Home  -  Back Issues  -  The Team  -  Contact Us
    Volume 9 Issue 2 | January 8, 2010|

  Cover Story
  One Off
  Special Feature
  Photo Feature
  Straight Talk
  Food for Thought
  Photo Essay
  Book Review
  Star Diary
  Post Script

   SWM Home

Book Review

Of Human Bondage

Sarah Sarwar

The Winner Stands Alone, Paulo Coelho, Harper; 343 pp; $25.99. And Unaccustomed Earth, Jhumpa Lahiri, Knopf; 333 pages; $16

Paulo Coelho's The Winner Stands Alone is the latest novel to hit the international bestseller lists of the world. This novel is essentially different from Coelho's other works because it digresses from his usual themes such as universal spirituality and the self-discovery of one's true self which are found in many of his other novels, such as The Alchemist and The Witch Of Portobello. The Winner Stands Alone is about the intensely brooding and darkly handsome modern-day Byronic hero Igor Malev who gets jilted by his wife, the famous and glamorous actress Eva, for a successful fashion designer.

Depressed, lonely and very possibly psychotic, he sets out to hunt her back and his predatory tactics lead him to the International Cannes Film Festival, the pinpoint for all the glitz and glamour of the world. There Igor sets out to prove his love to Eva by killing innocent people and unleashing a twenty-four hour campaign of unimaginable violence and horror because he once promised to her before she left him that he would “Destroy worlds to get her back.”

The Winner Stands Alone is a combination of philosophy, Edgar Allen Poe and Sydney Sheldon. The flamboyant extravagance of the world of the rich, the famous and the powerful, the people who hope to get into this world and their gradual sense of disillusionment are seamlessly linked in this novel. Unlike his other novels of self-evolvement, this time the writer tries to portray the moral decadence that has reined over this world and how the value of love, family and solidarity are slowly ebbing away as materialism and corruption start to take their place and how people need to become spiritually attuned to themselves and to people around them and hence change their selfish and greedy ways.

This book is a must-read for all because the message given in it is simple and effective and something, which people from all generations, can relate to. It is a story that will truly touch the readers at some intrinsic level of their psyche.

Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2010