Book Review : The Winner Stands Alone


One more book of Paulo is completed. Whenever I reviewed/commented on Paulo’s book, I always say that Paulo is amazing author. When I completed “The Winner Stands Alone”, I little bit amazed because this time Paulo picked-up different path than his ordinary writing style. This time, he has written about Fashion, about the unbridled ambition, about the thirst for fame and about the lure of haute couture and ostentatious jewelry and about the intensity of love.

In this book, three of four main characters allow their dreams to be manipulated.

One of them is Igor– Handsome, rich and effortlessly personable. He is following a dream of love. He has one thing on his mind – his ex-wife Ewa who left him for a successful fashion designer, a sting he’s never recovered from.  He travels to the glamorous Cannes International Film Festival where they will be appearing, intent on winner her back. Igor is man of rare intensity and cold intelligence, and he begins a 24 hours campaign of extraordinary violence, because he made a promise to destroy whole worlds to get his beloved and of course he always keeps his word.

Second is Hamid, a fashion magnate and Ewa’s husband, who started out with the best of intentions only to be caught up in the very system he was trying to use.

Third one is Gabriela is convinced that fame is an end in itself, the ultimate reward in a world that considers celebrity to be the supreme achievement.

I have noted down some quotes from the book:

  • “How can we be so arrogant? The planet is, was, and always will be stronger than us. We can’t destroy it; if we overstep the mark, the planet will simply erase us from its surface and carry on existing. Why don’t they start talking about not letting the planet destroy us? “
  • “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity, and there is nothing new under the sun, as Solomon said more than three thousand years ago.”
  • “At the first sign of indifference or lack of enthusiasm, take note! The only preventative against this disease is the realization that the soul suffers, suffers greatly, when we force it to live superficially. The soul loves all things beautiful and deep.”
  • “A very great difference indeed. Experience has taught me that people only give value to a thing if they have, at some point, been uncertain as to whether or not they’ll get it.”
  • “The celebrity syndrome. When people forget who they are and start to believe what other people say about them. The superclass, everyone’s dream, a world without shadows or darkness, where yes is the only possible answer to any request.”
  • “To think is to make mistakes.”
  • “The sun has just sunk below the horizon and will be reborn tomorrow with the same force.”
  • “Even if you’re doing the same thing over and over, you need to discover something new, fantastic, and unbelievable that went unnoticed the time before.”
  • “The fear of the unknown becomes a dread that she might never have the chance to discover what it really means to be here… how can she make sure that the miracle of today continues tomorrow?”
  • “She keeps walking, this time trying to be aware of each step; she doesn’t want to repeat the frustrating experience of earlier that day, when her walk along the red carpet was over before she knew it. She must live the present moment as if a film of her life were being shown in slow motion.”
  • “Everything you know comes from experience accumulated over long years of work. However, those old solutions are only of use when applied to old problems. If you want to be creative, try to forget that you have all that experience.”
  • “Age is considered a stigma, not a sign of wisdom”
  • “We become mediocre beings.”
  • “Destroying a life. A whole universe gone. Everything that person saw and experienced; all the good and the bad that came his way; all his dreams, hopes, defeats, and victories ceasing to exist. As children, we learn by heart a passage which I only later found out came from a Protestant priest. He said something like: ‘When the sea bears away into its depths a single grain of sand, the whole of Europe grows smaller.’ We don’t notice, of course. After all, it’s just a grain of sand, but at that very moment, the continent is diminished.”
  • “They think they’re at the peak of their careers and the inevitable descent frightens them. They’ve forgotten that there’s still a whole world to conquer.”
  • “Exactly. They have lots of things but few aspirations. They’re full of problems solved, projects approved, businesses that prosper without them having to do anything. Now all that’s left is the fear of change, which is why they go from party to party from meeting to meeting, so as not to have time to think, and to meet the same people over and over and be able to believe that everything’s the same. Certainties have replaced passions.”

Once I completed the book, I feel that lots of thing in Fashion (Movie) and “The Winner stands alone” are similar but Fashion(movie) tells about inside/outside of fashion world while “The Winner Stands Alone” is describing about fashion world as well as dark side of someone’s love.

I am giving 3.5/5 to this book. You can read first chapter online on his blog.

Book Details:


The Winner Stands Alone

The Winner Stands Alone

Name: The Winner Stands Alone

Author: Paulo Coelho ( Blog )

Language: English

Genre: Novel

Buy: Amazon, HarperCollins

!!! Enjoy Reading!!!

This entry was posted in book review, Fiction, Story and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Book Review : The Winner Stands Alone

  1. Word Salad says:

    haha. I sound like a killer there. I dont’ know. It’s just interesting. These are things that people who know about it won’t share.

    • shahujvaln says:


      Welcome to My Lounge.. You are right.. there are lots of killing techniques mentioned in book looks. Igor is rich, handsome, personnable and still he knows numurous killing techniques which makes him a mega character.

  2. Word Salad says:

    It is interesting to note that there are a lot of killing techniques explored in the book.

  3. Kiran Joseph says:

    I liked Alchemist and fifth mountain the most..Veronica decides to die is also OK type..
    Brida was boring.Valkyrees,Zaheer etc were unbearable for me..

    • shahujvaln says:

      Hey Kiran,

      Welcome to my Lounge.

      I agree with you about Alchemist and Fifth Mountain. Alchemist is master piece written by Paulo. Lots of my frnd felt same as you about Brida but I like Brida too because I like concept of path for soul searching.

  4. sayedkhadri says:

    Thansk Ujval, Sure will read Brinda.

  5. shahujvaln says:

    🙂 yeah, Alchemist is short and Sweet.. My one friend told me, sometimes Paulo’s writing is cruel but it always fascinating you… and after reading almost 6 books of Paulo, I can say, she is completely right…

    Out of 6,I like Alchemist and Brida most. Some people feel that “Brida is boring and sometime it passes above the head” but as per me, Brida is little and simple book with simple concept and theory.

    Read Brida next and let me know your view (Just put review on your blog, I am blind follower of your blog 🙂 ).


  6. sayedkhadri says:

    I have read only one book of Paulo Coelho : The Alchemist.
    I liked The Alchemist short and sweet.

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