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Eleven Minutes [Paperback]

Paulo Coelho , Margaret Jull Costa
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

7 Jun 2004

The new bestselling novel, now in paperback, 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.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New Ed edition (7 Jun 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007166044
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007166046
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.



“Has a strange and potent chemistry of its own.” The Observer

“Coelho has a deceptively simple but elegant writing style which sits well with this strange but gripping tale.” Glasgow Evening Times

“Refreshing and insightful…an uplifting read.” What’s On In London

“A simply-told fable for our times, highlighting the quest for personal spiritual enlightenment.” Belfast Telegraph

Awarded 4 stars in New Woman magazine review

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing change 10 Feb 2006
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! 29 Dec 2007
Having loved Veronika decides to Die I had bought Eleven minutes and The Alchemist but unfortunately had never got around to reading them, until yesterday when recovering from a nasty flu&feeling slightly bored I decided to read Eleven minutes. That was it the minutes flew and before I knew it it was six thirty the next morning and I'd finished it. I could not put it down, another amazing book from an amazing writer. I love the fact that Coehlo can address the most nitty gritty of subjects with a tangible realism. Although his subject was sex it never felt like he was going too far he seemed to strike a perfect chord, even when re-telling the most degrading of Maria's sexual journeys. The honesty in which this book is written is beautiful you can truly relate to his character and understand that all she is searching for is love, yet a full love that revolves around an everday life. A closeness with someone that holds much more than just sex!. She takes us on a journey of honesty and we love her for that. She learns the true meaning of love in all its forms and makes us all think alittle about the difference between sex and making love. It is a gripping story with so many hidden meanings and as ever Paulo makes us question our own existence and indeed our own sexuality. Another inspirational piece of reading from the great Paulo Coelho. The Alchamest here I come!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly astonishing 8 Nov 2010
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Nice 3 July 2006
By Scully Bloke VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very nice book well written about a young girl who drifts into prostitution. Not seedy at all, but focusing on what she feels, why she becomes a prostitute, and what she really is looking for. You cant help but read through, and then search on mazon for further Paulo Coelho books.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read!
It's not your typical spiritual Paulo Coelho book, but definitely a good read! Read it in less than a week!
Published 7 days ago by Equechie
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected
Didn't like this book as the other works by Paulo Coelho I have read so far.
I found it at times repetitive, and at times it was like the author was obsessed by only one... Read more
Published 25 days ago by Pinko
3.0 out of 5 stars A deep book
A simple read on one level interspersed but thought provoking sections ,some of which I found difficult to grasp the point being made.
Published 2 months ago by Mr C T Hartwell
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful book
I love the author and this book is one of his best ones. Very good book for people who love these stories
Published 3 months ago by Pen Name
5.0 out of 5 stars What a surprise
I actually bought this book in error, intending getting another book with 'eleven' in the title that a friend had recommended. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Firinne
5.0 out of 5 stars loved the book and the fast delivery, simple and easy
loved the book and the fast delivery, simple and easy as i wanted, with a quick dispached. no drama at all
Published 5 months ago by Giulia Gribaudo
1.0 out of 5 stars didnt get it
After numerous emails. no response ,no money back. My boyfriend never received his birthday present. Don't recommend this at all
Published 6 months ago by sheryl
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book
Another good book, I would thoroughly recommend. Paulo Coelho never disappoints. Exciting, not predictable and the sort of book you just don't want to stop reading.
Published 7 months ago by Janey Dawson
3.0 out of 5 stars book review
moved on to this from the other book and its okay but feels a tad contrived for me. will keep going though its early days. Read more
Published 8 months ago by N. Dungey
5.0 out of 5 stars a look inside prostitution
this book is made more interesting because , we know it is based on a real persons story , it is also refreshing that although the protagonist struggles with her situation it does... Read more
Published 8 months ago by rona davies
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