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The Devil and Miss Prym, by Paulo Coelho

The Devil and Miss Prym, by Paulo Coelho

  • R 13500

This new novel from the multi-million selling author of The Alchemist is the third part of a trilogy which began with By The River I Sat Down And Wept (1994) and Veronika Decides To Die (1998). In his author's note Piedra Coelho writes that all three are concerned with one week in the lives of ordinary people who are confronted with profound challenges involving love, power and death. The village of Viscos is the last outpost of a rural way of life in a world of multinationals and agribusiness. A stranger arrives in this contemporary version of paradise and makes a wager with the villagers. If they murder one of their number by the end of the week, he will give them eleven gold bars. Because of a tragedy in his own life, the stranger wants to demonstrate that humanity is essentially evil. But Chantal Prym, the local barmaid he persuades to be his accomplice, proves to have a mind of her own. At the climax of the novel, Chantal confronts both the villagers and the stranger as a firing squad prepares to execute a pathetic victim. Coelho's novel is a meditation on good and evil told in the form of a contemporary parable. He draws on myth, history, folk tales, the Bible, philosophy, and European literature to produce a story with many levels. Although he is often presented as a New Age writer, Coelho's book most resembles a Brechtian investigation of the trade-off between money and morality in the modern world. In true Brechtian fashion too, Chantal, the working-class character who knows herself enough to see that she can be both good and evil, wins through. This book will please Coelho's millions of readers and will attract many more. (Kirkus UK)

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