Eleven Minutes is the story of Maria, a young girl from a Brazilian village, whose first innocent brushes with love leave her heartbroken. At a tender age, she becomes convinced that she will never find true love, instead believing that "love is a terrible thing that will make you suffer. . . ." A chance meeting in Rio takes her to Geneva, where she dreams of finding fame and fortune. Maria's despairing view of love is put to the test when she meets a handsome young painter. In this odyssey of self-discovery, Maria has to choose between pursuing a path of darkness -- sexual pleasure for its own sake -- or risking everything to find her own "inner light" and the possibility of sacred sex, sex in the context of love.
This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
"Once upon a time, there was a prostitute called Maria" thus begins Coelho's latest novel, a book that cannot decide whether it wants to be fairy tale or saga of sexual discovery, so ends up satisfying the demands of neither. In his dedication, bestselling Brazilian novelist Coelho (The Alchemist) tells readers that his book will deal with issues that are "harsh, difficult, shocking," but neither his tame forays into S&M nor his rather technical observations about female anatomy and the sad but hardly new fact that many women are dissatisfied with their sex lives will do much to shock American readers. In Maria, however, the author has created a strong, sensual young woman who grabs our sympathy from the first, as she suffers unrequited love as a child, learns a bit about sex as a teenager and, at 19, makes the ill-advised decision to leave Rio on a Swedish stranger's promise of fame and fortune. Maria's trials and triumphs she goes from restaurant dancer to high-class prostitute would make for an entertaining if rather prosaic novel, but Coelho, unfortunately, does not leave it there. Instead, he embarks on a philosophical exploration of sexual love, using Maria's increasingly ponderous and pseudo-philosophical diary entries as a means for expounding on the nature of sexual desire, passion and love. At the end, the story boils down to a rather predictable romance tarted up with a few sexy trappings.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I personally loved it, i read some other reviews saying at 22 how could she understand what love was and did what she did. But again, wouldn’t be surprised that for people that take longer to mature and expect everyone to be the same as them. They have a little knowledge of other places around the world and that everything’s different than our own place. Age does not equal maturity. Fairytale? No, that’s life outside our normal life environment. This is a great story, and so far one of the nicest books I’ve read.
A must read.
I loved it.
Coelho is a genius
So hard to put it down. This book is the realization that although things are not perfect is never too late to go on and do what your hearts tells you to do. This is book is real. This book is magic. Thank you, Coelho.