The Winner Stands Alone – Paulo Coelho

Book Reviewed: The Winner Stands Alone

Author:  Paulo Coelho

Contributor: Switler

Switler’s Rating: 3.5/5

GoodReads Rating: 3.4/5

Genre: Thriller/ Philosophy/ Spirituality


I have loved Paulo ever since I read “The Alchemist”. He has this amazing way of telling a story which has spirituality aspect. This book is no different.

The story is about a Russian millionaire, Igor, who is trying to win back the love of his life, his ex-wife, and in order to do that he is ready to do anything. Even kill! He is trying to destroy universes of people in order to send a message and while he does so, he comes across various individuals who have a very different and interesting tales of their own to tell.

This is no typical love story nor is it a typical thriller. It has some very unique aspects. First of all, it has Paulo’s style of story telling – being Spiritual and yet not being so Spiritual. Secondly, at times some of the things said by the characters are so true and extremely philosophical and yet the readers will find themselves nodding in agreement to those without even knowing. Lastly, Paulo takes time to develop each and every character, and makes them part of the story seamlessly.

The only part that has left me speechless (and I mean literally) is the end. As the story develops you will become totally engrossed and keep turning the pages. Luckily there are no predictable moments. But when you reach the end, you have no idea what you want the end to be. (At least I didn’t). And that’s where you are speechless. Whether you agree with it or not, it is bound to leave you thinking – about how people are, how things are, how circumstances change, how same thing is viewed by different people differently and yet both are right, and I can go on.

If you want a unique story telling experience, this books is the one you should read next! But, If you are looking for a typical fiction book, then this is going to disappoint you!

Happy reading! 🙂


Notable Quotes: 

“Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.”


“Whenever someone dies, a part of the universe dies too. Everything a person felt, experience and saw dies with them, like tears in the rain.”


“How can we be so arrogant? The planet is, was, and always will be stronger than us. We can’t destroy it; if we overstep the mark, the planet will simply erase us from its surface and carry on existing. Why don’t they start talking about not letting the planet destroy us?”


“Success is both an addiction and an enslavement…”


“This was, of course, an ambitious project, but she was sure she would achieve it if only through sheer doggedness. To do this she needed to purify her soul, and so she turned to the four forces that had always guided her: love, death, power, and time. We must love because we are loved by God. We must be conscious of death if we are to have a proper understanding of life. We must struggle in order to grow, but without falling into the trap of the power we gain through that struggle, because we know that such power is worthless. Finally, we must accept that our eternal soul is, at this moment, caught in the web of time with all its opportunities and its limitations.”


Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes – Thomas Cathcart , Daniel Klein

Contributor: Switler

Switler’s Rating: 4.0/5.0

GoodRead’s Rating: 3.77/5

Genre: Philosophy


‘Pluto and Platypus walk into a Bar’ can also be called ‘When Philosophy marries Humor’! This is a philosophical book and the best part is that it is Humorous! This is the only book I have read (so far) which blends the two wonderfully. It tries to explain the reader about various branches of Philosophy without going too much into the details. And the authors have used jokes to explain the philosophical concepts.

Those who enjoy philosophy will enjoy this book thoroughly but those who keep such books at bay can still go for it. They will at least enjoy the jokes! They may not make one roll on the floor with laughter but one will nevertheless find those amusing! I give the authors full marks for finding appropriate jokes for the concepts!!! Just amazing!

Let me end the review with 2 jokes from the book!!

(This one is where authors try to explain that everyone has a purpose!)
“Mrs. Goldstein was walking down the street with her two grandchildren. A friend stopped to ask her how old they were. She replied, “The doctor is five and the lawyer is seven.”

(This one is where authors explain the difference between essential and accidental properties!)
Abe: I got a riddle for you, Sol. What’s green, hangs on the wall, and whistles?
Sol: I give up.
Abe: A herring.
Sol: But a herring isn’t green.
Abe: So you can paint it green.
Sol: But a herring doesn’t hang on the wall.
Abe: Put a nail through it, it hangs on the wall.
Sol: But a herring doesn’t whistle!
Abe: So? It doesn’t whistle. Sue me!

Comments: Happy chuckling:-)