Monday, June 21, 2010

The Winner Stands Alone

by Paulo Coehlo

This is a hard book to review. It's really one that a reader needs to read for him- or herself because it's the type of book that people relate to individually. As for me, I thought it was a good book. I can't say that I enjoyed it, because "enjoy" is not the right word. The correct words would be more like, thought-provoking, profound, insightful, unique.

Paulo Coehlo gives us a backstage look at the "Superclass", the sect of people who are above us mere mortals-- the rich and famous, whom many of us idolize. His lifting of the curtain to give us a peek allows us to see the dirty underbelly of the "Superclass", and makes us question our own reverence of this group of people. After all, they are only human, just like the rest of us.

He uses his main characters, Igor, Ewa, Hamid, Jasmine, and Gabriela, to take us into this high class world, and weaves them into a story that captivates the reader as well as exposing the superficiality of the "Superclass". Igor's quest for revenge interconnects these five characters as well as questioning their own dreams and wants. It caused me to look at my own life in the same way, seeing what is real versus what is false.

The end was definitely not what I expected, which is a good thing. I love it when the ending of a book goes in a different direction. Life itself doesn't always continue in an expected way, and it's good to find a book which understands that. I can't really say too much more without spoiling it, so read it yourself... ;)

The only other Paulo Coehlo book I've read besides this one is "The Alchemist", which I did enjoy. I spotted my boss reading "The Winner Stands Alone" while on a business trip, and he was kind enough to let me borrow it when he was finished. Paulo Coehlo does not disappoint, and I'm looking forward to continue reading his books.

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