The Winner Stands Alone: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

The beloved, bestselling international author of The Alchemist returns with another haunting novel—a thrilling journey into our constant fascination with the worlds of fame, fortune, and celebrity.

A profound meditation on personal power and innocent dreams that are manipulated or undone by success, The Winner Stands Alone is set in the exciting worlds of fashion and cinema. Taking place over the course of twenty-four hours during the Cannes Film Festival, it is the story of ...

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The Winner Stands Alone: A Novel

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Overview

The beloved, bestselling international author of The Alchemist returns with another haunting novel—a thrilling journey into our constant fascination with the worlds of fame, fortune, and celebrity.

A profound meditation on personal power and innocent dreams that are manipulated or undone by success, The Winner Stands Alone is set in the exciting worlds of fashion and cinema. Taking place over the course of twenty-four hours during the Cannes Film Festival, it is the story of Igor, a successful, driven Russian entrepreneur who will go to the darkest lengths to reclaim a lost love—his ex-wife, Ewa. Believing that his life with Ewa was divinely ordained, Igor once told her that he would destroy whole worlds to get her back. The conflict between an individual evil force and society emerges, and as the novel unfolds, morality is derailed.

Meet the players and poseurs behind the scenes at Cannes—the "Superclass" of producers, actors, designers, and supermodels, as well as the aspiring starlets, has-been stars, and jaded hangers-on. Adroitly interweaving the characters' stories, Paulo Coelho uses his twelfth novel to paint an engrossing picture of a world overrun by glamour and excess, and shows us the possibly dire consequences of our obsession with fame.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061872563
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/7/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 103,957
  • File size: 586 KB

Meet the Author

Paulo Coelho

The Brazilian author Paulo Coelho was born in 1947 in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Before dedicating his life completely to literature, he worked as theater director, actor, lyricist, and journalist. Coelho wrote song lyrics for many famous performers in Brazilian music, such as Elis Regina and Rita Lee, yet he is best known for his work with Raul Seixas. Together they wrote such successes as "Eu nasci há dez mil anos atrás" ("I Was Born Ten Thousand Years Ago"), "Gita," and "Al Capone."

His fascination with the spiritual quest dates back to his hippie days, when he travelled the world learning about secret societies, oriental religions, etc. In 1982, Coelho published his first book, Hell Archives, which failed to make any kind of impact. In 1985, he contributed to the Practical Manual of Vampirism, although he later tried to take it off the shelves, since he considered it "of bad quality." In 1986, Paulo Coelho did the pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostella, an experience later to be documented in his book The Pilgrimage.

Biography

His books have been translated into 56 languages, topped bestseller lists throughout the world, and scored him such celebrity fans as Julia Roberts, Bill Clinton, and Madonna; yet for Brazilian publishing phenom Paulo Colho, the road to success has been strewn with a number of obstacles, many of them rooted in his troubled past.

As a youth, Coelho was expected to follow in the footsteps of his father, a professional engineer. When he rebelled, expressing his intentions to become a writer, his parents had him committed to a psychiatric hospital where he was subjected to electro-shock therapy. He left home to join the 1970s countercultural revolution, experimenting with drugs, dabbling in black magic, and getting involved in Brazil's bohemian art and music scene. He teamed with rock musician Raul Seixas for an extremely successful songwriting partnership that changed the face of Brazilian pop -- and put a lot of money in Coelho's pockets. He also joined an anti-capitalist organization called the Alternative Society which attracted the attention of Brazil's military dictatorship. Marked down as a subversive, he was imprisoned and tortured.

Amazingly, Coelho survived these horrific experiences. He left the hippie lifestyle behind, went to work in the record industry, and began to write, but without much success. Then, in the mid-1980s, during a trip to Europe, he met a man, an unnamed mentor he refers to only as "J," who inducted him into Regnum Agnus Mundi, a secret society that blends Catholicism with a sort of New Age mysticism. At J's urging, Coelho journeyed across el Camino de Santiago, the legendary Spanish road traversed by pilgrims since the Middle Ages. He chronicled this life-changing, 500-mile journey -- the culmination of decades of soul-searching -- in The Pilgrimage, published in 1987.

The following year, Coelho wrote The Alchemist, the inspirational fable for which he is best known. The first edition sold so poorly the publisher decided not to reprint it. Undaunted, Coelho moved to a larger publishing house that seemed more interested in his work. When his third novel (1990's Brida) proved successful, the resulting media buzz carried The Alchemist all the way to the top of the charts. Released in the U.S. by HarperCollins in 1993, The Alchemist became a word-of-mouth sensation, turning Coelho into a cult hero.

Since then, he has gone on to create his own distinct literary brand -- an amalgam of allegory and self-help filled with spiritual themes and symbols. In his novels, memoirs, and aphoristic nonfiction, he returns time and again to the concepts of quest and transformation and has often said that writing has helped connect him to his soul. While his books have not always been reviewed favorably and have often become the subject of strong cultural and philosophical debate, there is no doubt that this self-described "pilgrim writer" has struck a chord in readers everywhere. In the 2009 edition of the Guiness Book of World Records, Coelho was named the most translated living author -- with William Shakespeare the most translated of all time!

Good To Know

Few writers are able to accomplish what Coelho can in just two to four weeks -- which is how long it takes for him to write an entire novel.

Before become a bestselling novelist, Coelho was a writer of a different sort. He co-wrote more than 60 songs with Brazilian musician Raul Seixas.

Coelho is the founder of the Paulo Coelho Institute, a non-profit organization funded by his royalties that raises money for underprivileged children and the elderly in his homeland of Brazil.

In our interview with Coelho, he shared some fascinating facts about himself:

"I have been practicing archery for a long time; a bow and arrow helps me to unwind."

"In writing, I apply my feminine side and respect the mystery involved in creation."

"I love almost everything about my work, except conferences. I am too shy in front of an audience. But I love signings and having eye contact with a reader who already knows my soul."

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 24, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    1. Education:
      Left law school in second year
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 49 )
Rating Distribution

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(19)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 49 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    From the author of the Alchemist comes another.......

    Paulo Coelho's The Winner Stands Alone by Annette Dunlea (Book Review)
    This hardback The Winner Stands Alone is written by Paulo Coelho, the author who wrote The Alchemist. Its ISBN is 0007306067 and it is published by Harper Collins. The book is set during the Cannes Festival and all action takes place within 24 hours. Coelho explores the world of fashion and cinema and discovers it is shallow and immoral. The theme is Igor's obsession with his ex-wife Ewa who is terrified of him. He decides to go on a killing spree to win his wife back. The story chronicles the serial murders and the characters he encounters on his journey. Igor justification is all is fair in love. He will do anything to win back his ex wife. Coelho is lamenting the lost values of our society that can not be reclaimed. It is well written and an easy to read thriller.
    Reviewed by Annette Dunlea author of The Honey Trap and Always and Forever

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2009

    Very Different

    While good, this book is very different that Coehlo's past novels. The book is not as spiritual, violent, and has a very different topic than his other books. Although some past themes shine through in this new book, avid readers of Coehlo's other books may be disappointed. This book was definitely a page turner and I enjoyed it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 15, 2009

    AMAZING BOOK!

    THE WINNER STANDS ALONE is a masterpiece: it talks about values lost and never found again. It looks like a thriller, but it is not - the characters are trapped and manipulated by the people Coelho calls "The Superclass". Once more Coelho made it. And I also believe Coelho is one of the few writers that are always exploring unknown seas, instead of repeating the same plot over and over again. Kudos to him.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2009

    An Enjoyable Read

    Celebrities, cameras, exquisite banquets, fashion. And than there's reality. In his most controversial book to date, Coelho investigates the contemporary world of celebrity and what is hidden underneath the facade. Set during twenty-four hours at the Cannes Film Festival, we are introduced to a culturally diverse set of characters-the dangerous Russian entrepreneur Igor who destroys lives in a bid to win back his now-married ex-wife Ewa, a driven young Italian actress Gabriela whose destiny drastically changes twice in one day, an African teenager Jasmine set to sign her first major modeling contract but secretly torn between her career and her love for another woman, and Ewa's fabulously rich Middle Eastern fashion-designer husband Hamid who is blissfully unaware of Igor's plans until it is too late. Along the way, Coelho showcases various members of the show-business hierarchy such as its naive and exploited starlets, professional workaholics who are hostages to their own ambitions, and Superclass celebrities who have made it to the top but are secretly terrified of fading into obscurity at any moment. Yet, Coelho's newest offering isn't only a critical look into the makings of modern society dominated by pop culture, but also a tragic love story of a serial killer with a shocking outcome surprisingly foreshadowed by the book's title. Igor's journey for vengeance forever alters not only Igor's and Ewa's lives, but also the fate of the people Igor meets along the way like the innocent street-vendor Olivia, the superstar movie distributor, the aspiring movie-maker Maureen, and the unnamed troubled actor simply referenced to as the Star along with the Director of his new film. Interspersed throughout the story are curious factual aspects of the industry as well as Coelho's signature analysis of the celebrity-obsessed culture where both the audience and the celebrities are revealed to be victims of the system. There are also interesting tidbits about famous people like Coco Chanel (apparently she had a very negative childhood and underwent a string of wealthy lovers before she became the famous fashion designer we know today), as well as introspective reflections on fame, fashion, jewelry, and money among other topics. The eloquently described stars are revealed to be just as unhappy as the very audience they cater to, trapped into contractual freedom-less lives not much better than the standard nine-to-five-with their luxurious lifestyles a well-masked lie and self-esteem only as high or low as their latest career performance. Overall, I enjoyed Coelho's fluid writing and in particular his descriptive inclusions of various character viewpoints and industry revelations. Through his book, I feel that Coelho has given celebrity-ism a realistic new meaning-one not widely explored in the otherwise star-struck magazines or TV shows. With this new book, Coelho has left behind his ancient parables like The Alchemist and the The Devil and Miss Prym, and shifted to the present while appreciatively retaining his characteristic philosophical outlook on life and destiny, successfully depicting a plot filled with tension right up until the last page. Despite everything, even if the winner does stand alone, I bet everyone wants to be that winner.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2013

    TO GARGAMEL

    Read my post at the tenth res. <br>
    &#1492 The Writer ~

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2013

    Nice

    I love kingdom hearts nice story~mustacheluvr

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2013

    Re:Volt Prologue I --The Journal

    Thank Namine.<p>Those were the words that inspired hope and wonder in thousands and thousand of souls during the end times of Twilight Town. Though the original purpose of the phrase has been long, long forgotten, they became the center of a great and massive cult. The Awaiters.<p>These words were found in an ancient journal. This journal's orgin is a clear as what, or who, the phrase contained in it was meant for. But it is the only visible phrase in the fat book. Who was Namine? That was the question for a long time. Eventually Namine became the name of a deity. The name was not given to the deity, but rather the deity was created for the name. The Awaiters, as they named themselves, did their best to thank their god every day. In fact, their guiding principle, is "With every breath, movement, and action, we must Thank Namine."<p>It was a peaceful time when this religion-cult was created. There were no battles, the world of Twighlight Town grew everyday. And history was forgotten.<p>They say that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.<p>It wasn't long before the Orginazation and the Dark Corp came from their own dark, unholy worlds to plague Twighlight Town. No, they were not aliens. When I say world here, I do not mean a planet. I mean an entire universe. These universes are home each to their own adventures.<p>At any rate, Twighlight Town fell quickly. But while the Orginazation was content with their work, the leader of Dark Corps, an evil witch named Malificent, sought further worlds to add to her growing collection. Using her massive army of Heartless, shadowy creatures devoted to mischief, she took over many worlds.<p>Thus was the end of Twighlight Town. That world is now known as The World Unseen.<p>But our story occurs after the reign if the Orginazation and Dark Corps were secured. It does not even begin in The World Unseen. It begins in a small, backstreet world, known as Destiny City. This world was once but a small, nearly uninhabited island, but a vistiors came, they added more and more onto the island, and it became something to rival Venice in it's architecture. It is a city of docks, wharves, canals...Gondolas, Romance, prosperity...<p>It was a city of peace.<p>Yes. I said was.<p>That peace was abruptly ended by the foolish actions of a power-hungry fool. But he was not evil. Or at least, not intentionally. He and his friends were simply restless. And this is their story...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2013

    A Bit Too Verbose

    A Russian businessman wants to retrieve his wife who has run off with a fashion tycoon from the middle east. He goes to Cannes where the super rich gather for films, fashion, parties, and ego. In this environment, he becomes a serial killer of stars, directors, merchants, film distributors, and whoever may be unfortunate enough to cross his path.

    This is not a typical Coelho plot, but as a fan I have learned to expect to be pleasantly surprised. In this case, I found myself somewhat bored. As the author attacked both super rich and superficial values, over and over again, I found myself becoming hungry for action. There were too may descriptions of this valueless society, and plot was placed on the back burner. While the last thirty pages returned to a story and established some suspense, it was a little to late.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Not his best . . .

    Paulo Coelho is one of my favorite authors, but "The Winner Stands Alone" is not one of my favorite books. Perhaps the author thought he would take a departure from his usual genre and write a spy-type novel about a psychopathic hit man. While I can appreciate the desire to stretch one's wings and try something different, this has been done before and by authors who are better at this.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    He did it again!!

    I have been a Paulo's follower since the Alchemist and in my case my favorite from him,The Fifth Mountain,and on this book he show us one more time how easy is for him to describe human kind,he speak to the readers describing their life and personalities through the characters on his book.I think that everyone can find something of his own on at least one of this interesting people that come to live on this book.Very good book!!

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  • Posted June 11, 2012

    Great book, I plan on reading more from this author.

    Great book, I plan on reading more from this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2012

    Kaydence

    Oh kk bye

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2012

    Unknown

    What did they do?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2011

    Cuelho has done better

    While most of cuelo's work maintains a string of universal truths and spiritual principals this work seems void of such strength.

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  • Posted June 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    profound

    This is a hard book to review. It's really one that a reader needs to read for him- or herself because it's the type of book that people relate to individually. As for me, I thought it was a good book. I can't say that I enjoyed it, because "enjoy" is not the right word. The correct words would be more like, thought-provoking, profound, insightful, unique.

    Paulo Coehlo gives us a backstage look at the "Superclass", the sect of people who are above us mere mortals-- the rich and famous, whom many of us idolize. His lifting of the curtain to give us a peek allows us to see the dirty underbelly of the "Superclass", and makes us question our own reverence of this group of people. After all, they are only human, just like the rest of us.

    He uses his main characters, Igor, Ewa, Hamid, Jasmine, and Gabriela, to take us into this high class world, and weaves them into a story that captivates the reader as well as exposing the superficiality of the "Superclass". Igor's quest for revenge interconnects these five characters as well as questioning their own dreams and wants. It caused me to look at my own life in the same way, seeing what is real versus what is false.

    The end was definitely not what I expected, which is a good thing. I love it when the ending of a book goes in a different direction. Life itself doesn't always continue in an expected way, and it's good to find a book which understands that. I can't really say too much more without spoiling it, so read it yourself... ;)

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  • Posted June 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Unique

    I see a lot of reviews that are upset that its different from Paulo's other books, but I dont understand how thats a bad thing. I think variety is the spice of life and I really enjoyed the book a lot. I think as a writer its important to explore other subjects and forms of writing and this book was entertaining and gave a new interesting perspective of fame, love and obsession.

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  • Posted August 22, 2009

    Another winner for Coelho

    A very violent book and quite different than the recent 11 Minutes. The Russian negativity is intense here and though as a work of fiction one must wonder if the author harbors these type of feelings towards the Russian people. It is a well done piece as one would expect from this Coehlo. I find his stye has become more westernized since Alchemist days and for me, more readable. In many ways, it is not a pretty book at all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2009

    THriller of the Morders

    I found this book to be a ggood read overall, but at times slow because the author tended to drag out the ending a bit! The book was repeatative and in the end not a mystery!
    In the past, this authors books, I have found more interesting and thrilling because the plot seemed to have flowed quicker and more fluently! The story was ended by midbook and not as intriguing as the others! Worth reading for the lifestyle and not out of interest purely!

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  • Posted July 18, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Winner Stands Alone!

    This novel is one of many of Paulo Coelho's that you MUST READ! In each of PC books, I am whisked away to a magical place that I never want to leave. Paulo must have walked in their shoes at one point or another in their live...Coelho captures each voice with a clarity that makes bells sound hazy.

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  • Posted July 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Disturbing!

    Coelho most have been in one of his more morose moods when he penned this novel. Having recently read "The Alchemist" and "Brida"...I was disappointed in this literary contribution with its psychotic lead character, Igor, wreaking homicidal havoc throughout a 24 hour period during which he seeks revenge against his lost love/wife.

    I found the book...as well as Coelho's apparent justification of the murderous acts of Igor...to be unsettling. Enough so that it will be a long while before I delve into any of his other works. In my opinion...although I always find his work thought provoking...this demonic work has no salvation as far as I'm concerned.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 49 Customer Reviews

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