About Mirror of My Self

Self is God. Self is Guru. Self is Everything.

This blessed mirror reflects nothing but the Self of my Beloved Brother, my Highest Gurudeva and my Spiritual Father. Whatever you see, read and experience in this blog are only from Him, through me, for you, my dear visitor.

This slave is taking immense pleasure in welcoming you to experience my Self in all its glories!

Shree Rama Jayam.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The winner stands alone – Book Review

Last year for my birthday it was Paulo Coelho's Brida and Osho's Krishna, the man and his philosophy - the books my brother gifted me. So this year, as I guessed, among his other surprise gifts, Coelho's "The Winner Stands Alone" was also present ;-).

Thanks to the viral fever, I was able to complete the book in two days (i.e., after some 10 days I received it: D), taking off from work. And thanks to Paulo Coelho, for transporting me to a world of glitz and glamour, the Cannes Film Festival.

Set in the backdrop of the world's most prestigious film festival, the story revolves around Igor, a Russian millionaire, who travels to Cannes to get back his ex-wife, Ewa, now married to a famous fashion magnate, Hamid Hussein. And to get back Ewa, he is ready to go to any extent, even if it means 'destroying worlds'. He begins his killing spree and intimates Ewa, expecting her to come back to him and stop his destruction.

With this riveting plot to keep you hooked till the end, Paulo Coelho plunges into the bleak world of celebrities, fashion, movies and their obsession with the trinity of Self-destruction: money, fame and power.

Igor is convinced that every cold-blooded murder he commits serves a higher purpose, which he believes, is to get Ewa, his love, back. And thereby he can happily work towards the betterment of the society (?!). To his surprise his first victim, a comely street vendor, becomes his Guardian Angel, and helps him follow his violent pursuit.

His angst about the shallowness of celebrity-worship, ubiquitous mobile-phones, and the maddening pursuit of money, power and fame are all evident throughout the book. And, his criticisms are worth introspecting.

There is so much I agree with Paulo Coelho. In a place he says, “Certainties have replaced passion”. Just think of the ace directors/actors/artists/creative people, who are caught in their own image and now have become just another survival; you’ll certainly agree the truth in the statement.

Also, the book once again assured me that the fear, anxiety and worry of a person, doesn’t change with success. The people, whom we think, or at least, who are celebrated and believed to be successful have the same turmoil as every other person. Truth is, theirs’ are worse.

Though the book is a page-turner, the book, at times, does lose its pace. For example, I just skipped the check list for a normal person listed by Javits Wild, a powerful film distributor. And, also, I felt the ending was a let down.

The novel, certainly, has many good things to pick up and contemplate, but if you are expecting an inspiring story, as most of his other books, you may be disappointed. This book, as Paulo Coelho foreword says, is a stark portrayal of where we are, and I think, he has done justice to it.

And, yes, it is definitely worth giving a read!


A New Beginning said...

Hey Mani! Thanks for the review, will definately read it, still reading Brida though. Im truely amazed at the world of books, while you read them, its as if a reel is playing somewhere at the back of your mind:)
When was your birthday?Wish you loads of happiness in life!Belated Happy Birthday!

Pramoda Meduri said...


Thanks for the review, will make some time and read it..

and belated happy B'day...

And reg ur Independence day post: its a good observation that it rains on every independence day, i dont remember abt last time, but this time it was a mild sunny day here at my place..:)

:)..Happy independence day, belated.

Whirlwind said...

Hey gr8 review!!! Very interesting!!!

And wishing you a very Happy belated b'day!!:-)

venus66 said...

Thank you for the review. Sounds great.

manivannan said...

#A New Beginning

What you've said is true sana. It creates a reel world, which we alone witness :-) Very interesting, ah?!

I loved Brida a lot. Do let me know your opinion once you finished reading it.

Thanks a ton for your wishes. My birthday was...a month back...July 19th..very late post, nah?! :-)

manivannan said...

#Pramoda Meduri

Welcome Pramoda!

Thanx for liking the review. I guess you'll like the book too. Do let me know your feedback once you've read it.

And a few blogger friends told that it didn't rain last year....but it seems in many places it had rained this year...if so, am just wondering, why it didn't rain at ur place :-).

BTW, where do live in?

Thank you once again for ur wonderful visit and wishes :-) I'd like to see u again. Do come back :-)

Happy blogging!

manivannan said...


Thanx for the wishes and read Swetha :-) Am happy you found it interesting!


manivannan said...


Thank you dear friend :-)

take care!

Rush said...

believe me or not..i am a total zero when it comes to reading...have read just 3 books all throughout my life..currently on Celestine prophecy.

would u have any spiritual books u can recommend?

angel in disguise.... said...

hey...the review was cool...though am not a paulo fan ...i think i shud give this a try..all coz of ur review..the credit goes to u..!;)

Hi! I'm Grace said...

Hi Mannivanan, it is my first time here in your blog and I am glad that I happened to be here through somebody's blog, too. I love books and thanks for sharing your thoughts to us. :)

..Rugma.. said...

i always wantd 2 read dis buk...I wil surely read it...Thnks 2 u...
U rote da review very well...:) U got me 2 read da buk...
Take Care...

lakshmi said...

thanks for the review Mani
Paulo Coelho.....one of the best authors.........I enjoy reading his works

Ayesha Parveen said...

A very well-written review of the book. Thanks, Mani.

manivannan said...


You really throw a lot of surprises Rush :-)

Thanks for asking me...I can suggest you a few of my favourite spiritual books, which 've helped me in different stages of my life.

THE ART OF MAN MAKING (Bhagawad Gita) - By Swami Chinmayananda - helped me practice Gita in day to day life.

THE PROPHET, by Kahlil Gibran - I'd highly recommend this book. I'd say Gibran has summed up Gita, Bible & Quran. Plz possible read it. You'd surely be awe-inspired by Gibran's profound wisdom. (All of his works are really great!) I like MADMAN too.

JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL by Richard Bach - a simple but profound story about a seagull which aspires to be different.

Also, OSHO's books are very spiritual. You can pick them randomly :-)

IllUSIONS & of course ALCHEMIST are also spiritually uplifting books.

I hope you'll like my suggestions rush :-) If you pick any of them(I guess you will :D) do give me your feedback after reading it.

manivannan said...

#angel in disguise....

A warm welcome to my virtual home :-) Am glad you liked the review... I hope you'll like the book also :-)

And thanx a ton for your lovely visit! It's indeed rare to meet angels in disguise...so plzzz do keep coming back :-)


manivannan said...

#Hi! I'm Grace

Hi Grace! I'm pleased to welcome you to my blog. Am really happy that you enjoyed the post and my blog :-)

Thank you for your kind visit :-)I'd like to see you again. Do come back often :-)

happy blogging!

manivannan said...


Am really happy to know that dear friend. Let me know once you've read it :-)

God bless you!

manivannan said...


Am really surprised to know you are a Paulo Coelho fan, like me :-))) That's great! I immensely enjoy his works.

And you're right 'ka...he is one of the best authors of our time!

Thanks for your comment. Have a nice time :-)

manivannan said...

#Ayesha Parveen

Nice to see you back ayesha :-) Am glad you liked my review!

Thanks for finding time to read my posts.

Take care :-)

deeps said...

haha ... thats great ..
fever does some kind of good too ..

heyy that sounds like a worth reading stuff na?

umm tempting ..

manivannan said...


Of course deeps! u get to take leave...u will be fed in bed...u can enjoy watching movies...reading books, and what not? Now, I'm inspired to write a post on it :D

Glad u found the review interesting... Thanx for dropping by :-)


Amritbir Kaur said...

A well-written review I must say. I agree with you - the book was definitely worth giving a read. I myself read it a few months back. I found it an interesting reading overall...and yes, I must add here: I found the title very attractive - 'The Winner Stands Alone' just like its always lonely at the top. Thanks for sharing this post.

manivannan said...

#Amritbir Kaur

Am glad you too found the book worth reading Amritbir :-) And you have made a wonderful observation about the attractive title - The winner stands, alone!

Thank You very much for reading the post and sharing your thoughts :-)

Have a great weekend!

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manivannan said...


Welcome to my virtual home! Am encouraged by ur kind and appreciative words.!!So never mind abt the offtopic...

Thanks a lot!! Do keep checking out my updates :-)

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Anonymous said...
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rohit said...

Must be an enjoyable read Winner Stands Alone by Paulo Coelho. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and original, this book is going in by "to read" list.

Manivannan Sadasivam said...


Thank U Rohit for ur encouraging words....And welcome here :-)

Shree Rama Jayam!