Eleven Minutes

By Paulo Coelho, Margaret Jull Costa

154,427 ratings - 3.7* vote

Eleven Minutes is the story of Maria, a young girl from a Brazilian village, whose first innocent brushes with love leave her heartbroken. At a tender age, she becomes convinced that she will never find true love, instead believing that “love is a terrible thing that will make you suffer. . . .” A chance meeting in Rio takes her to Geneva, where she dreams of finding fame Eleven Minutes is the story of Maria, a young girl from a Brazilian village, whose first innocent brushes with love

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Book details

Paperback, 273 pages
2003 by HarperOne
Original Title
Onze minutos
ISBN
0060589280 (ISBN13: 9780060589288)
Edition Language
English

Community Reviews

Ahmad Sharabiani

Onze minutos = Elf minuten = Eleven Minutes, Paulo Coelho

Eleven Minutes is a 2003 novel by Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho. Maria, a young girl from a remote village of Brazil, whose first encounters with love leave her heartbroken, goes to seek her fortune in Switzerland.

She works for a time in a nightclub but soon becomes dissatisfied and after a heated discussion with her manager one night, she quits her job. She tries to become a model but is unsuccessful. Because she is running out of money, she accepts 1000 francs from an Arab man to spend the night with him.

She then decides to become a prostitute and ends up in a brothel on Rue de Berne, the heart of Geneva's red-light district. There she befriends Nyah who gives her advice on her "new profession" and after learning the tricks of the trade from Milan, the brothel owner, she enters the job with her body and mind shutting all doors for love and keeps her heart open only for her diary.

Quickly she becomes quite successful and famous and her colleagues begin to envy her. Months pass and Maria grows into a professionally groomed prostitute who not only relaxes her clients' minds, but also calms their souls by talking to them about their problems.

Her world turns upside down when she meets Ralf, a young Swiss painter, who sees her "inner light". Maria falls in love with him immediately and begins to experience what "true love" is (according to the author, it is a sense of being for someone without actually possessing him/her).

Maria is now split between her sexual fantasies and true love for Ralf. Eventually she decides that it is time for her to leave Geneva with her memory of Ralf, because she realizes that they are worlds apart. But before leaving, she decides to rekindle the dead sexual fire in Ralf and learns from him about the nature of Sacred Sex, sex which is mingled with true love and which involves the giving up of one's soul for the loved one.

عنوانها: «11 دقیقه»؛ «یازده دقیقه»؛ نویسنده: پائولو کوئیلو؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه جولای سال 2003میلادی

عنوان: 11 دقیقه، نویسنده: پائولو کوئیلو؛ مترجم: آزاده تویسرکانی؛ تهران، زرین؛ 1382؛ در 328ص؛ شایک 9644073908؛ از ترجمه آلمانی به فارسی ترجمه شده؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان برزیلی سده 21م

عنوان: یازده دقیقه، نویسنده: پائولو کوئیلو؛ مترجم: شهرزاد فتوحی؛ تهران، کتابسرای نیک؛ 1383؛ در 264ص؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، پوینده، 1387؛ در 130ص؛ شابک 9789642950140؛

عنوان: یازده دقیقه، نویسنده: پائولو کوئیلو؛ مترجم: کیومرث پارسای؛ مشهد، نی نگار 1385؛ در303 ص؛ شابک 9642617021؛

ماریا، دختری «برزیلی»، از شهری کوچک است؛ او نیز همانند همه آدمها، پاک به دنیا آمده، و در ابتدای نوجوانی، مرد زندگی خود را، در رویاهای خود، به صورت مردی ثروتمند، و خوش قیافه، و باهوش و...؛ تجسم میکرد؛ تا زمانیکه که این شاهزاده ی رویاها، سوار بر اسب سفید بیاید، کاری جز خیالپردازی نداشت؛ در یازده سالگی، عاشق همکلاسی خود شد، اما در فرصتیکه به دستش آمد، سر صحبت را باز نکرد، و زمانیکه خود را آماده ی گفتگو نمود، آن پسر از آن شهر، به جایی دور رفته بود، و بدین ترتیب یاد گرفت، که انسانهای محبوب، و مورد علاقه، سرانجام میروند؛ او در پانزده سالگی دوباره عاشق پسری میشود، و اینبار اشتباه پیشین را تکرار نمیکند و ...؛

اما به دلیل بی تجربگی! آن پسر نیز، او را تنها میگذارد؛ به فکر پناه بردن به صومعه، میافتد، و میخواهد همه ی زندگی خود را، وقف عشقی کند، که نه زخم میزند، و نه داغ بر دل میگذارد، عشق به «مسیح»! پس از آشنایی بیشتر با اندام خویش، و تناقض آن با آموزشهای کلیسا، زندگی مذهبی را ترک میکند؛ و در یکی از تجربه های بعدی خویش، در حالیکه از باکره ماندن، در میان سایر دوستانش خسته و نگران است، خود را تسلیم میکند، در حالیکه هیچ احساسی، در این رابطه هم نبود، این تجارب، او را به این نتیجه رساند، که مردان چیزی جز «درد«، «ناراحتی»، «رنج» و «ناامیدی»، برایش به ارمغان نمیآورند.؛

همچنین علیرغم اینکه، همه جا و همه کس، القا میکنند، که بخش مهمی از زندگی یک زن را، یک مرد شکل میدهد، او هرگز نفهمید، ارتباط با جنس مخالف چه لذتی دارد؛ او پس از پایان دبیرستان، در مغازه ای آغاز به کار میکند، صاحب مغازه، عاشق اوست، اما تجارب او، به اندازه ای است، که نگذارد از او سوء استفاده شود؛ زمانیکه «ماریا»، برای گذراندن تعطیلات، به «ریودوژانیرو» میرود، در ساحل «کوپاکابانا»، با مردی «سوئیسی» رودررو میشود، که این مرد، به او پیشنهاد کار در «سوئیس» را میدهد؛ کار در یک کاباره، به عنوان رقاصه، و ورود به دنیای هنر! با درآمدی مناسب و...؛

ماریا، تصمیم میگیرد، که مسیر زندگی خود را اینچنین تغییر دهد؛ او پس از ورود به «ژنو»، و مدتی کار در کاباره، متوجه میشود، که حقوق او، با کسورات قانونی، قابل توجه نیست، و معادل یک دهم مبلغ وعده داده شده است! و تازه پس از آن نیز، به دلیل اینکه، یک روز سر کار خود، حاضر نمیشود (به دلیل گردش با دوستی عرب)، از کار خود اخراج میشود؛ او پس از مدتی بیکاری، و هزینه کردن پس انداز خویش، و گشتن به دنبال کار به عنوان مانکن و...؛ نهایتاٌ بالاجبار یا با اختیار، به کار روسپیگری میپردازد، و تصمیم میگیرد، که آنکار را، به مدت محدودی (یک سال) انجام دهد، تا بتواند با اندوخته ی خود، خانه ای برای خانواده، و مزرعه ای نیز، در «برزیل» بخرد، و به وطن بازگردد.؛ ...؛

موضوع داستان البته به خودی خود جنجالی است، و جالب توجه؛ اما نخستین نکته ای که خوانشگر را تحت تاثیر قرار میدهد، آن است، که «ماریا» یک فرد ویژه است: او به کتابخانه میرود، و کتاب میخواند، و کوشش میکند، تا آموخته هایش را گسترش دهد؛ یادمانهای خود را مینویسد، و مدام در حال تجزیه و تحلیل شرایط خویش است؛ واژه های قلمش نیز زیبا هستند.؛ ...؛

نقل از متن: من دو زن هستم: یکی که میل دارد همه ی شادیها، عشقها و همه ی ماجراهای زندگی را، داشته باشد، دیگری میخواهد برده ی روزانه، برده ی زندگی خانوادگی، و برده ی چیزهائی که برنامه ریزی میشوند، باشد. پایان نقل از متن کتاب

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 05/09/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

Leajk

So while living in Switzerland, I had this book recommended, nay practically forced upon me by a male acquaintance (the book was put into my hands at a party and he told me that I should borrow it). Not having read anything by Coelho previously, though with a vague remembrance of my high school teacher violently hating the guy, I set about politely reading it.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that the book was about an immigrant sex worker in Switzerland. It made me more than a little uncomfortable, not because I have anything against sex workers, but because I was also an immigrant living in Switzerland and I was in fact looking for a new job at the moment, and this guy knew that, and well, it wasn't really what I had in mind.

I'm guessing (or hoping) that my friend's intrigue was with Coelho's general pseudo-philosophy and that's why he recommended it. I'm hoping that he wasn't really fascinated and wanting to discuss the plot. The lovely plot of how Maria, the sex worker, has to choose between two of her millionaire clients; one who's a sadistic bad boy and one who is more into delayed sexual gratification (or even abstinence if I remember correctly) but kind of complicated and hard to get close.

The reason for posting this review now, besides being reminded of it while I was reviewing a streak of horrible books, is that I suddenly realised that there was actually already a BDSM-story from a very popular author way before Fifty Shades of Grey. Or rather, from what I've read about Fifty Shades, it's about BDSM only while suggesting that anyone who's into it is really a depraved lunatic.

In the end of this book (spoiler!) Maria denounces her previous wicked BDSM-ways and chooses the right man! Yay! (Urgh.) I'm actually thinking about writing an analysis on the whole phenomenon of writing detailed descriptions about BDSM, while at the same time denouncing it. It is really about trying to have the cake and eating it at the same time.

I might include Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo in that analysis as well after reading a bit about it and seeing the following quote from that book :

"My mood shifts and bends. But when I'm alive and heightened, I'm super-acute. Do you know what I see when I look at you? I see a woman who wants to live shamelessly in her body. Tell me this is not the truth. You want to follow your body into idleness and fleshiness. That's why you have to run, to escape the drift of your basic nature. ...What do I see? Something lazy, sexy and insatiable."

They "[reach] completion more or less together, touching neither each other nor themselves."


First of all the writing style remind me of the previous two authors. But also: what is it with these people (Coelho, James and DeLillo) and writing about young millionaires with a 'depraved' badly written sex lives? Seriously, why are people buying into this? Is this the ultimate wish fullfillment for both genders: the men can imagine they are rich young millionaires having sex with willing sex dolls and the women that they get the bad boy with an unlimited credit card? I really think better of people in general, but of course with the way mainstream media looks, these types of fantasies are only the logical conclusion of more subtle versions on the same theme.

One last thing. The most enjoyable experience when reviewing this book came when reading the five star reviews of it and read this:

“How can he articulate so many nuggets of wisdom, often through characters the writing of which expresses the irony and profundity of their insights, and yet packaged in stories with such cliche outcomes?!?!”


If even your biggest fans think your writing is cliché, maybe you might want to reconsider your writing style.

Felicia

I didn't find this nearly as good as The Alchemist. I do not know if Coelho was trying to really get in the mindset 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 phased by it and I just felt it was too dehumanized. 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.

Lisa

Reluctantly admit to having read this subterranean book, and there is absolutely no excuse, as I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER, after The Alchemist. I only remembered having read it because I was trying to find something on my top shelf (the one with the "Let's forget I own them"-books), and it fell into my hands. A quick scan of its content reminded me that even quick scans are a waste of time when it comes to Coelho. Note to self: until I find the company of sheep more educating than reading, his "novels" are a no-go-area.

Too harsh? Maybe. Am in a bad mood, as I can't find the book I really want to read!

Sorry. Eleven minutes review over.

Lesley

I'm giving this book five stars because I definitely thought it was amazing. BUT ... like every other Coelho book I've read, it let me down in the end.

How can he articulate so many nuggets of wisdom, often through characters the writing of which expresses the irony and profundity of their insights, and yet packaged in stories with such cliche outcomes?!?! So many of his books explore the ephermerality of love, the moment, the permanence of change, the fleetingness of forever... and yet, his characters always seem to end up living "happily ever after."

This one was about my favorite topic(s): sex, pain and suffering, pleasure, enthrallment, identity; the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves ("trust me, I'm telling you stories"), the rationalization of emotion and spiritualization of the mundane--Hey: the mystery of life.

Maria--a prostitute--is exposed to an evening of sado-masochistic role play with a "special client" and finds freedom from herself and her desires during orgasm, tied up and whipped. Then another lover (another "special client") convinces her to not to go down that path, that freedom can be found testing the limits of desire, not the limits of pain. They have their own little role play--their relationship is based as much on fantasy as the other. After a night of bliss, she leaves him to go back to Brazil, cherishing the memory that can be spoiled by "real life."

But, then he intercepts her in Paris with roses (it was their destiny! ick) and they live happily ever after.


So, to sum up (as E just pointed out): The dirty parts I liked. The ending, not so much.

That's my review. Happy reading.

Ria

In comparison to my experiences with his other pieces. I can confidently say that this Paulo Cohelo work tests the reader in a unique and dangerous way.

Each of his novels teach valuable lessons for adults through the interesting happenings of his protagonists. This story does the same. However the lesson taught borders on relationship counseling and sexual education. It was just as compelling and effective as it was uncomfortable. Uncomfortable in the sense that the information being learned as one reads each chapter is not theirs to have. He accomplishes this through the less than innovative approach of journal or diary entries, but envertheless, it is striking how moving it is to read the sexual and romantic discoveries of a conventional young lady.

A book that is difficult to put down. A must-read for many, but especially those who have not yet discoveredy what makes them tick, oo and ahhh. Again, an inspiration!

Bookshop

I was burnt by his book titled "Veronica decides to die". When I flipped through his bestseller, "The Alchemist", I was not too impressed either. I thought he was too "Celestine Prophecy". When I asked people what "The Alchemist' was all about, they always said it was about searching for something. But they could never be able to explain what that something was and they quickly moved on to rave about how inspirational the book was. How you can say searching for something you don't even know inspirational is beyond me. I'm too dumb for stuffs like that.

Anyway, I picked up this book in Freiburg's train station while waiting for our train to Titisee. I remembered wrongly that this was the book that Cindy raved about. Having read her review, I wanted to give Paulo Coelho a second chance.

The book is about Maria, a young Brazilian girl who comes from a poor family, dreams of fairy tales and ends up as a prostitute in Geneva. Apparently, this is based on a true story. That's the first mistake. The idea is not unique but I suppose variations can be spun into interesting stories. However, he fails to marry his philosophical style with this true story with a fixed ending, which, to do it successfully, I'm sure must be extremely difficult.

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 tempted into masochism 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. In between the story about Maria, the author inserts graphic descriptions of various sexual acts, sex education, which sometimes read like a newspaper's sex column (ejaculation is not the same as sex, please!), and historical information (the history of prostitution complete with years marking civilization. Pah!).

I also note a few exaggerations in this book. One I cannot stand is this. He describes that the loneliest people are the top executives, commanding lots of money and respect and having great families, when asked to change jobs by head hunters. The reasons? Because this executive cannot talk to his colleagues as they wouldn't let them go (This is misleading. It highly depends on situation) and he can't talk to his family because the wife, who knows nothing about taking risk, wouldn't let him. HELLO?? Despite his attempt to be sophisticated and deep, this is very shallow indeed.

I wrote the review when I was about 3/4 into the story. Toward the end, her struggle between staying in Geneva or going back to Brazil is slow and painfully dotted with unnecessary pretentious and meaningless analysis of love, sex, women, men, the universe, and the rubbish. After reading the ending, I was further disappointed and decided to downgrade the rating by one more star.

The story can be interesting but it has to be done strictly as a biography, as a story-telling.

This book sorts of seals my dislike of his writings. I dislike the content, I dislike the style. I dislike his empty philosophies. I don't know what to learn from his books. Maybe that's because I don't care to interpret. But shouldn't good writings do not require people to interpret their messages but ponder on the contents? Having said that, try and read it especially if you are a fan. You may beg to differ.

Tamoghna Biswas

**3.5 stars**

"At that moment, Maria learned that certain things are lost forever. She learned too that there was a place called “somewhere far away,” that the world was vast and her own town very small, and that, in the end, the most interesting people always leave."


You know what the titular eleven minutes imply right? **awkward hypocritic giggle**

This was my first ever book swap, on a train journey across the length of India. The woman I borrowed it from, had always considered Harry Potter as children’s stuff before borrowing my battered copy… anyway though I had an awful lot of time I didn’t quite manage to read this one as I like to, and so had to lend a used copy from a thrift store when I was back home.

It's popular enough to relate the plot in here; anyway in brief it will look something like this: An adolescent woman in the midway of discovering all sorts of bodily pleasure finds herself stranded in a faraway city with no money to bring her back home and hence she begins in there her“dark" days as an escort…until one day she finds love, and on and on.

Told compactly enough with a rarely shifting narrative unless we “need” to take a peek in Maria’s journals, the story can be described as insightful and melancholic with some unique-back-then-but-not-now thoughts. Moreover, it does begin with one of the most memorable lines I have ever encountered at that age back then:

“Once upon a time, there was a prostitute called Maria. Wait a minute. “Once upon a time” is how all the best children’s stories begin and “prostitute” is a word for adults. How can I start a book with this apparent contradiction? But since, at every moment of our lives, we all have one foot in a fairy tale and other in the abyss, let’s keep that beginning. ”

Not without its downsides, though. Too many pages have been devoted to sex, more than to the extent where it can simply fall under the erotica genre, which it isn’t, obviously. It’s far too deep than the likes of that genre , yet a bit wearisome. I get it, it’s her life story, and undoubtedly the seductive part plays the foremost role. But when you’re telling someone’s life-story, her job doesn’t speak the whole of it. It does feel like everything, especially the helplessness of a lost girl does get lost while the author puts an emphasis on the kinky stuff, probably to make it reader-friendly for all groups of people, especially teenagers, many of whom I know personally to regard it in the same way as Mills and Boons.

I don't know. I didn't feel transformed after reading this work, even after the glamorous writing style. I had to hide it from my elders' inquisitive glances the first time, but the second time also didn't help much. As this has become a genre of its own, with masterful works both in movies and literature. Good for a one-time, but not good enough for one who wants to pick up Coelho's best. Or so I feel.

"Life moves very fast. It rushes us from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds."

⊱ Poppy ⊰

All you need to know for picking this book.

“At every moment of our lives, we all have one foot in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss.”


“While she was waiting for her Prince Charming to appear, all she could do was dream.”

“She had to content herself with loving and suffering in silence until the end.”


“When we meet someone and fall in love, we have a sense that the whole universe is on our side. And yet if something goes wrong, there is nothing left! How is it possible for the beauty that was there only minutes before to vanish so quickly? Life moves very fast. It rushes from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds.”

“…but something always went wrong, and the relationship would end precisely at the moment when she was sure that this was the person with whom she wanted to spend the rest of her life. After a long time, she came to the conclusion that men brought only pain, frustration, suffering and a sense of time dragging.”


“I can choose either to be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It’s all a question of how I view my life.”

“(Don’t) listen to the malicious comments of those friends who, never taking any risks themselves, can only see other people’s failures.”

“If I can walk on my own, I can go wherever I like.”

“Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant.”

Joyzi

Book Review

Once upon a time, there was a bird. He was adorned with two perfect wings and with glossy, colorful, marvelous feathers. In short, he was a creature made to fly about freely in the sky, bringing joy to everyone who saw him.

One day, a woman saw this bird and fell in love with him. She watched his flight, her mouth wide in amazement, her heart pounding, her eyes shining with excitement. She invited the bird to fly with her, and the two traveled across the sky in perfect harmony. She admired and venerated and celebrated that bird.

But then she thought: He might want to visit far-off mountains! And she was afraid, afraid that she would never feel the same way about any other bird. And she felt envy, envy for the bird's ability to fly.

And she felt alone.

And she thought: "I'm going to set a trap. The next time the bird appears, he will never leave again."

The bird who was also in love, returned the following day, fell into the trap and was put in a cage.

She looked at the bird everyday. There he was, the object of her passion, and she showed him to her friends, who said: "Now you have everything you could possibly want." However, a strange transformation began to take place: now that she had the bird and no longer needed to woo him, she began to lose interest. The bird, unable to fly and express the true meaning of his life, began to waste away and his feathers to lose their gloss; he grew ugly; and the woman no longer paid him any attention, except by feeding him and cleaning out his cage.

One day, the bird died. The woman felt terribly sad and spent all her time thinking about him But she did not remember the cage, she thought only of the day when she had seen him for the first time, flying contentedly amongst the clouds.

If she had looked more deeply into herself, she would have realized that what had thrilled her about the bird was his freedom, the energy of his wings in motion, not his physical body.

Without the bird, her life too lost all meaning, and Death came knocking at her door. "Why have you come?" she asked Death. "So that you can fly once more with him across the sky," Death replied. "If you had allowed him to come and go, you would have loved and admired him even more; alas, you now need me in order to find him again."


So now I think that passage from the book already ate up my review so I'll just add some extra things.

First: As expected from Paulo Coelho this is another philosophical somewhat self-help, inspirational novel. This book was actually dedicated to a fan named Maurice Gravelines and Coelho met this guy unintentionally when he visited the Grotto in Lourdes. When they met the guy was like "You know, you look just like Paulo Coelho." And then Coelho said that yeah it was really him. And then the guy embraced him and he said to Coelho that, "They(Coelho's books) make me dream." I think that pretty sum up what kind of books Coelho's are.

Second: This book actually talks a lot about sex so I really recommend this book to adult readers, 18 years old and above. The novel has some masturbation scenes, BDSM, a blowjob scene etc. It just talks a lot about orgasm and in the other hand it also talks about the sacredness of sex and some history of prostitution blah blah blah. So really, adult readers or if you're sensitive about sex or anything about it maybe this book is not for you.

Third: My only complain about this book is that...there's actually a Filipino character in this book and she's a prostitute in the book and she's Maria's friend. My only problem about her is her name which is Nyah. I just really find her name weird and not very quote and quote Filipino. Maybe the author did not have time to research on it but the common names of Filipinos are similar to Spanish names and American names so I just really find it odd that her name's Nyah since it doesn't sound like a Filipino name. Maybe he could just name that character Juana or Ana or Susan but to name her Nyah, it was just odd. *shoulder shrug*

Thoughts before Reading

Finally this has been available in our library. So many people have been borrowing it, and when I go to the libray its always unavailable. Now it's my time to read it and I'm so excited since one of my classmate really like it and he said that this is his most favorite Coelho book. I'm curious to know why.

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