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El Demonio y la Senorita Pym HC limited edition

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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 liv 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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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 liv 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.

30 review for El Demonio y la Senorita Pym HC limited edition

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    (Book 52 from 1001 books) - O Demônio e a Srta. Prym = The Devil And Miss Prym, Paulo Coelho The Devil and Miss Prym is a novel by Paulo Coelho, first published in Brazil in 2000. For almost fifteen years, old Berta had spent every day sitting outside, watching over the little village of Viscos and talking with her deceased husband. She is waiting for the devil to come, as her husband predicted. One day a stranger with a tragic past arrives with the intention of staying one week in the village an (Book 52 from 1001 books) - O Demônio e a Srta. Prym = The Devil And Miss Prym, Paulo Coelho The Devil and Miss Prym is a novel by Paulo Coelho, first published in Brazil in 2000. For almost fifteen years, old Berta had spent every day sitting outside, watching over the little village of Viscos and talking with her deceased husband. She is waiting for the devil to come, as her husband predicted. One day a stranger with a tragic past arrives with the intention of staying one week in the village and he buries 11 bars of gold in the woods. On the way back he meets the young barmaid Chantal Prym, who is bored of the idyllic scenery and slow pace of life. Regularly she seduces tourists in the hope that one of them will prove to be her escape route. The stranger shows her the buried treasure and promises that it will belong to the villagers if they agree to kill someone. A battle follows within the young woman follows between her angel and her devil. After some days, she decides to tell the villagers what the stranger has proposed, trusting that they will refuse. The people's reaction, however, plants the seed of doubt inside Chantal. Now she fears for her own life. As an act of desperation, she plans to abandon Viscos with one of the stranger's bars. Destiny sends a rogue wolf, which threatens Chantal's life, but she escapes with the stranger. Meanwhile the villagers assemble to choose their victim. The scapegoat they choose is Berta, since she is already old and serves no purpose in the village. Before the villagers shoot a sedated Berta, Chantal convinces them that under no circumstances is murder justified. Spoiler Alert In the end the stranger receives the answers to his questions through a brief conversation between St. Savin and the Arab Leader Abah. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 2003میلادی عنوان: شیطان و دوشیزه پریم؛ نویسنده: پائولو کوئیلو؛ برگردان آرش حجازی؛ تهران، کاروان، 1381، در 233ص؛ شابک 9647033109؛ چاپ هفتم 1383؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان برزیل - سده 21م یک غریبه به روستای دور افتاده «ویسکوز» می‌رسد، همراهش کوله پشتی حاوی یک دفتر ضخیم، و یازده شمش طلا است؛ او به دنبال پاسخ به یک پرسش است که او را آزار می‌دهد: «آیا انسانها، در اصل، خوب یا بد هستند؟»؛ در دنیا دو مقوله ی «خیر» و «شر» وجود دارند، که همیشه در تضاد با هم هستند؛ در این کتاب، به همین دو مقوله پرداخته شده، که یک‌سوی آن خدای یگانه، و سوی دیگر شیطان؛ قرار دارد نقل از یادداشت نویسنده: (نخستین «اسطوره ی شکاف»، در «ایران باستان» زاده شد: ایزد زمان «زروان» - پس از خلق گیتی، هماهنگی گرداگردش را دریافت، اما کمبود بسیار مهمی را احساس کرد - یک همراه، تا در این زیبایی با او سهیم شود؛ یکهزار سال برای آوردن پسری نیایش کرد؛ ...؛ اسطوره میگوید، از نیایش آغازین خدای زمان، نیکی -هورمزد- پدید آمد، و از پشیمانی اش، بدی -اهریمن- جفت همزاد «هورمزد» شد)؛ پایان نقل از یادداشت نویسنده تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 03/08/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 06/07/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  2. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    This is one of those books where “this book was about ___,” is not nearly as important as “this book made me think about ___.” And because of the book’s popularity, you probably already know what it’s about anyway. If not, here’s a refresher: it’s about the battle between good and evil. There are angels and devils, a rogue wolf, an arms dealer, a bar wench and it all takes place in a rural community, purportedly in Brazil. I’ve read some critiques of this book and one of the complaints I keep se This is one of those books where “this book was about ___,” is not nearly as important as “this book made me think about ___.” And because of the book’s popularity, you probably already know what it’s about anyway. If not, here’s a refresher: it’s about the battle between good and evil. There are angels and devils, a rogue wolf, an arms dealer, a bar wench and it all takes place in a rural community, purportedly in Brazil. I’ve read some critiques of this book and one of the complaints I keep seeing over and over again are people complaining about how cliché it is to write a book about good and evil. “Give me a break, it’s all been done before, gag me with a spoon, Christian guilt…, boring, stupid, bla-bla-bla…” My reaction to those responses is difficult to put into words. Because on one hand, I agree. I’m sick of hearing about it and feeling like it’s being jammed down my throat in ways that are insulting, naïve, dull, etc. But on the other hand, I feel like I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t admit that the concept of an otherworldly battle between good and evil really rings my bell. I’ve been thinking about this book almost non-stop for the past couple days (hence the five star review). Yesterday afternoon in the food court—I was thinking about angels and devils. Last night when we took a tour through a house that’s for sale—I was thinking about good vs. evil. This morning on the bus—are humans inherently good or inherently evil? Or are we simply tempted by one or the other? Do we have an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other whispering into our ears? Where did evil come from? How did it get here? It’s all very interesting and it will make your head spin if you let it. I did. The book is also relatively short so even though I’m back to work after a Christmas break that was jam-packed with reading, so don’t have nearly as much time to read for pleasure, I still read this book in about two days. Not bad.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jelantik

    To be honest I got lost when reading this book. I don't understand what is the essence of the story. But this book is better than the 'by the riviere piedra i sat down and cry'. After reading this book of him (the 4th book that I read), I decided to stop buying his book. He created a master piece, the alchemist, but that's it. The other books are not even close to it. So rather than keep dissappointing and spending money for nothing, I better read other writers' books. Au revoir M Coelho! To be honest I got lost when reading this book. I don't understand what is the essence of the story. But this book is better than the 'by the riviere piedra i sat down and cry'. After reading this book of him (the 4th book that I read), I decided to stop buying his book. He created a master piece, the alchemist, but that's it. The other books are not even close to it. So rather than keep dissappointing and spending money for nothing, I better read other writers' books. Au revoir M Coelho!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mishe

    Where do I even begin with this book? A range of adjectives come to my mind, the most favorable being boring and bland, and the strongest patronizing and utterly exasperating. I could not read it for entertainment, because the plot line is so predictable. If you want to read about a village killing an old woman, go read The Lottery, which is extremely haunting and a staple in the curriculum at least in North America. It also has the benefit of being a short story, so you wouldn't have to suffer t Where do I even begin with this book? A range of adjectives come to my mind, the most favorable being boring and bland, and the strongest patronizing and utterly exasperating. I could not read it for entertainment, because the plot line is so predictable. If you want to read about a village killing an old woman, go read The Lottery, which is extremely haunting and a staple in the curriculum at least in North America. It also has the benefit of being a short story, so you wouldn't have to suffer through too many pages if you happen to hate it. I could not read The Devil and Miss Prym as a morality play or an allegory, just because the conflict has been in use for centuries. While this itself is no reason to prevent an author from studying the fundamental of human nature, one would expect a new angle or at least some depth. Sadly, I found neither. The opposition is quite shallow, not to mention very unrealistic. I was hoping to find at the very least interesting language or memorable characters. I found the English translation to be unremarkable and can only hope that the original Portuguese is more inspiring, but in view of all other shortcomings of the book, I doubt it. The characters are one-dimensional and all speak with the same voice - if it wasn't for the narrator switching perspective all the time, I wouldn't have even noticed when someone new speaks. It's okay that I found no character to identify with - I need none. It is also okay that I did not sympathize with anyone - I also don't need that. What I needed was a strong female figure, and that I absolutely did not find in Chantal Prym. I felt that she was molded after every single stereotype of the weak woman that is out there: an unimaginative unambitious young woman who uses her sex as a trap to catch a male to take her away. I cannot count the times I wanted to hurl the book against the wall in frustration. The only thing that stopped me was that it was an e-book and I wouldn't want to damage my faithful e-reader. One more note on authorial voice: Coelho seems to have no faith in his reader's intellectual abilities whatsoever. Every sentence goes contrary to the principle "show, don't tell". Every minute detail of the setting, of the characters' internal monologue, or their interaction with one other is spelled out and interpreted for us. There is no work left for the reader to do, except sit back and be fed the already digested (particularly devoid of nutrients) meal. Maybe that works for some readers. Not for me.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Aj the Ravenous Reader

    Reading this novel was like reading an allegorical tale. The moralistic element of the novel is quite very obvious because I guess that is exactly the purpose of this novel. Though the story makes use of familiar symbolical meanings and archetypes, the story as well as the characters are fully developed.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    I really don’t like Paulo Coelho’s books, at least not the ones I read. While he obviously has a good writing style, his writing is too didactic/moralistic. It’s like he is a teacher who wants his students to understand a point and writes a book to explain it. Some people might like it, but for me there really is too little interesting to like.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Krenzel

    *WARNING FOR SPOILERS* Are human beings inherently good or evil? "The Devil and Miss Prym: A Novel of Temptation," by famed author Paulo Coelho, is intended to be an exploration of this theme, with various legends introduced into the conversation throughout the book. One of these legends involves a man traveling with his horse and dog when he is struck by lightning and killed. Not realizing he is dead, the man continues his walk, but eventually the group becomes thirsty. They come across a gatewa *WARNING FOR SPOILERS* Are human beings inherently good or evil? "The Devil and Miss Prym: A Novel of Temptation," by famed author Paulo Coelho, is intended to be an exploration of this theme, with various legends introduced into the conversation throughout the book. One of these legends involves a man traveling with his horse and dog when he is struck by lightning and killed. Not realizing he is dead, the man continues his walk, but eventually the group becomes thirsty. They come across a gateway which leads to a fountain overflowing with water. The guard at the gate tells the man this place is Heaven and he is allowed in, but only if he comes alone. The man, not wanting to abandon his animals, instead continues on walking and comes to another gateway, where everyone is allowed to drink from the nearby spring. The man asks this guard where he is, and the guard replies, "Heaven." The place with the fountain was actually Hell, prompting the man to exclaim that it is wrong for them to be trying to trick people into entering their gate under false pretenses. The guard replies, "On the contrary, they do us a favor, because the ones who stay there are those who have proved themselves capable of abandoning their dearest friends." To me, this story served as a warning, as I wondered, what would I have done? Dying of thirst, would I have proved to be selfish and unknowingly entered through the gates of Hell? Even though I consider myself to be a good person, could I have made one bad choice that would have forever changed my fate? For those of us looking for assurance about our own goodness, though, "The Devil and Miss Prym" does not provide any conclusions. Through his exploration of the origins of the town of Viscos and its later struggle between Good and Evil, ultimately Coelho tells us there is no answer about whether humans are good or bad, but rather it is all a matter of individual choice. First, Coelho makes it clear through his discussion of the town of Viscos that nobody is strictly Good or Evil but instead these forces struggle within each of us. Viscos began as a town inhabited by the dregs of society, including bandits, smugglers, prostitutes, and murderers, and the "wickedest" of them all, an Arab named Ahab. One day, St. Savin comes to Ahab’s house and asks if he can spend the night. Ahab laughs and decides that he will kill the man that night, sharpening his knife over the sleeping St. Savin. But the next morning, when St. Savin awakens, Ahab is in tears and tells him, "For the first time ever, someone spent a night by my side trusting that I could be a good man . . . Because you believed I was capable of behaving decently, I did." Later, we learn that Ahab’s transformation had really come earlier when he asked St. Savin a series of hypothetical questions. For example, if St. Savin was tempted by a beautiful prostitute, would he see her as ugly? What would he do if he was offered gold? Or could he love two brothers equally if he knew one hated him? In each case, St. Savin acknowledged he would be tempted by Evil but that he would try to control himself. Ahab then realized St. Savin wasn’t so different from him – they both struggled with Good and Evil – just as everyone does: "It was all a matter of control. And choice. Nothing more and nothing less." Ahab then transforms Viscos into a peaceful trading post. But that doesn’t mean the people of Viscos are, by nature, good people. Good and Evil still struggles within each of them. Some realize they can't abide by the new rules and leave town, while others decide to stay. It is their individual choice about which path they chose. While most of the “good” people decide to stay in Viscos, leaving it as a peaceful place, its inhabitants are eventually tested many years later when a stranger comes to town and offers them gold if they will murder a fellow citizen over the course of the next week. The stranger tells Chantal Prym, the local bartender, that he used to be a good person, but since his family was murdered by a group of terrorists, he has been tortured with questions about why the terorists did it and whether it is proof that all people are Evil. Viscos will be his testing ground for Good and Evil. If someone in the town is murdered, that will prove his theory that humans are inherently Evil. In fact, this town of honest and decent people initially succumbs to temptation, agreeing to murder one of its elderly citizens, forcing her to take a drug to sedate her, and dragging her across town, where the townspeople plan to shoot her. Before the shooting actually takes place, though, Chantal speaks up, telling them the exchange of the stranger’s gold for actual currency is going to be messy and asking whether they can really trust the other townspeople not to divulge how they got the gold to the bank. In the end, the townspeople agree they cannot trust one another, and they return to their lives without accepting the stranger’s deal. Chantal, who has made a separate deal with the stranger, receives the gold instead for her willingness to go along with the stranger’s game. Seemingly, then, there is no resolution the original question posed: Are humans good or bad? In making his original proposal, the stranger had told Chantal, "If you steal the one gold bar but the village resists temptation, or vice versa, I will conclude that there are good people and evil people – which would put me in a difficult position because it would mean that there’s a spiritual struggle going on that could be won by either side." So the final answer then is that there is no answer: there is Good and Evil struggling in everyone, and it is our own choice about what we do. The terrorists who killed the stranger’s family chose Evil, but the people of Viscos chose Good. Our ultimate path is not pre-destined. It is up to us and the choices we make whether we choose a path of Good or Evil. Through his exploration of the origins of the town of Viscos and its later one-week struggle between Good and Evil, author Paulo Coelho tells us there is no answer about whether humans are good or bad, but instead it is a matter of individual choice. In terms of conclusions about Good and Evil, then, everything is left to the reader. When Chantal is thinking about stealing the gold, the stranger asks, her, "If you had to write a book about your experiences, how do you think most of your readers would react – given all the difficulties they have to face, the injustices dealt to them by life and other people, the struggle they have in order to pay for their children’s schooling and to put food on the table – don’t you think that those people would be urging you to take the gold and run?" When Chantal tells the stranger she doesn’t know what readers will think, the stranger answers, "Nor do I. But that’s the answer I’m looking for." The fact that ultimately no answer is given by the author is disappointing, but as readers we can in fact answer this question for ourselves. Were we, in fact, hoping Chantal would steal the gold? Or, drawing from the earlier example, would we have stopped at the Gates of Hell to selfishly get our own water and abandon our friends? Does that say something about our own struggle between Good and Evil? While Coelho may come up short in providing answers about the struggles between Good and Evil that are happening all over the world, in reality, he is still providing a service by asking the question in the first place. Books are meant to spark discussion, and that is exactly what "The Devil and Miss Prym" does by asking readers to question where they stand in their own struggle between Good and Evil.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Eileen

    I'm going to be honest...I didn't like this book one bit! I don't know if it's just that I dislike Coelho's writing style in general, the translation (Spanish), or if it's just the particular books that I have chosen to read from this author (The Alchemist). When i read the short summary in the back of the book and also some general reviews I thought I was in for a treat about a struggle between good and evil tied in with some suspense or some drama. It had the morality struggle but I found that I'm going to be honest...I didn't like this book one bit! I don't know if it's just that I dislike Coelho's writing style in general, the translation (Spanish), or if it's just the particular books that I have chosen to read from this author (The Alchemist). When i read the short summary in the back of the book and also some general reviews I thought I was in for a treat about a struggle between good and evil tied in with some suspense or some drama. It had the morality struggle but I found that it lacked a certain luster in the story in general. Imagery was at an all time low and characters were one dimensional and when you are dealing with a subject as complex as morality that is a big no no. Although I appreciate the ideas and thought the author is trying to provoke I felt that, at least to me, the intentions were dumbed down by his lack of feeling and passion in his writing. At certain points I just really wanted to story be be over already, and considering how short of a book it is that is quite disturbing. I think I might just not be a Coelho reader. I bought Veronika Decides to Die the other day and I am hoping that maybe just maybe he will convert me but chances are looking pretty slim.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    The Devil and Miss Prym was published in 2000, but it reads like a morality play from the 16th century. The basic premise is that a stranger comes to a small town. He speaks to Miss Prym, the local barmaid and tells her his plan. He wishes to offer the villagers enough gold to improve their lot for generations. All they have to do is murder one of their own. How the villagers choose will answer for the stranger whether people are basically good or basically evil. Miss Prym struggles with whether The Devil and Miss Prym was published in 2000, but it reads like a morality play from the 16th century. The basic premise is that a stranger comes to a small town. He speaks to Miss Prym, the local barmaid and tells her his plan. He wishes to offer the villagers enough gold to improve their lot for generations. All they have to do is murder one of their own. How the villagers choose will answer for the stranger whether people are basically good or basically evil. Miss Prym struggles with whether to tell the other villagers of the deal. She knows where some of the gold is buried, and is also tempted to just dig it up and flee. She hopes the villagers will do the right thing, but she has no way of knowing how the mob mentality will play out. The novel is simply written, but suspenseful. Some of the good/evil; devil/angel discussions and metaphors are a bit drawn out, but all in all I enjoyed this book as a very basic story about a very complicated battle.

  10. 4 out of 5

    John

    The small village of Viscos is dying. All the young have moved to the city, leaving middle-aged shepherds and farmers with a hotel dependent on seasonal tourists. Then a stranger comes to town with the devil who old Berta can only see. The stranger invites Chantal Prym a waitress at the tavern for a walk in the woods. He shows her two burial spots—one contains a single bar of gold, the other ten bars. It is a test for the town, and Chantal is the one he has chosen to offer the town the gold. The The small village of Viscos is dying. All the young have moved to the city, leaving middle-aged shepherds and farmers with a hotel dependent on seasonal tourists. Then a stranger comes to town with the devil who old Berta can only see. The stranger invites Chantal Prym a waitress at the tavern for a walk in the woods. He shows her two burial spots—one contains a single bar of gold, the other ten bars. It is a test for the town, and Chantal is the one he has chosen to offer the town the gold. The catch is to get the gold then the village a week to commit a murder. The stranger whose family was murdered wants an an answer to the question of evil and whether humanity is immoral everywhere even in the quaint village of Viscos a as death it’s 281 inhabitants. Initially, Chantal refuses to speak. However, eventually she does and Tiger surprise and horror the town accepts his offer. The rest of the story is about the struggle of whether the town follows through with the murder. It touches on the greed, fear and cowardice of the village community and their justification to commit evil. The good versus evil and angels and devils is perhaps for me to well defined with no grey areas. The ending was a bit of a letdown with not really morality driving the decision to murder but rather fear of the consequences.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    I never know just what to think when reading Paulo Coelho. In a way, his books remind me of Aesop's Fables just expanded. This book is actually more enjoyable when compared to his more popular book, The Alchemist. The characters are fun and quirky, the subject matter is grittier, and you get a greater sense of the culture. Thinking of the culture, it reminds me of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez. I liked the book. It has many "truths" in it, but I didn't love it. I never know just what to think when reading Paulo Coelho. In a way, his books remind me of Aesop's Fables just expanded. This book is actually more enjoyable when compared to his more popular book, The Alchemist. The characters are fun and quirky, the subject matter is grittier, and you get a greater sense of the culture. Thinking of the culture, it reminds me of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez. I liked the book. It has many "truths" in it, but I didn't love it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Leni Iversen

    Three stars, just. It's an intriguing story and I was curious how it would play out. But it is also a story that tells us what the moral is, in detail, and then spoon feeds it to the reader. There's this whole angel/devil battle for the souls of humans going on here, and it became rather trite. Fear is also a big player in this story, and while I am not immune to fear I believe that it doesn't so much keep us from doing evil, but is more likely to keep us from doing good. The characters' reactio Three stars, just. It's an intriguing story and I was curious how it would play out. But it is also a story that tells us what the moral is, in detail, and then spoon feeds it to the reader. There's this whole angel/devil battle for the souls of humans going on here, and it became rather trite. Fear is also a big player in this story, and while I am not immune to fear I believe that it doesn't so much keep us from doing evil, but is more likely to keep us from doing good. The characters' reactions and the ending of the book rather depressed me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sara Dahaabović

    I loved each and every page.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    2.5 ★s The Devil and Miss Prym is the third book in the On the Seventh Day series by Brazilian author, Paulo Coelho. It is translated into English by Amanda Hopkinson and Nick Caistor. As old Berta sits on her verandah watching, a stranger arrives in the town of Viscos, a man who comes to stay a week, and brings the devil. Chantal Prym, barmaid at the only hotel in town, is intrigued when the stranger wants to show her something in the woods. The gold bar buried near the Y shaped stone would let 2.5 ★s The Devil and Miss Prym is the third book in the On the Seventh Day series by Brazilian author, Paulo Coelho. It is translated into English by Amanda Hopkinson and Nick Caistor. As old Berta sits on her verandah watching, a stranger arrives in the town of Viscos, a man who comes to stay a week, and brings the devil. Chantal Prym, barmaid at the only hotel in town, is intrigued when the stranger wants to show her something in the woods. The gold bar buried near the Y shaped stone would let Chantal leave town and get on with a decent life. The other ten bars, hidden elsewhere, would ease the pressures on the town. All she has to do to have that gold bar is to tell the town they need to commit a murder by the end of the week. If they do it, they get to keep the ten bars. But Viscos is a town of good people: surely, they would not? There you have it: a totally unrealistic premise used as a vehicle for debate on Good and Evil. Viscos is a conveniently small, isolated town full of older people, no children. The oldest resident, widow Berta has, conveniently, no family or friends, and is visited only by the ghost of her late husband. The youngest, Chantal is, conveniently, an orphan, completely unattached. The stranger is, conveniently, rich, powerful, tortured and believes himself to be a good man. The story is filled with anecdotes: parables heavy on message, moralistic lessons lacking subtlety, hypotheticals built on an artificial situation. Good and Evil feature frequently, angels and devils play important roles. The characters are stereotypes. The whole thing is tedious and a bit clumsy.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Monther Alkabbani

    Not as great as The Alchemist, a bit naive plot with religious overtones. It is a sentimental novel that tries to explore the notion of good and evil. Not very deep. It is a fast read, and the language is simple and without over exaggeration.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jordi

    Are humans naturally good or bad? We all struggle with the same question every single day in our daily dealings with people. Between angels and demons, people who help us and those who hurt us, we still cannot find the answer. Chantal Prym is stuck in one man's struggle to justify his loss and his wager with the devil. It all falls on her shoulders to not only save her village, prevent her people from committing a crime they have deemed justifiable, but to bring back the light of angels and defea Are humans naturally good or bad? We all struggle with the same question every single day in our daily dealings with people. Between angels and demons, people who help us and those who hurt us, we still cannot find the answer. Chantal Prym is stuck in one man's struggle to justify his loss and his wager with the devil. It all falls on her shoulders to not only save her village, prevent her people from committing a crime they have deemed justifiable, but to bring back the light of angels and defeat all of the proud devils to win one more battle for good's sake. Another one of Coelho's masterpieces, but very different from the alchemist, on the river piedra, the Valkyries, and the more spiritual-quest kind of stories. This story is about temptation, and what we go through everyday and rarely stop to think about. Afterall, it's not about whether we are good or bad; it's about how hard can we fight temptation.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Emmy Hermina Nathasia

    I just love, love, loveee this book. My 4th re-read and each time I never failed to be amazed the message delivered in the book. There is no straightforward answer as to whether human beings are good or bad, but instead it is a matter of individual choice. In terms of conclusions about Good and Evil, its up to the reader to decide. It would seem the way a reader see the subject of God and religion will determine the conclusion.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Baba

    A man walks into a village alongside the Devil, to prove to the Devil that people are essentially bad. . A simply concept which I feel could have been executed in so many better ways than Coelho. Admittedly not a big fan of this writer, but when you get a box-set of his books cheap, what you gotta do? . The flip side is that at least I can say that I have read a number of his books before I decided he's not for me! . 2 out of 12. A man walks into a village alongside the Devil, to prove to the Devil that people are essentially bad. . A simply concept which I feel could have been executed in so many better ways than Coelho. Admittedly not a big fan of this writer, but when you get a box-set of his books cheap, what you gotta do? . The flip side is that at least I can say that I have read a number of his books before I decided he's not for me! . 2 out of 12.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Asma-Mekki-Daouadji

    Life can seem either very long or very short , according to how you live it . Paulo 💙🙏

  20. 5 out of 5

    Zarish Fatima

    Paulo writing has a unique air to it. He picks up a perfect situation like we do in physics or maths and define a phenomenon over it. Like a proof under perfect conditions. Even if the conditions are perfect that proof hold under all conditions. This book was 201 pages of philosophical proof that "it is all matter of control and choice. Nothing more. Nothing less" horrible, unkind and unfathomable things happen they happen to many but it is what we do in their response is what that defines us peo Paulo writing has a unique air to it. He picks up a perfect situation like we do in physics or maths and define a phenomenon over it. Like a proof under perfect conditions. Even if the conditions are perfect that proof hold under all conditions. This book was 201 pages of philosophical proof that "it is all matter of control and choice. Nothing more. Nothing less" horrible, unkind and unfathomable things happen they happen to many but it is what we do in their response is what that defines us people and humans. What i like about this book most that it asks all the right questions. Questions that we do not really always have a good answer too. The questions which are not asked frequently as they should but everyone thinks about them or should once in a while. like Why people do terrible things to others what exactly motivates one person to execute another for their cause, how does people justify their evil doings in their head and how they end up blaming God or making it so that they are doing God's biding. People in this book are not so important as the message that the writer tried to deliver. The book would have more fun to read if i knew Portuguese, because Paulo has a unique writing style like Mohsin Hamid, the translation feels like it has lacks something. But either way it became one of my favorites.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Billed as a novel of temptation, it is about a small town and a man who has lost everything (a la Job) who offers the villagers money to murder someone in an attempt to answer the question once and for all, are humans inherently evil or good? about half way through, i stopped to inform the author that no matter what he wrote, i still believed that people were inherently good, and that the majority of us would not commit murder for money. the struggle was realistic; there are all sorts of reasons Billed as a novel of temptation, it is about a small town and a man who has lost everything (a la Job) who offers the villagers money to murder someone in an attempt to answer the question once and for all, are humans inherently evil or good? about half way through, i stopped to inform the author that no matter what he wrote, i still believed that people were inherently good, and that the majority of us would not commit murder for money. the struggle was realistic; there are all sorts of reasons to need money, to help others, to save them, etc; but the whole town had to agree. a woman struggled with her role, and did emerge a hero as she reasoned with the townspeople. there was a powerful chapter about how terror drives many people; even if they look calm and peaceful, there is something terrorizing them: fear of being alone, fear of what people would think, fear of loss, etc. i think there is truth there, and i started to think about my fears and whether they are the driving force, but i don’t think so, i tend to use love as my energy. but i can see that we do have a dark and light side, a good and a dark side, an angel and a devil on our shoulders.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This was such a wonderful story. I was especially intrigued because I could understand how overpowering the temptation would be. I will say no more because the unfolding of the story is part of what makes it so compelling. This is certain to be a reread for me. I listened to the audio which I mostly enjoyed. Unfortunately the author didn't do voices and there are a lot of characters. This was such a wonderful story. I was especially intrigued because I could understand how overpowering the temptation would be. I will say no more because the unfolding of the story is part of what makes it so compelling. This is certain to be a reread for me. I listened to the audio which I mostly enjoyed. Unfortunately the author didn't do voices and there are a lot of characters.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Paria:D

    One of the best novels ever! I really got impressed reading the writer's ideas. One of the best novels ever! I really got impressed reading the writer's ideas.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mariam

    The Devil and Miss Prym is officially my first book read from Paulo Coelho. The beginning of the book is actually confusing because I thought the devil was a concrete object not abstract. However, throughout a couple more pages it became more clear to me on the idea portrayed. 'I discovered that confronted by temptation, we will always fall. Given the right circumstances, every human being on this earth would be willing to commit evil.' In this book, I really liked the stories about Ahab and how e The Devil and Miss Prym is officially my first book read from Paulo Coelho. The beginning of the book is actually confusing because I thought the devil was a concrete object not abstract. However, throughout a couple more pages it became more clear to me on the idea portrayed. 'I discovered that confronted by temptation, we will always fall. Given the right circumstances, every human being on this earth would be willing to commit evil.' In this book, I really liked the stories about Ahab and how everyone thought of him as a respectable man. However, the events of the whole book were moving by so slow. Like you always expect that the town will suddenly be chaos or do some crazy shit but the next day it's literally the same except people are just more nervous than usual. Playing the part of a charitable soul was only for those who were afraid of taking a stand in life.It is always far easier to hear an insult and not retaliate than have the courage to fight back against someone stronger than yourself. An interesting part of the characters is how they could turn from a quiet personality to one that could influence another character by an inspirational sentence or explaining a story from Ahab's life. Ahab, the man who brought peace to Viscos, always used to say: 'There are two kinds of idiots- those who don't take action because they have received a threat, and those who think they are taking action because they have issued a threat.' My favorite part of this book is the mentioning of religion and its views on hell and heaven. However, my least favorite part is how the events don't build up as intense as a reader (or at least me) would've wanted. The idea is very interesting but the actions don't build up as expected or as wanted.

  25. 5 out of 5

    miaaa

    If I haven't promised someone who really wants this book I might not read it now, especially since Coelho noted that this is the third book of And on the Seventh Day trilogy! The good news is I can then read them in reverse order. It may provide a different perspective, or the opposite, I'll end up in a miserable confusion. Either way is acceptable. The idea of revealing human nature is not something that really new, however Coelho is able to remind us about it without any suggestion of lecturing If I haven't promised someone who really wants this book I might not read it now, especially since Coelho noted that this is the third book of And on the Seventh Day trilogy! The good news is I can then read them in reverse order. It may provide a different perspective, or the opposite, I'll end up in a miserable confusion. Either way is acceptable. The idea of revealing human nature is not something that really new, however Coelho is able to remind us about it without any suggestion of lecturing. We've seen it, we knew it and presumably we've done it -compromising our values to conduct sins for something what we thing is a right thing to do. And sometimes just like the inhabitants of Viscos, we think we have to do it for the sake of our children or those who we love most. And we chose someone who will be less longed, less remembered as a sacrificial lamb. Someone like Berta. Personally I think temptation, especially in conducting mischief, always disguise itself in the most gullible looks. Basically the story confirms the theory that all this time playing hide-and-seek in my mind, that each human possess both Evil and Good within them. The main issue is, which one you feed most?! "It isn't the desire to abide by the law that makes everyone behave as society requires, but the fear of punishment. Each one of us carries a gallows inside us." *** Setelah baca catatan penulisnya bahwa buku ini adalah seri ketiga dari Trilogy And on the Seventh Day, sebenarnya ingin menunda membaca buku ini dulu. Namun demi seorang teman yang sangat mendambakan buku ini, dilanjutkan sajalah. Setelah dipikir-pikir baca trilogy dengan urutan terbalik sepertinya seru juga, kalo tidak dapat perspektif berbeda mungkin menderita kebingungan akut. Dua pilihan itu sama menariknya. Ide pengungkapan sifat alami manusia itu menurut aku sih tidak begitu baru, tapi namanya juga Coelho. Dia dengan caranya sendiri mengingatkan kita tanpa harus menjadi pengkotbah. Pasti kita pernah melihat, mengetahui dan bahkan mungkin melakukannya sendiri. Berkompromi dengan nilai-nilai yang kita anut, melakukan sebuah dosa atas dasar kepercayaan bahwa apa yang kita lakukan adalah hal yang benar. Dan terkadang layaknya para penduduk desa Viscos, kita berusaha keras meyakinkan diri kita sendiri bahwa kita harus melakukan hal tersebut demi anak-anak dan orang-orang yang paling kita sayangi. Lalu memilih seseorang yang tidak akan begitu dirindukan, yang tidak akan begitu diingat, sebagai domba persembahan. Seseorang seperti Berta. Menurutku semua godaan, terutama untuk melakukan hal-hal yang salah, selalu menyamarkan dirinya dalam bentuk paling tidak berbahaya. Kisah ini memperkuat teori yang selama ini bermain petak umpet dalam pikiranku, bahwa setiap manusia memiliki Kejahatan dan Kebaikan dalam diri mereka. Masalahnya hanya sisi mana yang paling banyak kita beri makan! "Bukanlah keinginan untuk patuh pada peraturan yang membuat setiap orang menjaga tingkah lakunya seperti yang diharuskan masyarakat, namun rasa takut atas hukuman yang mungkin dia dapatkan. Setiap orang membawa tiang gantungan di dalam dirinya masing-masing."

  26. 5 out of 5

    S.Baqer Al-Meshqab

    I didn't like the works of Paulo Coelho. I only read the Alchemist a very long time ago and even though I can't recall the details, I think it was overrated. I don't understand the hype, maybe I am simple-minded after all. It is not like I hated it but I couldn't find it interesting either, nor grasp the lessons which are supposed to be embedded between the lines. Wait, I am still talking about the Alchemist. let's push that aside, and shed some light on this book: The Devil and Miss Prym. For th I didn't like the works of Paulo Coelho. I only read the Alchemist a very long time ago and even though I can't recall the details, I think it was overrated. I don't understand the hype, maybe I am simple-minded after all. It is not like I hated it but I couldn't find it interesting either, nor grasp the lessons which are supposed to be embedded between the lines. Wait, I am still talking about the Alchemist. let's push that aside, and shed some light on this book: The Devil and Miss Prym. For those who already read this relatively short novel, correct me if I am wrong; The story is quite direct. I don't deny having hidden messages here and there, but to me, it felt clear, and that is precisely what made it so enjoyable. Yes, I enjoyed The Devil and Miss Prym. The conflict of good and evil within oneself and the others is something we deal with everyday. Each one of us has his own devil and angle. We struggle. We have fears. We are greedy. We might do something wrong and try, with all our power, to justify it, even though, deep in our hearts, we are sure it is wrong. These and so many concepts of life struggles are covered in Chantel's story and the insignificant village of Viscos; one that she thought was cursed with the visit of the devil, only to realize that devils already dwelled within every corner and cranny. One last point: The ending felt a little off. Regardless, I tend to have an urgency to not accept big names easily, but I might have underestimated Coelho. He is far from being a favorite, I can assure you, but I believe he has some beautiful sense (This comment is coming from someone who didn't read much for this author. My opinion might change when exposed to other works, for I didn't always hear good news about them).

  27. 4 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    This mainly tackles the long-debated and at times become boring question of whether human beings are basically good or bad. However, the parable-like storytelling approach still brings out distinctive familiar Paulo Coelho's trademark that we all fell in love with in his The Alchemist. Had Mr. Coelho opted to have evil triumph in the end, I would have given this a higher rating. I definitely believe that all of us are basically good and I know that to counter that would not make this novelette h This mainly tackles the long-debated and at times become boring question of whether human beings are basically good or bad. However, the parable-like storytelling approach still brings out distinctive familiar Paulo Coelho's trademark that we all fell in love with in his The Alchemist. Had Mr. Coelho opted to have evil triumph in the end, I would have given this a higher rating. I definitely believe that all of us are basically good and I know that to counter that would not make this novelette hit the bestsellers' list. However, what is the point of reading a novel if it does not present a different side of what we know? What is the point of reading a novel if not to either entertain us or make our view on life richer - broader or sharper? Yes, reading this novel felt dragging especially in the middle part and for a 205-page sparsely-typed novelette, taking more than 2 days to finish clearly tells me that it is not interesting at all. Another factor that worked against this novel for me was the fact that I read this right after I enjoyed two works of art: Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami and The Double by Jose Saramago. After those bigshots, reading Paulo Coelho is like stepping backwards twice in terms of your literary preference. It is like you have already graduated with your B.S. Literature degree, successfully defending your thesis on why James Joyce should be the considered as the greatest novelist of all times and suddenly asked by a friend to read the Harry Potter series.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    The story's Devil is an embittered stranger whose wife and daughters were previously kidnapped and killed. Now he is committed to discovering whether all men and women's souls are evil. To do that, he (along with his Devil) enter the formerly Celtic community of Viscos, France, a village of 281 inhabitants."...some remote place, where everyone looked on life with joy, peace and compassion, and I would see if I could make the people there break a few of the Ten Commandments."It's rocky past had e The story's Devil is an embittered stranger whose wife and daughters were previously kidnapped and killed. Now he is committed to discovering whether all men and women's souls are evil. To do that, he (along with his Devil) enter the formerly Celtic community of Viscos, France, a village of 281 inhabitants."...some remote place, where everyone looked on life with joy, peace and compassion, and I would see if I could make the people there break a few of the Ten Commandments."It's rocky past had experienced banditry and surprising redemption, and its modern-day decline looks evident. To avert that fate, the village leaders seriously consider the stranger's wager, which Miss Chantal Prym the barmaid who would prefer city life, proposes one evening. Viscos can have the ten buried, heavy gold bars if they murder an innocent victim to save the town. The stranger's rationale is that were one inhabitant to nix the victim's murder would show him that some human beings are essentially good; were everyone involved to do the murder, the stranger would know that his kidnapped family's murderers lacked any spark of goodness and that human nature is evil. The nature of persuasion, of authority, of obedience, of good and evil, of temptation and self-control are motifs. Liked very much the shining and dimness of the stranger's and Chantal's visible angels and devils. The old woman Berta saw the stranger and Devil enter town while Chantal's soul also has an angel and devil who wax or wane.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Judy Croome

    A thought provoking book on the concept of Good vs Evil in the human soul. Coehlo writes a simple but powerful message in an easily accessible style and provides the readers with a glimpse of the human paradox that is the capacity to contain both dark & light in the same soul. Coehlo extends this exploration into the similarities between the collective & individual soul, and the need for the individual to rise above the evil of the collective. The story is translated so one is never sure what ha A thought provoking book on the concept of Good vs Evil in the human soul. Coehlo writes a simple but powerful message in an easily accessible style and provides the readers with a glimpse of the human paradox that is the capacity to contain both dark & light in the same soul. Coehlo extends this exploration into the similarities between the collective & individual soul, and the need for the individual to rise above the evil of the collective. The story is translated so one is never sure what has been “lost in translation,” but there are sufficient pearls of wisdom scattered throughout the story to keep one thinking while enjoying an easy, quick read. My favourite comes when the sweet Miss Prym has to make her critical choice: “There are only two things which prevent us from achieving our dreams: Believing them to be impossible, and seeing these dreams made possible by some unexpected turn of Fate. For at that precise moment all our fears surface: the fear of setting off along an unknown road; the fear of a life full of new challenges and the fear of losing everything that is familiar.” (Pg 34) The morality of the story is perhaps too explicit, but can be excused because it’s presented so simply that one can take it or leave it, depending on one’s personal response to the issue being examined.

  30. 5 out of 5

    1morechapter

    Rating: 4.5/5 Most people either love Paulo Coelho’s writing or absolutely hate it. I haven’t seen many who have straddled the fence on this author. I’m in the former category, though I know quite a few people who don’t care for him at all. While some believe his writing is too simplistic, I, on the other hand, sometimes crave simplicity! I do quite a bit of heavy reading (though not recently), and it’s nice sometimes to curl up with one of Coelho’s books and know that I will probably read it in Rating: 4.5/5 Most people either love Paulo Coelho’s writing or absolutely hate it. I haven’t seen many who have straddled the fence on this author. I’m in the former category, though I know quite a few people who don’t care for him at all. While some believe his writing is too simplistic, I, on the other hand, sometimes crave simplicity! I do quite a bit of heavy reading (though not recently), and it’s nice sometimes to curl up with one of Coelho’s books and know that I will probably read it in one sitting. I also believe his ’simple’ books have a much deeper meaning to them, and this story is also indicative of that. One day a stranger comes to Viscos, an idyllic mountain town. The stranger has a plan to tempt the villagers with some gold. They only have to do one thing to get the gold, but that act is contrary to the basic character of the town’s residents. There hasn’t been any trouble in the village for years, and when Miss Prym, the local barmaid, is told of the plan, she is confident the villagers will be able to withstand the temptation. The story raises the question of whether humans are generally good or generally evil, and also why God, if there is one, would allow evil things to happen to good people. Highly recommended. 2000, 205 pp.

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