Archive for April 22, 2008

Book Review: Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho


More Than Eleven Minutes of Sense and Sensuality

The novel is far from the contemplative atmosphere of By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept and the bestseller The Alchemist, but the beauty of the book is derived from the strong yet tender, and poignant life of Maria, who was tricked into leaving her hometown in Brazil to become a prostitute in Switzerland. The book borders on the erotic, what with Maria’s love for masochism, and the hints of pessimism as Maria’s life as a prostitute unfolds. Like all the other literary works of Paulo Coelho, this book tackles another road to self-discovery– sexuality. However, the book delves on the matter of sex in the context of love, which makes this book different from the soft porn usually found in romance novels. The idea of sacred sex is treated with renewed freshness. The sensual subject matter of the book, and the way Coelho dealt with this sensuality through his writing style, even give Maria’s story a peculiar charm that entices you to keep on reading until the end. Maria’s life as a disillusioned prostitute takes a wild turn when she meets a painter whom she falls in love with. Upon meeting him, her life has inevitably changed from one that is headed towards self-destruction to a life that hopes for a bright future. Towards the end of the story, she is compelled to choose between the life in Brazil she has always dreamed of returning to, or to a new and yet-unknown life that she could have with the person she undeniably loves. If you are a fan of Coelho, then this book demands to be read. It veers away from the writer’s usual overly optimistic book-forms of Hallmark cards. The dark subject matter and the different approach that Coelho takes on this novel are two main things that make this book a definite must-have for bookworms who want an alternative from all the chick literature or the heavy readings.

The novel is far from the contemplative atmosphere of By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept and the bestseller The Alchemist, but the beauty of the book is derived from the strong yet tender, and poignant life of Maria, who was tricked into leaving her hometown in

Purchase your copy of this book on Avalon.ph

Book Review: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova


A Horror and Mystery Novel Rolled into One

This novel is mainly for those bookworms who are allured by the enticing richness of reading histories. What makes this book unique is it actually gives an account of how the Dracula evolved into how it is seen today. The historical fiction narrates the beginning of ruthless Vlad the Impaler, who impaled hundreds of people during his reign in Wallachia, and down to how Bram Stoker romanticized the image of the vampire for commercial appeal. On top of all these interesting little stories is one main plot of cat-and-mouse as Paul and Helen travel from Istanbul to Budapest as they try to solve the mystery of the old, vellum-bound book with a dragon carved at the cover’s center. Personally, I loved the interesting mix of history and adventure in the novel. There were moments when I would get all hyped because of the thinking that the letters and the riddles evoke. On the other hand, seeing the other side of the concept of the Dracula is a refreshing alternative from all the sensationalized appeal it got from Hollywood movies. The constant flight from one place to another while the protagonists deal with the elusive traces of Dracula is set against an atmosphere of eerie mystique, giving the plot just the right amount of ghostly spooks. The culmination and resolution of the plot at the end is one of suspense because apart from the truth, it is then that Paul and Helen finally discover what they have long been searching for. This book needs a lot of attention, so this is the perfect companion during a long flight or when you are stuck at home. But for those of you who want to see the other side of Dracula or to simply experience one hell of a ride, then The Historian beats all other lengthy reads!

Purchase your copy of this book on Avalon.ph

Lonely Planet “fake” books

Mr Kohnstamm, whose book is titled Do Travel Writers Go To Hell?, said yesterday that he had worked on more than a dozen books for Lonely Planet, including its titles on Brazil, Colombia, the Caribbean, Venezuela, Chile and South America.

In one case, he said he had not even visited the country he wrote about.

“They didn’t pay me enough to go Colombia,” he said.

“I wrote the book in San Francisco. I got the information from a chick I was dating – an intern in the Colombian Consulate.

More details here.