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Eleven Minutes

Eleven Minutes

十一分钟

作    者
Coelho, Paulo; Costa, Margaret Jull;  
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所属分类
Fiction > Literary
出版社
Harpercollins
ISBN-13
9780060589288
ISBN-10
0060589280
出版日期
2005-04
页数
273
单位
尺寸
19.68 * 1.91 * 13.34
装帧
Paperback
版本

Product Description

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.

About the Author

Paulo Coelho, born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, is one of the bestselling and most influential authors in the world. The Alchemist, The Pilgrimage, The Valkyries, Brida, Veronika Decides to Die, Eleven Minutes, The Zahir, The Witch of Portobello, and The Winner Stands Alone, among others, have sold 115 million copies in more than 160 countries.


Paulo Coelho naciÓ en Brasil en 1947 y es uno de los autores con mÁs influencia de hoy dÍa. Conocido mundialmente por el bestseller internacional El Alquimista, Coelho ha vendido mÁs de 100 millones de libros en todo el mundo, los cuales han sido traducidos a 68 idiomas y publicados en 150 paÍses. Paulo Coelho escribe una columna semanal que se publica en los periÓdicos mÁs importantes del mundo.

Review

“A rare combination of craftsmanship, imagination and inspiration.” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram )

From Publishers Weekly

"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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Coelho, author of the best-selling The Alchemist (1993), opens this compelling tale with the classic phrase, "Once upon a time," then halts and ironically addresses the reader regarding the appropriateness of using these words in connection with a prostitute. But the narrator proceeds nonetheless, alternating between third-person narration about the heroine and first-person excerpts from her diaries. Maria has been refused many things while growing up in a Brazilian village, so she readily agrees to travel to Geneva, where promised stardom as a South American dancer awaits. Once there, however, she is duped into a year's work to repay her passage. She manages to wrangle free, and chooses prostitution as a "temporary" solution, all the while equating love with suffering, and using the local library for self-education and her journal for self-expression. As she records her thoughts, she ponders the meaning of 11 minutes: the time it takes to have sex. Coelho tells us sex is civilization's core problem, and that it's far more serious and worrisome than waning rain forests or the hole in the ozone layer. A gripping exploration of the potentially sacred nature of sex within the context of love, this may well become Coelho's next international best-seller. Whitney Scott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From The Washington Post

Sacred sex. A paradoxical, utopian impossibility or a life- sustaining, attainable goal? This is the major question that underpins Paulo Coelho's new novel, Eleven Minutes, the tale of Maria, a naive young woman from Brazil who becomes a high-class prostitute in Switzerland. (The title of the book refers to the hypothetical average duration for an act of coitus.) And while Coelho comes down firmly in the end for the reality of a holy carnality, the path he takes to that affirmation acknowledges completely the snares and labyrinths awaiting any explorer of the fusion of body and soul.

The novel opens with a rather striking sentence: "Once upon a time, there was a prostitute called Maria." Unfortunately, Coelho then feels the immediate need to break the fourth wall and address the reader about the propriety of yoking fairy-tale beginnings with the subject matter of profane love. One braces oneself for a continually intrusive authorial presence, consonant with Coelho's extra-literary reputation as a guru and New Age spokesperson, in the grand manner of Khalil Gibran. Much to Coelho's credit, however, this initial intrusion is anomalous. The rest of the narrative embeds itself firmly in Maria's perceptions and experiences, her emotions, dreams and struggles to understand life. By the end of the book, she fully owns her story, Coelho's talent and restraint having elevated her from the status of mere mouthpiece and symbol to that of uniquely individuated life force.

We meet Maria when she is still a young girl living in Brazil's unsophisticated interior. Maria's girlhood experiments with romance convince her that love is a delusion, or at least it is not for her. Attaining her majority, she becomes a shopgirl with limited prospects. But a vacation to Rio brings her into contact with a Swiss tourist looking to hire dancers for his club in Geneva. Here Coelho is delightfully ambiguous, letting us believe that Roger, the Swiss, may be a white slaver. But, no, he really does run a dance club, and Maria is soon hoofing it in Geneva. But after falling out with Roger, she drifts on her own initiative into life as a bar-girl. Quickly adapting to the coarse but not uninteresting role of prostitute, she endures nearly a year of service, until she has accumulated enough money to return to Brazil in style. At that point she meets a young artist, Ralf Hart, and begins to fall in love, disturbing her hard-won equilibrium and raising the issue of whether the two halves of her nature can be satisfied by any one man.

Coelho's prose -- at least in the fluid English translation by Margaret Jull Costa -- is limpid and unadorned, as easy to assimilate as water. (Of course, sometimes one wants wine instead, and Coelho's prose will not deliver such a kick.) This unornate language stands Coelho in good stead during the scenes of actual sex, of which there are surprisingly few, compared to the scenes of Maria thinking about sex and its mysteries. These explicit passages, especially the long-denied consummation between Ralf and Maria, are gratifyingly erotic and will not be earning Coelho any nominations for the Guardian's Bad Sex writing awards.

Coelho has spoken in interviews about producing manuscripts that are several times longer than the work ultimately published, and then stripping away everything viewed as extraneous. This practice results in books that read more as allegories than grittily mimetic renderings of life. (Contrast this book with William Vollman's similarly themed The Royal Family.) None of the characters other than Maria and, to some extent, Ralf (who, in light of his parallel worldly successes and troubles with wives, may be an avatar of Coelho himself), is any deeper than his functionality demands. For instance, Maria's best friend in Geneva is a female librarian known as "the librarian." Her main role is to deliver a lecture on clitoral orgasms. Likewise, Coelho sketches in the settings just enough to serve as backdrops to Maria's quest.

It can easily be argued that Coelho's first smash hit, The Alchemist (1993), set the template for Maria's story. The shepherd in that earlier novel is bent on living out his "Personal Legend" through a voyage of self-exploration, as is Maria. Both decry the failure to dream and the impossibility of living the dreams of others. The two characters even buck themselves up in near-identical terms. The shepherd: "He had to choose between thinking of himself as the poor victim of a thief and as an adventurer in search of his treasure." Maria: "I can choose either to be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure." Why, it turns out that Maria has even read a copy of what can only be The Alchemist! But while The Alchemist was almost asexual in its romance, this novel revels in the physicality of love and thus serves to complement the earlier book.

At times Maria's sacrifices on the altar of sex almost resemble the excruciations of the heroine of Lars von Trier's film "Breaking the Waves." But Coelho's basically optimistic and life-affirming temperament and his sense of humor (Maria's reaction to the librarian's sexually empowering lecture amounts to wishing the woman would just shut up) redeem the book from any such Nordic angst. By the time the fairy tale ending arrives, we feel that Maria has earned her rewards. And, per Coelho's mission, we are inspired to feel that so might we.

Reviewed by Paul Di Filippo


Copyright 2004, The Washington Post Co. All Rights Reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.