Monday, September 24, 2007

Eleven Minutes

by Paulo Coelho
This is the second book of Paulo Coelho read by me. It was strongly recommended to me by one of my friends. But, I didn’t read it. I bought it to gift to one of my friends. After writing my name on it, when I gifted, and in the free time, I turned few pages, I was gripped by the story. So, I borrowed the gifted book from my friend, and read it.

In the start, it seemed to me as Paulo Coelho has resolved to write porn stories. But, slowly the things started changing. My perspective started changing. And I was thrilled by the story. The book is of around 270 pages, and I completed it in 2 days, reading it while eating, while travelling, and above all I compromised on my sleep.

In the first half, it became clear to me, that the story is actually having the base of the thought process, which governed ‘Alchemist’. All the same terminology, dreams, beginner’s luck, conspiracy of universe…. But, the difference was that it wasn’t any story of some traveler, shepherd, artist. It was the story of prostitute. I think , Paulo used his good knowledge of Brazil, his native place, to make the first half of the story. I was simply mesmerized how, the story line of ‘Alchemist’ be weaved into the story of Prostitute.

In the second half, the story took lot of turns. And it was mainly focusing on the very basic instinct known as sex, from woman’s perspective. The author, was trying to pass a message to the readers, that is something divine about sex. He tried to describe indirectly the female and male’s anatomy, the concept of sacred sex, the history of prostitution, the concept of masochism, and so on. It was good information.

But, after reading the whole book, what I can see Paulo Choelho has dared more than he should have. He simply complicated the very concept of sex and the relation between male and female. He tried to pass on some feel good message, but in vain.

I haven’t read any other book of Paulo Choelho, except ‘Alchemist’. After reading ‘Alchemist’, he commanded my respect, and I yearned to read more of his works. But, after reading this, all the respect has been converted to disgust, and I will refrain myself to further read any of his works.

Another anomally, in the book I found was the very title itself ‘Eleven Minutes’. The concept behind the name, according to author, is that world over the intercourse time is around eleven minutes, which drives the very name of the book. I would like to ask, how the hell he can generalize the intercourse time, when there is huge amount of variation among the races. Again, Paulo has lost his daredevil work.

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