I loved Paulo Coelho’s, The Alchemist. I admit. But this book certainly lost me in the first few pages. But, I kept on reading. I rarely leave a book half-way through. In The Winner Stands Alone, the author hates cell phones, dark glasses, movie producers, the rich and the famous, the power class whom he calls “the superclass”, with their private jets, Bot-ox injections and expensive cars. He is not too much in favor of the ordinary people. He criticizes them as well. The central character of the novel, Igor the Russian executive is a creepy psycho, who kills without rhyme or reason and goes about “destroying universes”.
The whole story occurs in Cannes with the film festival as the backdrop. Coelho compares Cannes to Sodom and Gomorrah. For an author like Paolo Coelho who so blatantly expresses despise for all things worldly or glamorous like the Cannes film festival in this book, I am surprised how he agreed to the movie production of his best seller The Alchemist. And I wondered often during the read, why the author even considered writing more than 300 pages about things which he expresses as immoral and foolish. Well, that I cannot answer.
Therefore, as much as I love some of Paolo Coelho’s books, and have been inspired by them, I have to be honest and give this book a 3/5.
If you are an avid reader go ahead pick this book. But if reading is a rare thing for you, do not read this book. So friends decide for yourself if you would give the book a try.
By HARSHVARDHAN SINGH