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Saturday, July 4, 2009

11 Minutes - Paulo Coelho

I just read another Paulo Coelho masterpiece and as Wikipedia summarizes:

"Maria, from the interior of Brazil, goes to seek her fortune in Switzerland, only to find that reality is harsher than she expected and she ends up working in a brothel on Rue de Berne, the heart of Geneva's red-light district. The book deals with issues surrounding sex and sexuality, such as prostitution, and sacred sex in the context of love. Because of its graphic descriptions, the novel has been described as "erotic".

Maria is on journey to find what true love is but ends up letting her own life guide her. She enters a life that leads her down the path of sexual awakenings and almost leads to her self-destruction when she is introduced to all sides of sexual experience. When she has given up hope to find true love she meets a painter with whom she falls in love. And she must now choose where she is to take her life. Either to let it lead her or finally take control of her life and end this subtle self-destructive life she is leading. Just like many of Coelho's books, this book is also about a journey of self-discovery and sensitively explores the sacred nature of sex and love and invites us to confront our own prejudices and demons and embrace our own "inner light."

Also, in the story Maria concluded that it takes 11 minutes for a man and a woman to copulate till they reach climax thus the title.

I finished the book in a day for I found it hard to put down as I go deep into the story I find myself in Maria's shoes and had a recall of what I have been through. There were many instances that Maria's experiences were quite similar to what I have encountered during my sexual awakenings, naiveness, experimentation and curiosity.

The price I had to pay, the feeling of loss and shame, and yet the clarity of all reasons these things were done. The search for acceptance and love, of a person to love amidst all the chaos.

I won't tell about the ending, so as not to spoil it, but like Maria, quite similarly, I have yet to come home and hopefully find that one person, one particular person who would see the inner-light in me, would see more than the facade, but through me and see that one lonely soul that is waiting to be set free.


  1. I was at Jarir Bookstore (in Khobar) last Friday and I saw this book. I actually remembered you. May binabasa pa kasi akong libro: The Last Juror ni Grisham. Hamo, next time I'm going to try this book.

  2. Oh do have a copy, it's worth it dear!