cover image The Winner Stands Alone

The Winner Stands Alone

Paulo Coelho. Harper, $25.99 (343pp) ISBN 978-0-06-175044-1

Spanning 24 hours during the Cannes Film Festival, this scintillating parable about shallowness, greed and celebrity worship from international bestseller Coelho (""The Alchemist"") unsparingly examines the Superclass, the elite's elite, whose members' dependence on luxury corrupts. Wealthy Russian businessman Igor Malev, who's obsessed with his ex-wife, Ewa, now married to a fashion designer turned producer, morphs into a serial killer to get Ewa's attention. No one is immune as Igor targets a comely street vendor, an influential movie distributor and a big-name actor. The power plays among the various directors, movie stars, starlets and producers make Igor's antics appear almost banal in comparison. Coelho's trademark mysticism and spiritual messages provide an extra boost to the thriller plot. ""(Apr.)"" .