I finished reading ‘ELEVEN MINUTES’ after weeks of struggling to find time to read it. Owing to my hectic work schedules, but otherwise the book is really interesting and one can finish it in 3 days or less if you are an avid reader. Like any other fairy tale, it starts with ‘once upon a time’, giving us a hint about the central character ‘Maria’. Maria is a usual girl from a small town in Brazil and dreams of becoming a TV star, having loads of money, finding her ‘knight in shining armor’, finding love, marrying and having kids.

She dreams of travelling and in this process, grows up to become a beautiful young women, understanding very early in life that love is not meant for her and that dominating a man would make her overcome her weakness for love. So she starts dating, having sex and indulging in all kinds of pleasures but love. She gathers enough money by the time she is 22 and sets off to travel to the city of her dreams that is far away from her parents, friends, work and her boyfriends.

One thing leads to another and she lands herself in Geneva. She struggles hard to get fame, and in this process of doing so runs out of money until one day an Arab offers her 1000 francs to sleep with him. She readily accepts and becomes a prostitute in a high end bar called ‘Copacabana’. She thinks to herself that she would stay away from love and focus on earning enough money to go back to Brazil, buy a farm and ask her parents to live with her comfortably.

And then one day, she finds an artist named ‘Ralf hart’ in a café and things change. She falls in love and allows herself to indulge in pleasures she had long ago forbidden herself. This book is all about love, pain, suffering, sadomasochism, sex, sacred sex, clitoris, yes you read it right, clitoris, G-spot, pleasures in sex, orgasms and dreams and life of Maria.


Paulo completely enthralls you, and this book has some really interesting life lessons. Excerpts from the book:

1. What the eyes don’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over.

2. Life is too short, or too long, to allow myself the luxury of living it so badly.

3. “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.”

4. Human beings can withstand a week without water, two weeks without food, many years of homelessness, but not loneliness. It is the worst of all tortures, the worst of all sufferings.”

5. “No one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it”