Elle Saverini's Reviews > The Winner Stands Alone

The Winner Stands Alone by Paulo Coelho
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's review
Sep 03, 2011

liked it

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 paced menace of the killer character kept me reading. It was my first Paul Coelho book. He quotes the bible and walt whitman before the cryptic dedication and preface; I think you have to be a Coelho fan to completely comprehend his philosophical agenda. I lent the book to a retired New Yorker (expat in Italy) who made no bones about "I hated it." I read it on Greek beaches and finished it on the Italian train, and was adequately impressed.

My sense of it was that you had to "get" Paul Coelho's mind-set to be entranced by his style. The beginning/end is stronger than the middle. I liked being held hostage by the story b/c I was traveling alone and it held mny attention while bashing a system I'd left years ago -- yet I tired of that angle, too - esp after staying in economy lodging and reading about unending luxuries in the storyline... I'll take a week of being spoiled, flattered and feted ~ along with my champagne.

What do others think? I mean: not paid-to-think others?

It held my attention b/c of ominous, murderous
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