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The Winner Stands Alone

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  32,651 ratings  ·  2,099 reviews
Igor, a wealthy Russian businessman, is insanely jealous of his ex-wife, Ewa, and her new husband, the famous fashion designer, Hamid Hussein. When Ewa left him he told her that he would destroy 'whole worlds' in order to get her back, and he intends to keep his promise. ...more
Paperback, 375 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 2008)
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Loubna It's a good book, different from the subjects Coelho used to write about, it brings your attention to the superficial world of celebrity, the bad side…moreIt's a good book, different from the subjects Coelho used to write about, it brings your attention to the superficial world of celebrity, the bad side we never know about. Once you read it you're no more impressed by their lives that we think interesting, parties, festivals, glamour, fans, luxury, these celebrities are acting in real life too, their seem happy but feel empty inside, and fear the day when all this inevitably ends. (less)
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Average rating 3.38  · 
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Lamski Kikita
I am not going to write any spoilers about the plot so i don't ruin it for people, but I will spoil it for people who have been looking forward to another Coelho book by giving my harshest review. Now, i get to be harsh because I am one of Paulo's biggest fans, and I take his work very seriously, and trust me, I had been looking forward to this book for the past 6 months.

Needless to say, I was highly disappointed. I would have given the book two and a half stars just because there was some valua
Dec 25, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have read some of the most rubbish books out there but i just couldn't get through this one. I tried really hard though.This was the first Paulo Coelho book i've ever read and i have to say, i'm really disappointed. The front cover with 'international bestseller' across the top really got my hopes up.

The writing was overly descriptive. There were so many details that i just didn't care about. You don't usually expect such purplish writing from an old man. When i first started reading i paid at
The Winner Stands Alone is such a phenomenal novel about everything in life. Though, it focuses on the world of the Superclass; but each of the other classes is a lower level of the Superclass. I loved how the novel was intertwined with various details of intriguing methods of killing and the tools, an explanation of people ordinary and unordinary; finally, a top-notch story containing tales and tales of the'universes' in itself.

Exhilarating and titillating; The Winner Stands Alone achieves so m
Usman Hickmath
Paulo Coelho has picked up an interesting backdrop to tell a story. The parts where the novel elaborates on what is happening behind the glitz and glamour of an international film festival are interesting.

But he has failed in telling a convincing story using that setting and also has confused the reader on whether chasing a dream in the glitzy world is worthy or not.

A fantastic setting to give a memorable novel has been squandered.
May 09, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Personally, I’ve never been a fan of The Alchemist or its “life-altering profundity” But yes, I do recogonise it as a hugely successful book, given that almost everyone out there who can read has read it (and much like Chetan Bhagat’s bestsellers or Khalid Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, mass popularity of books in India is not something to be undermined given how precious little is read anyway).

Then I happened to read his Eleven Minutes, which a friend gifted some ye
May 13, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Noone
If this is about to be your first Paulo Coelho book, DON'T READ IT!

Coelho, as an author, is capable of so much more, I promise! Reading this book will taint your perception of him as an author.

Having read (and thoroughly enjoyed) three of his previous novels (By the River Piedra, The Alchemist & Witch of Portobello), I randomly picked this one up in Vienna airport before a 10 hour flight. I now clearly lament the spur of the moment decision which led me to waste my money on this book.

When I firs
I have never read any of Paulo Coelho's books beside this one. I have always wanted to read The Alchemist and By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept. Somehow, I got to this one first, I guess because it was new. From reading the summaries and reviews of his previous books, I am still holding out hope for them that they are nothing like this one.

The problem with this book is he spends far too much time pontificating on the downfalls of society in regards to fame and money. We worship it, it cha
Jun 23, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Winner Stands Alone is the eighth stand-alone novel by Brazilian author, Paulo Coelho. It is translated from the original Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa. The Cannes Film Festival: Ewa is there with her fashion-designer husband Hamid Hussein for showings and some high-power business meetings; Russian telco president, Igor Malev is there to demonstrate to his ex-wife that she needs to return to their marriage.

Igor’s obsessed with Ewa, and he had promised that if she left him, he would dest
Ivana S.
Jan 12, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-good, cro, fiction, 2015
Too condescending.

I don't mind being reminded of real values of life and superficiality of modern world, but a whole book about it is a bit too much for me. Too many characters and none of them made me care, not even slightly enough to be concerned if they get to live or die at the end. The whole story made my eyes roll on too many occasions. Descriptions were boring and long, dialogues artificial and the whole thing felt wrong.

I hated the ''tone'' of writing - it sounded as if the readers are
Aug 22, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People reading the tree of Paulo Coelho
This is a later read from Paulo Coelho, which honestly, after reading three of his earlier works, back to back, I chose this one from the stack, based solely on the cover, breaking my decision to read them in perfect order.

This is a different Paulo Coelho from the mystical, wandering about the hills or the deserts in natures beauty, seeking and finally finding a way, the way, to seek and find your own way through the maze of your own spiritual journey.

In "The Winner Stands Alone" Coelho takes a
May 12, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Raya Ihsan
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
His many characters have so many different opinions, ideas and views of life ,it feels as if many people has wrote this & not just a single man(which is to me is a genius thing) , nice to have a book that's a novel , yet philosophical and informative , loved it much more than the alchemist Paulo has surely developed much in 30 yrs of time .
And whats not to like about a book that makes you think ?

This book speaks a lot of the life of the superclass and that endless pursuit of fame , wealth and ev
Dec 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 100-pages
A story of fame and obsession. What can you do to get the person you love the most? A mad man is haunting his ex-wife to get her back. Set in the beautiful French city, Cannes, love turns into obsession to indifference. My seventh Paulo Coelho book.
i so wanted to like it. but ive never read something i wished for to end as soon as possible.

too many uneccessary characters. too slow of a progress in the story. though an intriguing protagonist he was.

if it weren't for the last 60 pages of actual storyline progression, i would've given this 1 star.

[to add] Coelho did admit this was particularly a tangent from his usual work, for he specifically wanted to portray the reality in the world, in this case, of "glitz and glamour". But this book tur
Jan 27, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Think I finished this only because I so believe in Paulo Coehlo.

But I believe less after having waded through this.

I actually like "The Alchemist" less now, see exactly where my buddy was coming from when he told me he didn't like it because he felt beat over the head with it.

Here, in "Winner" Coehlo gives us an assortment of star-crossed, unwholesome characters who are all supposed to be missing the point in their individual ways as they traverse the glittery nonsense of the Cannes Film Festiv
Ummu Auni
For an author who is considered as a phenomenon, Coelho write with narrative sentences, which somehow made the story a bit lagging and too slow unfolding.

The plot revolved around Igor, a millionaire who is bent to get back his ex-wife who's now married to another man, and he would do anything to get her. And then, there are Hamid, the designer, Jasmine, a model who made it to the top, Gabriella, who wanted to be the one who made it to the big screen, and then, there are other characters as well.
May 26, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I really don't know. Should I give it 2 stars because of the annoying plot or 3 stars because the philosophy in it kind of make it better? Well, what really bothered me was the end. And the unnecessary details. Really boring sometimes that I would skip paragraphs. It's my second book of Paolo Coelho, and I just can't see why people are so like OMG! NEW BOOK BY PAOLO COELHO! HE IS A GENIUS- or something like that. My friend is obsessed with him. He considers it like a second bible. And, of course ...more
Sep 02, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Paulo Coelho was once invited to the Cannes Film Festival and not treated well. But no worries… He got back with "The Winner Stands Alone". It's a I-Fucking-Hate-Cannes Festival book.

Why is every character in this story unhappy with his life?

I am sure Coelho hates the glamour world and wants everybody to know it. Every character in the book… I mean every single character is frustrated with his/her life. There are also random characters that do not add to the story, random stuff happening with n
Essam Ahmed
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
to what extent can our dreams can be manipulated?
Mar 30, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very disappointed. No plots. Almost zero character development. And I couldn't make sense of the events in these 470 pages !! ...more
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This novel is engaging on, rather than criticizing and arguing against the Superclass, discussing examples of individuals from it and "wannabes" of it, as well. Coelho enables the reader to see through the characters' own voice how they suffer to become one of the Superclass, and after becoming so, no one is yet satisfied. If getting invited to attend the festival makes you a Superclass, you are not; a table in a restaurant in Cannes during the Festival makes you from the Superclass, you are not ...more
Arezoo Alipanah
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the books I could not resist continuing it! For me it was motivational!!:)
Elle Saverini
This book, set in Cannes during the film festival, is about the consequences of falling into the fame power money trap, the empty end-result of being manipulated by the beauty-film machine ~ or so we're told in the book front and back cover matter. And while the insights are rather right-on, the plot is really about a deranged Russian x-soldier turned highly successful businessman plotting/killing randonly as supposed proof of his love for his x-wife, whom he stalks slowly, effectively.

The pace
If I had to rate this book from personal opinion, I would have given it 2 stars, but I'm gonna go with three, because this book does exactly what it sets out to do: it's a proper slap in the face. It's a harsh, sometimes cruel, sometimes overwhelming, and always, sadly, a true portrayal of humanity right now. This book will make you face truths you'd rather ignore, and that is why it deserves three stars, because so few books do that. And do it so well. That is the skill of Coehlo; he writes ext ...more
Aug 16, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paulo-coelho
I wish if I had read a review on Paulo Coelho's book The Winner Stands Alone!!!Then I wouldn’t waste money for it.
I have read almost all of Paulo Coelho's books. I have them all in my library but this one is the worst book of Paulo. It gave me so dark feelings…it seems like he is describing Cannes festival but I don’t have any idea about how truth is it. I wonder why he wanted to write on this subject???
Yes it is different but with a lack of wisdom, it’s poorly written. I’ll forget this book of
Shaimaa Ali
The worst novel that I've read by Coelho so far!!
I won't spoil its events and discuss its characters but mainly its weakest points for me was repeating the main idea of how to hate Hollywood & the Super-class life style knowing that they didn't achieve anything REAL in their lives.. which is known already! The thriller itself should be page-turning and in our novel it was not the case (Compared to Dan Brown's novels for example). All the chapters regarding Police inspectors could be omitted wit
Stuti Rai

the main character, though, so much self-pity he had! i wished he'd just grow the fuck up, and thinkthinkthink why his wife would leave him. but nooooooo, he's all just i promised her, i'd destroy the world for her and so i shall! she hurt me wahwahwah but i'll still kill.

fucking asshole. you need timeout for self-reflection.
Natasha Yusseem
Dec 27, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Apparently I've missed the point of this book...I didn't get anything out of this book. Couldn't find any ideas there, other than the obvious, about the fame and stuff. It was quite shocking for because I have expected so much more Paulo Coelho, who used to be one of my favorite writers. ...more
Kinan Arous
Dec 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
The events are slow (within 24 hours) but I love the novels where you can learn about new things and still enjoy the storyline.
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gay 1 6 Sep 13, 2017 01:29PM  
Was anyone else disappointed by this book? 48 375 Aug 31, 2017 02:45PM  
baz ham koilo gol kasht 1 10 Jan 20, 2010 01:19AM  
'Vanity of vanities, all is vanity, and there is nothing new under the sun' Chap 12 Winner Stands Alone 1 57 Mar 06, 2009 09:16PM  

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The Brazilian author PAULO COELHO was born in 1947 in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Before dedicating his life completely to literature, he worked as theatre director and actor, lyricist and journalist. In 1986, PAULO COELHO did the pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostella, an experience later to be documented in his book The Pilgrimage. In the following year, COELHO published The Alchemist. Slow in ...more

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