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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.

Topics: Prostitution, Love, Sex, Sexuality, Lust, BDSM, Coming of Age, Erotic, Romantic, Translated, Magical Realism, Brazil, Switzerland, and Based on a True Story

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061835575
List price: $10.99
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Well It was okay but based on this book I am not looking forward to read any more of this authors books if I am honest. I started to get really bored after a while and that sucked cause I did like the writing. Still have 2 books here by him but I think I will give them back to my mother.more
It was basically a boring book. I don't think Coelho knows half as much about women as he thinks he does. I doubt that he has spent any time in Geneva except maybe the sex bars. (I lived there for three years, and would have liked a little familiar local colour.) It is also dangerous because it trivializes the very real hazards most women face when they are brought to Europe by strangers. Most of them don't have any choice about prostitution; most of them don't have legal status; most of them end up a year later with HIV, not with the money to go home and buy a farm.more
From my blogI have had Eleven Minutes on my bookshelf for 2 years, one of the first books I brought after blogging. The main thing I can say about this book is that it was thought provoking. It was hard to decide what to rate this book, the beginning I was fascinated and as it went on I began losing interest but I enjoyed the ending of the journey and how it all came together with the understanding of the clever title Eleven Minutes. This book will not be for everyone, it is exploring sexuality with spirituality undertones and may make some feel uncomfortable.What I enjoyed about this book was that it was like reading a thesis paper, very literal with artfully contrived meanings but easy enough for you to understand and have your own opinion on. Maria was looking for adventure, to become a star, find a husband and be happy, we went on the journey along with her. I thought she gambled with her life, she took risks that many do when they are young but some of hers could have caused her her life.Now that I have experienced reading a memoir when I read different novels I realise if it was a memoir I would have enjoyed it more, this is in that category. The character was inspired by someone but Paulo Coelho still put his own interpretation on the choices and consequences.If you want a thought provoking but easy read I say go for it. This is the first book I have read that I can understand every rating, if someone DNF or rated it a 1 to 5 star, I get it but it has its place in the writing world for sure. It seems like Paulo Coelho very much has a style of writing, that may seem formula like but I think it is more like a personal research paper that he allows the reader to experience and think about also.Another favourite was the opening, I would like to share.Once upon a time, there was a prostitute called Maria. Wait as minute. "Once upon a time" is how all the best children's stories begin and "prostitute" is a word for adults. How can I start a book with this apparent contradiction? But since, at every moment of our lives, we all have on foot in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss, let's keep that beginning........More favourite "thought provoking" quotesA writer once said that it is not time that changes man, nor knowledge; the only thing that can change someone's mind is love. Page 53"Does a soldier go to war in order to kill the enemy? No, he goes in order to die for his country. Does a wife want to show her husband how happy she is? No, she wants him to see how devoted she is, how she suffers in order to make him happy. Does the husband go to work thinking he will find personal fulfillment there? No, he is giving his seat and tears for the good of the family. And so it goes on: sons give up their dreams to please their parents, parents give up their lives in order to please their children; pain and suffering are used to justify the one thing that should bring only joy: love."more
Another wonderful book by Paulo Coelho. This was such an interesting reading.more
Eleven minutes is a wonderful book on the sacredness of sex. It is a mixture of love and sex and shows that sex is meaningless if it is unaccompanied by love. Love makes meaning to sex and the eleven minutes which takes a person to have sex will appear lifetime. Among the basic themes of the book also shows that pain should not accompany love. Love is free and should be a source of happiness. Finally Love is a powerful force and no matter what the plans of a person or ambitions nothing will stop love from changing a person's course in life.more
For me, the best by so far of Coelho's novels. A moving story of a prostitute who is able to find redemption and light. Bravomore
This is my first Paulo Coelho book that I have read. My mother-in-law, who speaks little English, brought it home for me from the school library. I must say I was startled at how frank Coelho spoke about sex and in such detail. The book was definitely R rated if not on the verge of X rated. I personally would not recommend this book for just leisurely reading, unless of course you are looking for something absolutely scandalous.And while it was not the book I was expecting, I still read it, every page. And I couldn't help but be slightly disappointed once I reached the end. I wanted more. I wanted to know where the relationship went with Ralf and what career Maria would finally end up with. But in the end it simply was not my cup of tea. I'll stick to the more conservative.more
Eleven Minutes was an amazing book. Paulo Choelho traps the essence of a women trough the life of Maria. It allows one discover themselves not only as a woman, but also as a friend, a wife, daughter, and a lover!more
Honest, educational, true - Amazing that it is written by a man, because he captures a woman better than one would imagine.I read this quickly and will recommend it to friends.more
I have just finished reading 'Eleven Minutes' by Paul Coelho. I was lent this book by a friend who raved about it. We had been talking about books one day and she said that I had to read this book. It was one of her all time favorites. Having previously read 'The Alchemist' and enjoyed it. In the past I have had trouble reading some of Coelho's other works.Eleven Minutes is an easy read, frankly addressing sex and sexual pursuits. The back cover describes the novel as "gripping and daring". I disagree. I did not find it at all gripping, but I can see where one could describe it as daring. Paul Coelho manages to discuss the different facets of sex, romance and reality in a comfortable language that is non confrontational to the reader."Eleven Minutes" has managed to re-ignite my interest is Coelho's other works and I am now off to try another of his books.more
One of the best books I have ever read. It taught me that life is not as easy as a fairy tale, but it can be one too. It all depends on how you view your life. This book really touched my heart. I'm glad that Maria is not an ordinary woman, that even though her work is not socially accepted, she is not ashamed of it. And what I like about her most is her courage. She taught me that I shouldn't afraid of my future, that sorrow and grief can never be avoided. That in whatever I do, I should always not let opportunities pass me, and regret it later. That money is not what is always important. Your soul, you dignity, and most of all, love, is what matters. I will always remember her when times get rough and when I have doubts. I will always remember the lesson this book taught me: to always believe in pure and blind love. I have been using my head more than my heart frequently, but now I will try to balance both and know what to choose and never regret it afterward ; to treat everything as an opportunity, and most of all, to love.more
CRAP!!! This is one of the worst books that I have ever read! Bad writing -- trite platitudes, little conflict, unrealistic characters. Even the sex scenes are BORING!!! Don't waste your time on this badly written, preachy, new age-y waste of paper.more
A simple, young woman from Brazil is swept away to Switzerland by a slightly less than honest club owner and progresses into the world of prostitution. What is most interesting is the manner in which Maria reacts to her changes in fortune. More interesting is that it is based on a true story.Eleven Minutes is my first experience with Paulo Coehlo's work and I am favorably impressed. He writes in a clear, straightforward style reminiscent of George Orwell and Earnest Hemingway, but his words speak volumes. They leave you thinking about so much more than just the story told.more
I'm glad I didn't read the other reviews before reading this as I enjoyed this book.The story of Maria's escape from poverty and the chances that take her to Geneva seem to me very typical. Unlike many girls in her situation, however, she manages to take control of the situation and this is refreshing if somewhat implausible.more
I know Paulo Coelho has written oodles of books but somehow I've gotten away with not reading any of them until now. I don't know anything about his other books, but based on the Dedication in the begininning, I'm guessing that Eleven Minutes is a bit of a departure from his other works. Correct me if I'm wrong ... I feel like there were two distinct sections to the book. The first half moved along pretty smoothly with the story of Maria, disenchanted with life at a young age...moved from Brazil to Geneva in search of better things...only to choose a life of prostitution. Although some people may have no choice in selling their bodies; Maria makes it quite clear that the choice was hers to make. Even though she needed the money and didn't have many viable skills, she really did not need to resort to prostitution for survival. I was quite surprised at how much she was able to intellectualize life. Coelho has her journal entires throughout the book so that you are able to hone into Maria's thought process. Although I don't doubt that there are intellectuals stemming from the most rural regions of Brazil, some of Maria's journal entries just weren't believable for me. I believe she was about 19 years old and even if she had the intellect to write some of those things ... I don't believe she could've also had the maturity. Anyhow, as I said, the first half of the book progressed nicely for me and then it spirals into a jumble of musings on love/sex/life/touchy feely mumbo jumbo. All really not for me. And then you have a fairy tale Hollywood ending - literally, as it mimics the famous scenes of Casablanca. That was just the icing on the cake in me really(!) not caring much for this book.more
I found his attempt of talking and thinking like a woman a very poor one..more
Brazilian girl leaves for Fame & Fortune in Geneva only to become prostitute. There she learns about life and what real love is.more
Sexuality, a young rural woman in the city, references to the Camino of Santiago de Compostella - a very good book.more
In its dedication, author Paulo Coelho warns readers of his newest novel of its potentially disturbing topic, a subject he claims to be “harsh, difficult, shocking.â€? He needn’t have worried: despite writing a book mainly about sex and its secrets, the novel has already become a bestseller the world over.However, while the subject of sex may be viewed as harsh, even difficult, what is truly shocking about Eleven Minutes is how trite, how smug, how absolutely dull it all is.The award-winning Brazilian author has built himself a widespread reputation as a writer of allegories, understated tales of identity and self-discovery that serve to reveal simple truths to his readers. Through stories such as his bestseller The Alchemist, Coelho’s parables, like the fables of Aesop, are designed to teach as well as entertain.In this vein, Coelho presents Eleven Minutes as a modern fairy tale, going so far as to open his story with the phrase, “Once upon a time.â€? While sex is a decidedly adult theme, he explains that since “we all have one foot in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss,â€? the storybook beginning is appropriate for what follows.Maria is a young Brazilian woman who falls for the spiel of a Swiss businessman, finding herself whisked to Switzerland with the lure of fame and fortune. Through a quick series of missteps, she falls into prostitution, working independently out of a nightclub while striving to save enough money to return home.Maria, innocent yet wise, views her situation as an exercise in self-control and freedom, and begins to search for the meaning of sex with and without love. She studies books at the library, hoping to uncover a reason why the world seemingly “revolved around something that only took eleven minutes.â€?Taking its title from Irving Wallace’s novel The Seven Minutes (Coelho feels Wallace’s estimation of the time of the sexual act was too conservative), Coelho attempts through his narrative to renew the reader’s acquaintance with the sacredness of sex. To Coelho, the act itself, those brief eleven minutes, is of minor importance in a relationship of love and understanding. It only regains its significance when seen as a continuation of one’s ongoing love of another, the overall connection of two souls where the physical act of love is a logical extension, rather than the short-lived intermingling of bodies for instant gratification. A nice sentiment, but Coelho writes with such overwhelming condescension that any point becomes lost in a morass of speechifying characters and anatomically accurate descriptions of female genitalia (presumably the “shockingâ€? part of the book).His Pretty Woman-like scenario, complete with the mysterious painter with hidden depths (is there any other kind?), coupled with prose that reads like a kindergarten teacher lecturing five-year-olds, results in a story of such banality that any revelations as to the character and significance of sex are ultimately overwhelmed.Eleven Minutes reads like what it really is, a high-toned bodice-ripper with pretensions of wisdom. Coelho’s intentions may have been sincere, but his product is morally dishonest, a chastising lecture on the sexual follies of the young.more
A must read! more
such an interesting and joyable reading.
more
Amazing bookmore
Love this bookmore
Read all 29 reviews

Reviews

Well It was okay but based on this book I am not looking forward to read any more of this authors books if I am honest. I started to get really bored after a while and that sucked cause I did like the writing. Still have 2 books here by him but I think I will give them back to my mother.more
It was basically a boring book. I don't think Coelho knows half as much about women as he thinks he does. I doubt that he has spent any time in Geneva except maybe the sex bars. (I lived there for three years, and would have liked a little familiar local colour.) It is also dangerous because it trivializes the very real hazards most women face when they are brought to Europe by strangers. Most of them don't have any choice about prostitution; most of them don't have legal status; most of them end up a year later with HIV, not with the money to go home and buy a farm.more
From my blogI have had Eleven Minutes on my bookshelf for 2 years, one of the first books I brought after blogging. The main thing I can say about this book is that it was thought provoking. It was hard to decide what to rate this book, the beginning I was fascinated and as it went on I began losing interest but I enjoyed the ending of the journey and how it all came together with the understanding of the clever title Eleven Minutes. This book will not be for everyone, it is exploring sexuality with spirituality undertones and may make some feel uncomfortable.What I enjoyed about this book was that it was like reading a thesis paper, very literal with artfully contrived meanings but easy enough for you to understand and have your own opinion on. Maria was looking for adventure, to become a star, find a husband and be happy, we went on the journey along with her. I thought she gambled with her life, she took risks that many do when they are young but some of hers could have caused her her life.Now that I have experienced reading a memoir when I read different novels I realise if it was a memoir I would have enjoyed it more, this is in that category. The character was inspired by someone but Paulo Coelho still put his own interpretation on the choices and consequences.If you want a thought provoking but easy read I say go for it. This is the first book I have read that I can understand every rating, if someone DNF or rated it a 1 to 5 star, I get it but it has its place in the writing world for sure. It seems like Paulo Coelho very much has a style of writing, that may seem formula like but I think it is more like a personal research paper that he allows the reader to experience and think about also.Another favourite was the opening, I would like to share.Once upon a time, there was a prostitute called Maria. Wait as minute. "Once upon a time" is how all the best children's stories begin and "prostitute" is a word for adults. How can I start a book with this apparent contradiction? But since, at every moment of our lives, we all have on foot in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss, let's keep that beginning........More favourite "thought provoking" quotesA writer once said that it is not time that changes man, nor knowledge; the only thing that can change someone's mind is love. Page 53"Does a soldier go to war in order to kill the enemy? No, he goes in order to die for his country. Does a wife want to show her husband how happy she is? No, she wants him to see how devoted she is, how she suffers in order to make him happy. Does the husband go to work thinking he will find personal fulfillment there? No, he is giving his seat and tears for the good of the family. And so it goes on: sons give up their dreams to please their parents, parents give up their lives in order to please their children; pain and suffering are used to justify the one thing that should bring only joy: love."more
Another wonderful book by Paulo Coelho. This was such an interesting reading.more
Eleven minutes is a wonderful book on the sacredness of sex. It is a mixture of love and sex and shows that sex is meaningless if it is unaccompanied by love. Love makes meaning to sex and the eleven minutes which takes a person to have sex will appear lifetime. Among the basic themes of the book also shows that pain should not accompany love. Love is free and should be a source of happiness. Finally Love is a powerful force and no matter what the plans of a person or ambitions nothing will stop love from changing a person's course in life.more
For me, the best by so far of Coelho's novels. A moving story of a prostitute who is able to find redemption and light. Bravomore
This is my first Paulo Coelho book that I have read. My mother-in-law, who speaks little English, brought it home for me from the school library. I must say I was startled at how frank Coelho spoke about sex and in such detail. The book was definitely R rated if not on the verge of X rated. I personally would not recommend this book for just leisurely reading, unless of course you are looking for something absolutely scandalous.And while it was not the book I was expecting, I still read it, every page. And I couldn't help but be slightly disappointed once I reached the end. I wanted more. I wanted to know where the relationship went with Ralf and what career Maria would finally end up with. But in the end it simply was not my cup of tea. I'll stick to the more conservative.more
Eleven Minutes was an amazing book. Paulo Choelho traps the essence of a women trough the life of Maria. It allows one discover themselves not only as a woman, but also as a friend, a wife, daughter, and a lover!more
Honest, educational, true - Amazing that it is written by a man, because he captures a woman better than one would imagine.I read this quickly and will recommend it to friends.more
I have just finished reading 'Eleven Minutes' by Paul Coelho. I was lent this book by a friend who raved about it. We had been talking about books one day and she said that I had to read this book. It was one of her all time favorites. Having previously read 'The Alchemist' and enjoyed it. In the past I have had trouble reading some of Coelho's other works.Eleven Minutes is an easy read, frankly addressing sex and sexual pursuits. The back cover describes the novel as "gripping and daring". I disagree. I did not find it at all gripping, but I can see where one could describe it as daring. Paul Coelho manages to discuss the different facets of sex, romance and reality in a comfortable language that is non confrontational to the reader."Eleven Minutes" has managed to re-ignite my interest is Coelho's other works and I am now off to try another of his books.more
One of the best books I have ever read. It taught me that life is not as easy as a fairy tale, but it can be one too. It all depends on how you view your life. This book really touched my heart. I'm glad that Maria is not an ordinary woman, that even though her work is not socially accepted, she is not ashamed of it. And what I like about her most is her courage. She taught me that I shouldn't afraid of my future, that sorrow and grief can never be avoided. That in whatever I do, I should always not let opportunities pass me, and regret it later. That money is not what is always important. Your soul, you dignity, and most of all, love, is what matters. I will always remember her when times get rough and when I have doubts. I will always remember the lesson this book taught me: to always believe in pure and blind love. I have been using my head more than my heart frequently, but now I will try to balance both and know what to choose and never regret it afterward ; to treat everything as an opportunity, and most of all, to love.more
CRAP!!! This is one of the worst books that I have ever read! Bad writing -- trite platitudes, little conflict, unrealistic characters. Even the sex scenes are BORING!!! Don't waste your time on this badly written, preachy, new age-y waste of paper.more
A simple, young woman from Brazil is swept away to Switzerland by a slightly less than honest club owner and progresses into the world of prostitution. What is most interesting is the manner in which Maria reacts to her changes in fortune. More interesting is that it is based on a true story.Eleven Minutes is my first experience with Paulo Coehlo's work and I am favorably impressed. He writes in a clear, straightforward style reminiscent of George Orwell and Earnest Hemingway, but his words speak volumes. They leave you thinking about so much more than just the story told.more
I'm glad I didn't read the other reviews before reading this as I enjoyed this book.The story of Maria's escape from poverty and the chances that take her to Geneva seem to me very typical. Unlike many girls in her situation, however, she manages to take control of the situation and this is refreshing if somewhat implausible.more
I know Paulo Coelho has written oodles of books but somehow I've gotten away with not reading any of them until now. I don't know anything about his other books, but based on the Dedication in the begininning, I'm guessing that Eleven Minutes is a bit of a departure from his other works. Correct me if I'm wrong ... I feel like there were two distinct sections to the book. The first half moved along pretty smoothly with the story of Maria, disenchanted with life at a young age...moved from Brazil to Geneva in search of better things...only to choose a life of prostitution. Although some people may have no choice in selling their bodies; Maria makes it quite clear that the choice was hers to make. Even though she needed the money and didn't have many viable skills, she really did not need to resort to prostitution for survival. I was quite surprised at how much she was able to intellectualize life. Coelho has her journal entires throughout the book so that you are able to hone into Maria's thought process. Although I don't doubt that there are intellectuals stemming from the most rural regions of Brazil, some of Maria's journal entries just weren't believable for me. I believe she was about 19 years old and even if she had the intellect to write some of those things ... I don't believe she could've also had the maturity. Anyhow, as I said, the first half of the book progressed nicely for me and then it spirals into a jumble of musings on love/sex/life/touchy feely mumbo jumbo. All really not for me. And then you have a fairy tale Hollywood ending - literally, as it mimics the famous scenes of Casablanca. That was just the icing on the cake in me really(!) not caring much for this book.more
I found his attempt of talking and thinking like a woman a very poor one..more
Brazilian girl leaves for Fame & Fortune in Geneva only to become prostitute. There she learns about life and what real love is.more
Sexuality, a young rural woman in the city, references to the Camino of Santiago de Compostella - a very good book.more
In its dedication, author Paulo Coelho warns readers of his newest novel of its potentially disturbing topic, a subject he claims to be “harsh, difficult, shocking.â€? He needn’t have worried: despite writing a book mainly about sex and its secrets, the novel has already become a bestseller the world over.However, while the subject of sex may be viewed as harsh, even difficult, what is truly shocking about Eleven Minutes is how trite, how smug, how absolutely dull it all is.The award-winning Brazilian author has built himself a widespread reputation as a writer of allegories, understated tales of identity and self-discovery that serve to reveal simple truths to his readers. Through stories such as his bestseller The Alchemist, Coelho’s parables, like the fables of Aesop, are designed to teach as well as entertain.In this vein, Coelho presents Eleven Minutes as a modern fairy tale, going so far as to open his story with the phrase, “Once upon a time.â€? While sex is a decidedly adult theme, he explains that since “we all have one foot in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss,â€? the storybook beginning is appropriate for what follows.Maria is a young Brazilian woman who falls for the spiel of a Swiss businessman, finding herself whisked to Switzerland with the lure of fame and fortune. Through a quick series of missteps, she falls into prostitution, working independently out of a nightclub while striving to save enough money to return home.Maria, innocent yet wise, views her situation as an exercise in self-control and freedom, and begins to search for the meaning of sex with and without love. She studies books at the library, hoping to uncover a reason why the world seemingly “revolved around something that only took eleven minutes.â€?Taking its title from Irving Wallace’s novel The Seven Minutes (Coelho feels Wallace’s estimation of the time of the sexual act was too conservative), Coelho attempts through his narrative to renew the reader’s acquaintance with the sacredness of sex. To Coelho, the act itself, those brief eleven minutes, is of minor importance in a relationship of love and understanding. It only regains its significance when seen as a continuation of one’s ongoing love of another, the overall connection of two souls where the physical act of love is a logical extension, rather than the short-lived intermingling of bodies for instant gratification. A nice sentiment, but Coelho writes with such overwhelming condescension that any point becomes lost in a morass of speechifying characters and anatomically accurate descriptions of female genitalia (presumably the “shockingâ€? part of the book).His Pretty Woman-like scenario, complete with the mysterious painter with hidden depths (is there any other kind?), coupled with prose that reads like a kindergarten teacher lecturing five-year-olds, results in a story of such banality that any revelations as to the character and significance of sex are ultimately overwhelmed.Eleven Minutes reads like what it really is, a high-toned bodice-ripper with pretensions of wisdom. Coelho’s intentions may have been sincere, but his product is morally dishonest, a chastising lecture on the sexual follies of the young.more
A must read! more
such an interesting and joyable reading.
more
Amazing bookmore
Love this bookmore
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