2009: Book Review: 'The Winner Stands Alone' by Paulo Coelho - The Washington Post, US
2009: The Winner Stands Alone, Paulo Coelho - Celebrity Books, US
Celebrities, cameras, exquisite banquets, fashion. And than there.s reality. In his most controversial book to date, Coelho investigates the contemporary world of celebrity and what is hidden underneath the façade. Set during twenty-four hours at the Cannes Film Festival, we are introduced to a culturally diverse set of characters - the dangerous Russian entrepreneur Igor who destroys lives in a bid to win back his now-married ex-wife Ewa, a driven young Italian actress Gabriela whose destiny drastically changes twice in one day, an African teenager Jasmine set to sign her first major modeling contract but secretly torn between her career and her love for another woman, and Ewa.s fabulously rich Middle Eastern fashion-designer husband Hamid who is blissfully unaware of Igor's plans until it is too late. Along the way, Coelho showcases various members of the show-business hierarchy such as its naïve and exploited starlets, professional workaholics who are hostages to their own ambitions, and Superclass celebrities who have made it to the top but are secretly terrified of fading into obscurity at any moment. Yet, Coelho's newest offering isn't only a critical look into the makings of modern society dominated by pop culture, but also a tragic love story of a serial killer leading to a shocking outcome which is surprisingly foreshadowed by the book's title. Igor's journey for vengeance forever alters not only Igor's and Ewa's lives, but also the fate of the people Igor meets along the way like the innocent street-vendor Olivia, the superstar movie distributor, the aspiring movie-maker Maureen, and the unnamed troubled actor simply referenced to as the Star along with the Director of his new film.
 
Interspersed throughout the story are curious factual aspects of the industry as well as Coelho's signature analysis of the celebrity-obsessed culture where both the audience and the celebrities are revealed to be victims of the system. There are also interesting tidbits about famous people like Coco Chanel (apparently she had a very negative childhood and underwent a string of wealthy lovers before she became the famous fashion designer we know today), as well as introspective reflections on fame, fashion, jewelry, and money among other topics. The eloquently described stars are revealed to be just as unhappy as the very audience they cater to, trapped into contractual freedom-less lives not much better than the standard nine-to-five - with their luxurious lifestyles a well-masked lie and self-esteem only as high or low as their latest career performance. Overall, I enjoyed Coelho's fluid writing and in particular his descriptive inclusions of various character viewpoints and industry revelations. Through his book, I feel that Coelho has given celebrity-ism a realistic new meaning - one not widely explored in the otherwise star-struck magazines or TV shows. With this new book, Coelho has left behind his ancient parables like "The Alchemist" and "The Devil and Miss Prym", and shifted to the present while appreciatively retaining his characteristic philosophical outlook on life and destiny, successfully depicting a plot filled with tension right up until the last page. Even if the winner does stand alone, I bet everyone wants to be that winner. (This book will be released on 04/07/09, Published by Harper, 368 p. List Price $25.99).
2009: Paulo's A Life in the Day - Sunday Times Magazine, UK
2009: Question Time - The Guardian, UK
2009: Paulo Coelho answers questions from his Russian readers - BBC, Russian
2008: Seven Magazine Sunday Telegraph
2008: 100.000.000 Party, Frankfurt - SIC Portugal

2008: Rai - Tg1