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Thread: Eleven Minutes...

  1. #1

    Thumbs down Eleven Minutes...

    I recently purchased a copy of Paulo Coelho's book, Eleven Minutes. It is the story of Maria, a young Brazilian girl who leaves her village convinced she will never find true love. She ventures off to Geneva to find fame and fortune where she SPs for a while before meeting a handsome young painter who she falls in love with.

    This is a brilliant book from one of today's best authors (Coelho has also written Zahir and the Alchemist). If you have not read it, then go buy a copy. It's simply the best book you'll read this summer and if you're a client or SP, you'll really appreciate it. I devoured this book, wanting to read every extract of Maria's diary in each chapter.

    I have decided to devote a thread to it. Again, nothing you'll read on the boards or anywhere else will compare to this book - it's an incredible journey. I can't believe it took me so long to discover it.

    From Maria's diary when she discovers why men pay for sex:

    "I have discovered the reason why a man pays for a woman: he wants to be happy. He wouldn't pay a thousand francs just to have an orgasm. He wants to be happy. I do too, everone does and no one is. What have I got to lose, if for a while, I decide to become's a difficult word to think or even write...but lets' be blunt...what have I got to lose if I become a prostitute for a while?

    Honor, Dignity, Self-respect. Although when I think about it, I've never had any of those things. I didn't ask to be born. I've never found anyone to love me, I've always made the wrong decisions - now I am letting life decide for me."
    Last edited by General Gonad; 07-07-2006 at 01:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by General Gonad
    .......................... I've always made the wrong decisions - now I am letting life decide for me."
    I'm ambivalent about that last phrase: as much as I like it, it also sounds defeatist.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by oliver kloseoff
    hey gg
    welcome back
    someone mentioned there is another handle here and the person claimed to be you
    is it possible you were posting under 2 handles--i cant remember the handle


    I can guarantee you that it was not me...I always had one handle on all boards. Maybe Tony was trying to imposter me.


    It is not defeatist, only the reality - sometimes in life we are unable to decide our fate so we let life decide for us.

    GG (it's good to be back home)
    Last edited by General Gonad; 07-07-2006 at 01:18 PM.

  4. #4

    Question Why 11 minutes?

    An excerpt worth from the book:

    The men she had met since she arrived in Geneva always did everything they could to appear confident, as if they were in perfect control of the world and of their lives; Maria, however, could see in their eyes that they were afraid of their wife, the feeling of panic that they might not be able to get an erection, that they might not seem manly enough even to the ordinary prostitute whom they were paying for her services. If they went to a shop and didn't like the shoes they had bought, they would be quite prepared to go back, receipt in hand and demand a refund. And yet, even though they were paying for some female company, if they didn't manage to get an erection, they would be too ashamed ever to go back to the same club again because they would assume that all the other women there would know.

    "I'm the only one who should feel ashamed for being unable to arouse them, but, no, they always blame themselves."

    To avoid such embarrassments, Maria always tried to put men at their ease, and if someone seemed drunker or more fragile than usual, she would avoid full sex and concentrate instead on caresses and masturbation, which always seemed to please them immensely, absurd though this might seem, since they could perfectly well masturbate on their own.

    She had to make sure that they didn't feel ashamed. These men, so powerful and arrogant at work, constantly having to deal with employees, customers, suppliers, prejudices, secrets, posturings, hypocrisy, fear and oppression, ended their day in a nightclub they didn't mind spending three hundred and fifty Swiss francs to stop being themselves for a night.

    "For a night? Now come on, Maria, you're exaggerating. It's really only forty-five minutes, and if you allow time for taking off clothes, making some phony gesture of affection, having a bit of banal conversation, and getting dressed again, the amount of time actually spent on having sex is about eleven minutes."

    Eleven minutes. The world revolved around something that only took eleven minutes.

  5. #5
    I always try not to be too specific with personal comments, especially those that involve other people. Too many coincidences and someone can figure out who you are...

    Id suggest deleting this thread once its all over and done with so nobody might stumble upon the same vacation description and put 2 and 2 together.

  6. #6

    Please read your PM and thanks for the advice.


  7. #7
    Sounds like a very versatile writer. One of his books that was recommended to me, but that I have not yet read, was about his trip through Santiago de Compostela.

  8. #8
    ‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› Special K's Avatar
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    May 2003
    Red Sox Nation

    Arrow My Mistake...

    I thought the title of this thread "Eleven Minutes" was referring to the combined length of your retirements from this board and the hobby GG. LOL!

  9. #9
    Veteran of Misadventures EagerBeaver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by Special K
    I thought the title of this thread "Eleven Minutes" was referring to the combined length of your retirements from this board and the hobby GG. LOL!

    Sorry GG but that was a good one.

  10. #10

    One of my Favorite books!

    I think we discussed this book, didn't we!? I read this book when it first came out and I have read it about 3 more times since! Another book, not as well publicized and his other books is "By the River Piedra I sat Down and Wept" (


  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Special K
    I thought the title of this thread "Eleven Minutes" was referring to the combined length of your retirements from this board and the hobby GG. LOL!

    RALFMAO - I fell off my chair laughing! Thanks for that!


    I miss you...great minds think alike! This really is a fantastic book, worth a thread and I plan on sharing some more insights from Maria's diary. Thank you for sharing your other recommendation.

    Last edited by General Gonad; 07-07-2006 at 06:05 PM.

  12. #12

    Sometimes life is mean...

    The beginning of a chapter:

    "Sometimes life is mean: a person can spend days, weeks, months and years without feeling anything new. Then when a door opens - as happened with Maria when she met Ralf Hart - a positive avalanche pours in. One moment you have nothing, the next, you have more than you can cope with."

  13. #13

    Lightbulb Maria,Terence & the Marquis de Sade

    Maria meets Terence, a 'special' client of the club she worked at and she doesn't know what to make of their first encounter, which she found very strange and somewhat humiliating. She asks him "was this worth a thousand francs?" Terence reflects and responds:

    "I've asked myself the same thing. The Marquis de Sade said that the most important experiences a man can have are those that take him to the very limit; that is the only way we can learn, because it requires all our courage. When a boss humiliates an employee, or a man humiliates his wife, he is merely being cowardly or taking his revenge on life, they are people who have never dared to look at the depths of their soul, never attempted to know the origin of that desire to unleash the wild beast, or to understand that sex, pain and love are all extreme experiences."

    "Only those who know those frontiers know life; everything else is just passing time, repeating the same tasks, growing old and dying without ever having discovered what we are doing here."
    Last edited by General Gonad; 07-09-2006 at 09:11 AM.

  14. #14

    Ralf Hart pondering happiness...

    I love this passage:

    "But he wasn't. While most of humanity was scrabbling for a piece of bread, a roof over their head and a job that would allow them to live with dignity, Ralf Hart had all of that, and it only made him feel more wretched. If he looked back on what his life had been lately, e had perhaps managed two or three days when he had woken up, looked at the sun - or the rain - and felt glad to see the morning, just happy without wanting anything, planning anything or asking anything in exchange. Apart from those few days, the rest of his existence had been wasted on dreams, both frustrated and realized - a desire to go beyond himself, to go beyond his limitations; he had spent his life trying to prove something but he didn't know what or to whom.

    He looked at the beautiful woman before him, who was discreetly dressed in black, someone he had met by chance, although he he had seen her before at the nightclub and thought that she seemed out of place. She had asked him to desire her, and he desired her intensely, far more than he could imagine, but it wasn't her breasts or her body, it was her company he desired. He wanted to put his arms around her and sit in silence, staring into the fire,drinking wine, smoking the occasional cigarette; that would be enough. Life was made up of all simple things; he was weary of all the years he had spent searching for something, though quite what he didn't know.

    An yet, if he did that, if he touched her, all would be lost. For, despite the "light" he could see in Maria, he wasn't sure she realized how good it was for him to be by her side. Was he paying? Yes, and he would continue paying as long as it took to win her, to sit with her by the lakeside and speak of love, and to hear her say the same thing. It was best not to take any chances, not to rush things, not to say anything.

    Ralf Hart stopped tormenting himself and concentrated once more on the game they had just created together. The woman before him was right; the wine, the fire, the cigarettes and the company were not enough in themselves; another kind of intoxication was required.

    She was wearing a black dress with shoulder straps; she was revealing one breast; he could see her skin, more dark than pale. He desired her. He desired her intensely."

    Isn't that a great passage?

    Last edited by General Gonad; 08-24-2006 at 07:52 AM.

  15. #15

    i have read this book and

    i give it a 7/10

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