Author: Paulo Coelho
Publisher: Harper Collins
My Rating & Recommendation: 3/5, I Recommend this book
The last Paulo Coelho book that I read was ‘The Alchemist’, way back in 2007. Although, the book 11 minutes is based on an entirely different subject, I felt that even with this book, the author has attempted to keep philosophy as an overarching theme. This book is about Maria’s life. A girl from a small town in the interiors of Brazil. She is beautiful, ambitious, wants to find the ever elusive love and needs money to fulfil her dreams. Her quest takes her to a distant land and discrete paths. After months of conscientious efforts, she reaches a point where she has to no other way to earn money than to become a prostitute.
From there on, the story becomes a little predictable (Bollywood Style). Maria feels ambivalent about her newly acquired profession. She is both intrigued and nonchalant, and keeps preparing for her return back home. The author describes Maria’s sexual encounters in detail and also treads into BDSM arena for a while but hardly does justice (in reference to standards set by 50 shades of Gray). In between all this, the naive girl in Maria is still dissatisfied and keeps longing for love. Fortunately, she finds a ‘special client’ who is willing to love her beyond the initial physical desires. Maria resists for a while but eventually gives in, and they live happily ever after, hopefully!
Overall, I think this book is a combination of a love story, a story of a woman’s struggle, or an erotica with a philosophy as a central theme. It could be all of it, or none, depending on how liberally you are willing to look at it. Happy Reading!