Eleven Minutes is the story of Maria, a young Brazilian girl who comes from a poor family, dreams of fairy tales and ends up as a prostitute in Geneva.
The first few chapters outlining the life of little Maria are engaging enough. I couldn’t put the book down at this stage. Once she gets to Switzerland, the lecturing, dreamy, philosophical style that I dislike starts. Maria is no ordinary prostitute. She is beautiful as well as smart (Yawn). She first attempts to justify her reasons or anybody’s reasons to be a prostitute. Before that is concluded, she moves on to find a rich and young and handsome painter who worships her (Snore). At the same time, she is infatuated into macho-ism by a rich (again) and famous music producer who is disappointed by his wife’s infidelity. She must choose between these two! That is essentially the story.
I didn’t find this nearly as good as The Alchemist. I do not know if Coelho was trying to really get in the frame of mind of a woman by over-analyzing sex, but I felt a real woman would be less philosophical and more emotional about her experiences. It seemed to me that she was detached from herself and no matter what shocking things would come her way, she would still never be fazed by it and I just felt it was too non-human type.
I dislike the content, I dislike the writing style. I dislike the empty philosophies. I don’t know what to learn from this books. Philosophical rampages on love and being the mother and friend to her clients turned me off entirely to this book. Don’t get me wrong, Coelho is an eloquent and gifted writer, I just did not find this book as enjoyable as his other works.
My rating : 2/5
“No one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it”