Ute, April 15, 2009 (view all comments by Ute)
In this novel, Paulo Coelho walks on many literary levels, using a plethora of artful allegories and spiritual allusions. In masterful simplicity, the author maintains the level of suspense throughout the story, providing the reader with many roads of thought, options for choices and decisions until being confronted with the inevitable. For seven days, the inhabitants of small town in the Pyrenees face the choice between good and evil (echoes of Dürrenmatt's "Visit"), a choice offered to them by a visiting stranger, who out of despair follows his own and very personal quest. Allegorized as the demon, this stranger uses Chantal Prym, waitress in the town's only restaurant and hotel and longing to be able to leave town, to confront the villagers with the very tempting yet horrible choice they have: life or death, withstand temptation or yield to it, maintain an ethical high moral standard or succumb to a sinister crime for personal greed and gain. We all come to life's crossroads, we must all make decisions, some come easier and some are difficult, a balancing act between two poles.
This novel probes the choices and inspires the reader, young and old, to judge and reflect on his own decisions, past or future.
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by Kirkus Reviews,
"Filled with Coelho's trademark mysticism and philosophical anecdotes to illustrate a point....A bit more playful than some of Coelho's other efforts, and all the better for it."
by Library Journal,
"[A] spiritually intricate tale told in a simple, straightforward manner that allows all to absorb and contemplate."
by Philadelphia Inquirer,
"Like all good parables, The Devil and Miss Prym offers no conclusive answers, only hints and guesses. And it has less to do with what the stranger learns than with what we do."
by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,
"Coelho, who's characterized as a spiritual writer, injects a dose of magical realism into The Devil and Miss Prym, and it suits Coelho's telling of parables within a parable and his discourses on heaven and hell, penitence and salvation, saints and sinners, God and the devil."
by Harper Collins,
A stranger arrives at the remote village of Viscos, carrying with him a backpack containing a notebook and eleven gold bars. He comes searching for the answer to a question that torments him: Are human beings, in essence, good or evil? In welcoming the mysterious foreigner, the whole village becomes an accomplice to his sophisticated plot, which will forever mark their lives.
A novel of temptation by the internationally bestselling author Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym is a thought-provoking parable of a community devoured by greed, cowardice, and fear—as it struggles with the choice between good and evil.
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