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on 15 August 2017
The book came as promised In a really good condition
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on 19 June 2017
NOT HIS USUAL STYLE CONTENT BUT A GOOD READ
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on 25 May 2017
Amzing book and storyline
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VINE VOICEon 22 December 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First of all, I should say that I was a big fan of 'The Alchemist'. It was such an inspiring book that really left you thinking the world wasn't quite as rooten and dark as you might have assumed. It also had so many layers to it that I found myself thinking about the different segments and messages buried in it.

This book however, is not quite up to that standard. TO me it felt a little contrived and a little bit cliched. Don;t get me wrong - ot was ok. But nothing more. If you've never read Coehlo before then buy the 'The Alchemist'. If you're already a fan then you're going to get this anyway so you may as well ignore me!
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VINE VOICEon 30 March 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It really pains me to have to write this review and not be able to recommend the book, as I have read quite a few of Coelho's previous novels and absolutely loved them. However the usual poignancy of his other work is seriously lacking in The Winner Stands Alone.

The story follows Igor, a rich Russian businessman who is pining after the wife who left him for another man. He follows them to the Cannes Film Festival, where he embarks on a killing spree designed to win her back. The story is simple, the writing is simple. What doesn't work is the fact that it is billed as a satirical portrayal of the world of celebrity, but what it actually is is a contrived and scathing attack on celebrity culture, minus an empthatic plot or any believeable characters. I can understand and appreciate the author's opinion on a world desperate for more and more consumerism, but the execution was just not very cleverly done.

I think the thing that really ate me up while reading this was that in parts it didn't read like a story at all; rather it felt like I was reading some essay or article about why consumer and celebrity culture is so terrible. I'm not disagreeing with Coehlo's sentiments, but I just think he could have used the plot and characters to better effect to drive his point home, rather than rely on the somewhat preachy methods that he relies on more and more.

I think that people who completely agree with Coelho on this subject will probably get a lot more out of this novel than me. I'm neither strongly for or against it, but sadly this didn't sway me either way. It's the Coelho novel I am least likely to recommend to my friends.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 13 November 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is Paulo Coelho's twelfth novel and the sixth that I personally have read. I became a semi-fan after his excellent Eleven Minutes in 2003 but he seems to have gone off the boil since then; some of his recent writings have seemed to me to have bordered on the narcissistic and not in an appealing way. His latest hasn't done much, in my view, to restore past glories.

Set during one single day at the Cannes Film Festival, this is the story of a successful, single-minded entrepreneur who will go to violent and I would suggest unlikely extremes to reclaim a lost love. Captured in all their shallow crassness are producers, actors, aspiring starlets, supermodels and notorious fashionistas, whose lives and lifestyles hold sway over millions.

Coelho demonstrates a clear dislike for the hypocrisy on display in Cannes: the unbridled ambition, the thirst for fame, the lure of haute-couture and ostentatious jewellery. He hates dark glasses, mobile phones and above all those who he labels the "superclass," who have all the power, all the limos and all the private jets; those who dress in high fashion (the fashion world is one of his principal targets of derision), swill champagne and who, if they're women, get regular injections of Botox. But he isn't fond of ordinary people either, who do silly things like wear ties or eat three meals a day whether they're hungry or not. In short, he's not prepared to let sinners of any social class off the hook, quoting Solomon's "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity" more than once and apparently meaning it.

Igor, a psychotic Russian phone executive with his own private jet, comes to the Cannes film festival in pursuit of his ex-wife Ewa who has run off with Hamid, an Arab clothes designer also with his own private jet. Igor aims to kill a few people and notify his ex-, hoping this will motivate her to come back to him. Over a period of about 24 hours, he does indeed manage to suffocate someone, use a needle soaked in curare on another, not to mention a knife and hydrogen cyanide elsewhere too. It feels like a curious combination of ultra-wealthy social satire and serial killer thriller, and I'm far from comfortable with the mix. It's unsurprising yet noticeable, however, that the author suggests that of all those in the financial pecking order of the rich and famous, it's the writers who are rewarded and known the least. Having said that, Coelho himself must have been excluded from such accusations, because at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008 Harvey Weinstein bought the rights to Coelho's best-selling debut novel "The Alchemist" and will be producing it with a budget of $60 million. So there's a touch of irony to it all, however unintentional it may be, in that Coelho may well be as much a part of that Hollywood über-elite as those he mocks in his narrative.

The author therefore intends for this book to present an image of the world from his perspective, but whether or not it serves as an accurate snapshot remains open for debate. Personally I don't think this is Coelho's right kind of novel, and his earliest works seem to fit better with his once fable-like way of story-telling.
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VINE VOICEon 15 June 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Paul Coelho, in his latest (yet another, daring & courageous) novel is exposing the empty world of fame,glamour & materialism (& what a material world we live in!). He, as always, intertwines his beautiful story-telling with morals; in this case: how far would one go to get what one wants?

This book is about Igor, a Russian millionaire who has everything going for him: wealth,looks, power & success, except the one thing he really loves & that is his ex-wife Ewa. She has ran off with a successful fashion designer. So, he sets off to Cannes International Film Festival "on a mission" to win her back (where they'll be attending). He has promised to "destroy worlds" for her & will stop at nothing to get her back.
Also, Mr Coelho talks about the inner planes of the glamourous world of actors, models, producers etc. I thought the details seemed very well researched & accurate.
I don't like telling you too much about what happens with the story as I think this ruins the surprise for the reader. Suffice to say, the story has some thrilling twists & turns & I couldn't wait to see what happens next.
I loved reading this book as with most of Paul Coelho's books & found it both interesting & fascinating.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.
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VINE VOICEon 18 June 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As a huge fan of Paulo Coelho's previous books I was really looking forward to The Winner Stands Alone and had high expectations but unfortunately it just didn't live up to them at all.

Although the story gives you an insight into The Cannes Film Festival, a setting which many of us are unlikely to experience like his other books, the plot itself doesn't quite live up to the reality of the setting. We are introduced to Igor, a wealthy Russian man whose wife, Ewa, left him for a fashion designer and his determination to win her back. It sounds credible until he chooses to destroy the worlds of the unknown to the well known with specialist techniques.

The story jumps from one character to the next seemingly unrelated but they do come together in one way or another and I think this was what kept me reading - I wanted to know how they fit into the story. Unfortunately the characters are just not appealing and although I wanted to have sympathy for them there just wasn't that connection.

I was looking forward to the glamorous setting in the south of France with film mixing with fashion - actors, models, film directors and even those unknown selling on the street. It was a unique behind the scenes look into the Festival and the celebrity lifestyle of the rich and famous.

The short chapters do make this an easy book to get through as long as you can get your head around the different characters remembering what their roles are. It hasn't put me off Coelho at all. Like all his books there is a message and this one is no different - you have to follow your dream. Unfortunately this one just isn't as memorable as e.g. Eleven Minutes,The Devil and Miss Prym or The Alchemist
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VINE VOICEon 28 May 2009
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Despite his huge following, being one of modern literature's favourite authors and selling millions of books, one can't help but feel Paulo Coelho feels contempt for celebrity culture.
I couldn't agree more with some of the points he makes in his new book, but 'The Winner Stands Alone' sometimes feels less of a work of fiction than a handbook about the different sides of Hollywood stardom with a narrative to keep it structured.

In the preface Coelho reminds you that what you are reading is not a murder mystery a portrait of where we are in the world right now.
Yes, it is the sort of topic Coelho would write about with deep explorations of what makes us tick, but if you were hoping for what I call his 'parables' - the short philosophical stories that break up his novels, notably 'The Alchemist' - it leaves you wishing there were a few more.

The story takes place over one day during the Cannes film festival in France, with a powerful ex-Soviet entrepreneur named Igor hoping to win his wife back from her new husband. He promises to crush worlds to get her back. That means murder. With lots of people around you wonder how the crazed lovefool will strike next.
Intertwining storylines combine to tell the story from different people's points of view, from the famous to the fame hungry, and how their dreams are different. They in power - celebrities - are privileged, while those beneath - regular people - may often choose their dreams and lose track of where they are going.

Morally, as Coelho is with his writing, this is a good book, and he is right with his opinion. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy it as much as I hoped due to its downbeat tone and too much focus on the deep thought of each character.

If you like this book, try also: Chart Throb
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 18 June 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've read a few of his other books and, although I wouldn't put them at the top of my spiritual awakening top 10, they could be interesting and engaging - although at times a bit self-indulgent.
But this one I had to force myself to finish. About as subtle as an air raid - with the bad guys really bad and the vulnerable girls really lost and bewildered. Just to make sure we all got the point. For me, nobody was in 3D, nobody had any redeeming features at all - and I was bored. I read 3 other books while trying to get through this one. Not for me, I'm afraid.
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