The Superclass and The Others
In ‘The Winner Stands Alone’, Paulo Coelho expresses his utter contempt for the natural working order of the world. The story is based on one day at the Cannes Film Festival. He explores the completely shallow lifestyles of the ‘superclass’; the class of rich, dwindling, botox-fed rich people who are carried away by fame and luxury and who own private jets and live extravagant lives. On the contrary, he also expresses his contempt for ‘the other’ class which includes people earning average wages or less. It includes people who follow a certain monotone and do things a certain way all their lives to get certain results. Amidst the chaotic events at the world’s largest film festival, Coelho lays bare the fallacies of the human soul and shows how downright materialistic our generation has become.
What The Story Tells
The story revolves around Igor, a psychotic Russian executive with a palatial mansion and his own private jet, who comes to Cannes in search of his wife Ewa. Ewa has run away with Hamid, an Arabian designer who is also filthy rich. Igor tries to catch the attention of Ewa by informing her on her cell phone that he will simply go on killing innocent people unless she decides to meet him. And kill, he does. He goes on killing unwitting shop vendors using the Russian art of Sambo, manages to kill a director at the film festival by stabbing her, murders an important film distributer using a curare-soaked needle and so on. Through these murders, he interacts with each of his victims and thus Coelho takes us into the world of glamour and fashion where people soaked in vanity walk and talk about like pre-processed dolls. The novel leaves us thinking and questioning the world we are actually living in.
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