best in her profession, she should learn as much as she can about sex. Due to this, she gains one of the 'special' clients, a man who is into sadomasochism. It is also with him that she finally meets someone who she is able to love.
As with any of Coelho's novels, the writing is sensitive and very thought provoking. Having read this novel, it is easy to see how sex can easily be a weapon as well as a way of expressing love. The brief exploration of sadomasochism serves to illustrate how sex is precious, and while two lovers may want to experiment, they should always keep in mind that they should not risk their soul.
The quote I have used for the title of this review appears at the beginning of the novel. Coelho states that it could easily be applied to anybody's life, and almost at any time within their life. I quoted it because I think it sums up the whole theme of the novel brilliantly.
Please read this book, I cannot reommend it highly enough. Just perhaps, it'll make you look at sex differently...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly astonishing 8 Nov. 2010
Format:Paperback
The Alchemist rather left me cold, not least because of the turgid translation, and I approached this one with limited enthusiasm. Happily Eleven Minutes reads more like a book originally written in English which makes for more comfortable reading.

That is not to say it is an easy read - while it kept me riveted there were times I was overcome by the feelings it engendered and had to put it down to recover. I have never had a book do that to me before.

As a man, I'm not in a position to say whether Coelho has some special insight into the minds of women, but I'm not surprised that the reviews are polarised - it will either leave you drained or wondering what it was all about, and that will depend on your experience of life, love and sex.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How can anyone be a prostitute? 18 May 2004
Format:Hardcover
Maria is a Brazilian girl with endless self-confidence. Her confidence gets her from a small Brazilian village to Rio de Janeiro, and finally to Geneva, Switzerland. Although she doesn't speak French, she quickly learns and finds her way in the money making business of prostitution.
Maria is not a victim of life in any way. Instead, she uses this opportunity in a strange country to make the most of herself. After all, she is making money fast, and this will allow her to return to her home town in Brazil to make a new life for herself, without anyone ever knowing she will have made her money lying on her back. The idea that an eleven minute event, which sex usually is, can have such power over people is one that fills her with surprise and curiosity.
Making the most of her times in Switzerland, Maria sees each day as an opportunity to develop herself and learn more about life, and about her own sexuality.
The mousy librarian who helps Maria find information on farming, something she intends to when returning to Brazil, is both a metaphor for the innocent girl Maria once was, as for the old maiden she will never become. For although Maria has no intention of finding a man to fulfil her, she takes each event as an adventure.
Good read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite book... I loved it!!!! 31 Dec. 2006
Format:Paperback
Paulo Coelho's astonishingly beautiful writing in Eleven Minutes virtually guarantees it the cult status that The Alchemist already enjoys. This book is different from his other works but it reminded me The Zahir from time to time. Its story of girl called Maria, her diary, her thoughts, her trials and tribulations. Coelho's writing mixes old fashioned with modern, fairy tale with a saga of sexual discovery. Maria's diary entries are so moving so you could go back and easily find all of the passages again. She was born and grew up in poor family in Brazilian village. Just as any innocent young girl would, she had also fallen in love but had to face disappointment at a young slender age. The novel's Maria learns of sex through masturbation, first as a child and later as an adolescent. When she loses her virginity (at 16 or 17), she finds self-sex more satisfying and heavenly than intercourse, although she forces her deflowerer to return and make love to her several more times. At a tender age, she becomes convinced that she will never find true love, instead believing that love is a terrible thing that make you suffer.

"Pain is frightening when it shows its real face, but it's seductive when it comes disguised as sacrifice or self-denial. Or cowardice. However much we may reject it, we human beings always find a way of being with pain, of flirting with it and making it part of our lives."

At 19, she takes a job at a draper's shop, strings her lovelorn boss along for raises while putting him off from her bed. Love only makes you suffer, so forget it. At 22 she goes to Rio de Janeiro for the first time, on a week's vacation. On the beach she meets a Swiss man who is recruiting dancers for his nightclub in Geneva.
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