It may be hard sci fi in its day, but this book certainly hasn't aged well. The mark of a really good sci fi story is in its aging well decades past iIt may be hard sci fi in its day, but this book certainly hasn't aged well. The mark of a really good sci fi story is in its aging well decades past its first printing.
I also don't understand how so many can claim this book has created a totally alien species. Nothing about them seems alien at all. Even their appearance were humanlike. Two arms, two feet, a torso, a head. Nothing at all like the aliens in Asimov's The God's Themselves, which were truly an alien race. Or the sun ghosts in Brin's novel, Sundiver.
I really facepalmed myself when I read spaceship messages sent out in telegram format.
all in all, it's an okay read. but certainly nothing to crow about....more
"Eleven Minutes" is the story of Maria, a woman who becomes a prostitute in her search for "true love." The story begins the way all fairy tales do, w"Eleven Minutes" is the story of Maria, a woman who becomes a prostitute in her search for "true love." The story begins the way all fairy tales do, with the words: "Once upon a time..."
The story is set in Maria's home town, somewhere in the back waters of Brazil. It tells of Maria's childhood and adolescence, how she lost her "first love," and her virginity. It unfolds beautifully, and is ripe with deep insights about the human emotions of love, fear, and passion.
I can't say enough how much I enjoyed the book. Paulo Coelho has once again proven himself the master in bringing out our innermost desires and longings. He's shown once again how the human soul can triumph over anything, despite everything.
Quotable quotes from the book:
"Although my aim is to understand love, and although I suffer to think of the people to whom I gave my heart, I see that those who touched my heart failed to arouse my body, and those who do, failed to touch my heart."
"The little experience of life I've had has taught me that no one owns anything. That everything is an illusion -- and that applies to material as well as spiritual things. Anyone who has lost something they thought was theirs forever finally comes to realize that nothing really belongs to them. And if nothing belongs to me, then there's no point in looking after things that aren't mine; it's best to live life as if today were the first and last day of my life."
"I can choose either to be a victim of the world, or an adventurer in search of treasure. It's all a question of how I view my life."
"It hurt when I lost each of the various men I fell in love with. Now though, I am convinced that no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it."
"What is more important in life? Living or pretending to live?"
"Let's take things slowly; tonight I'll play the part of prostitute or friend, or an understanding mother, even though in my soul I'm a daughter in need of affection. When it's all over, then you can make me coffee."
"Sex, pain, and love are all extreme experiences. Only those who know these frontiers know life; everything else is just passing time, repeating the same tasks, growing old and dying without ever having discovered what we are doing here."
"Life is too short, or too long for me to allow myself the luxury of living it badly."
"We live in a vale of tears. We can all have dreams we like, but life is hard, implacable, sad."
Also beautiful were entire lines of text too long for me to copy. Let it suffice that I would've liked very much to put here every word in the book, but have to be contented with choosing just some of the best. Some of the very long texts in the book that are most memorable include:
-- the rollercoaster monolouge -- Maria's diary entry after she had sex for money for the first time -- Passion's both side of the coin
(if you have read the book, or plan to do so,you would understand me)
After reading the book, a realization came to me. Men and women need each other not only because of sex, nor of our inborn dependence to LOVE, but because of our need to express the opposite side of our gender (which is inside everyone of us). A woman needs to express her masculine urges the same way a man needs to show his feminine side. Man and woman have the capacity to heal each other, make each other whole.
This is a book about more than just sex. This about finding love in sex - and beyond....more
I've read Anne Rice's "Interview..." and "Lestat" long before I realized I actually liked these romantic blood-suckers. My better-half drew out my intI've read Anne Rice's "Interview..." and "Lestat" long before I realized I actually liked these romantic blood-suckers. My better-half drew out my interest in them. Like a lot of things I disliked before and now like, vampires for me has become something which I count as how much my wife has changed me.
I still remember how I felt after reading Lestat's story, how that brief glimpse in an immortal's life and psyche made me felt somehow -- connected.
I read "Lestat" long ago, yet it's only now that I truly understand what Lestat was griping about when he said that: the world is a savage garden. If I meet Lestat right now, I'd say to him: I feel you man. I understand why you hate God.
I mean for godssakes, he was given a gift/curse (depending on how you view it) which he did not want, and in which he was able to experience what many mortals were unable to experience. To view man's suffering in the flow of time, to be their predator and share their grief, to have lived a millenia and reached a point where he actually longed for death...
Truly who wouldn't cry out to heaven and say: you made the world a savage garden, for what purpose, you unfathomable prick?
Anne Rice's discourse on heaven and earth, the angels, and God's reason for creating man, in her other book "Memnoch," made me feel Lestat's pain more. And yet, when given that choice to either side with God or with Satan, Lestat chose God.
And this is how Lestat's savage garden truly comes full circle.
To have lived his life and know eternity and despair, seen in the eyes of an immortal, the view of the world can certainly one that can be called: a savage garden. A garden where you can see the most beautiful roses, pick one up, and be pricked by its thorns.
It's the paradox of life. Pain makes life bloom unlike any other emotion we can experience. --- To see the world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wild flower, Fuck fate which isn't in your hand, and curse God and his damn power....more