Bedridden Rabbit decided to brighten up his day and indulge in reading a novel. He chose 'The Winner Stands Alone' by Paulo Coelho, one of the authors he certainly appreciates. This time however he wasn't impressed with Mr Coelho's writings. On the contrary, he was disappointed.
He grew to admire the author for the engaging narratives of his philosophical, straightforward and insightful books that often carry spiritual lessons, are inspiring and life-changing. This one however couldn’t be more different. It is a fiction mystery with a plot that, to be frank, bored our little Rabbit to the point of dozing off several times during the read.
In a nutshell, it is a story of a Russian telecom billionaire Igor, who is obsessively in love with his ex-wife Ewa and wants her back in his life. He travels to the glamorous Cannes Film Festival, where Ewa is expected to appear with her new husband Hamid, a successful fashion designer. Igor believes that his love for his ex-wife is superior to everything on this earth and worth every sacrifice. He sets of on 'destroying worlds' (killing innocent people) in the name of that love. Rabbit was puzzled by the idea; he couldn’t comprehend how killing innocent people, was supposed to help Igor to get his wife back?
Rabbit not only didn't like the plot, but he also thought that the author introduced too many pointless characters that crossed Igor’s path and didn’t add any value to the story.
The action is set up in a glamorous world of fashion and movie industries, so called world of ‘the Superclass’, with an intention to satirise the amorality and pursuit of celebrity in modern society. It certainly makes few points. Rabbit gets it. Running after fame and money rarely brings happiness or satisfaction, and if you are not at peace with who you are and what you have now, then it’s likely that you won't be happy after getting what you currently desire either, you will always want more. It’s not a revelation however; even a small-town Rabbit with a little brain felt like the author is insulting his intelligence with many stereotypical messages and endlessly repeated clichés.
The book touches on the numerous social and economical issues, including economic inequality, violence, crime, money laundering, blood diamonds, manipulations, artificial world of glamour, luxury and success, plastic surgeries - too many and too scattered for the Rabbit to get his head around them.
The novel was dark, disturbing and depressing, and our Rabbit found himself increasingly frustrated with the story. He skipped quite a few pages and barely managed to struggle with it to the end; ‘very dull and very predictable end’, thought Rabbit.
All in all, Rabbit is sorry to say that he not only did not enjoy the book, but he found it deeply unsatisfying and disappointing. Unlike the other works of Paulo Coelho, ‘The Winner Stands Alone’ does not convey anything he could use for his personal growth and improvement. He won’t recommend this novel to his fellow rabbits, nor any other creatures.
Leo's Rabbit 'lives' in my handbag and he travels with us everywhere we go. He has pictures taken at various locations, tourist attractions and places we visit. As a part of this blog we will describe Leo's Rabbit Travels to share our personal experiences from these visits. Hopefully couple of people (apart from us :-) ) will find it interesting and may even feel encouraged to visit one of Rabbit's destinations.