The Devil and Miss Prym: Book summary and reviews of The Devil and Miss Prym by Paulo Coelho

The Devil and Miss Prym

A Novel of Temptation

by Paulo Coelho

The Devil and Miss Prym by Paulo Coelho
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2006
    224 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

In the remote village of Viscos -- a village too small to be on any map, a place where time seems to stand still -- a stranger arrives, 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?

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Reviews

Media Reviews

The unsatisfying ending lets everyone off the hook and leaves questions hanging like ripe apples." - PW

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Cloggie Downunder

tedious and a bit clumsy
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.

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Author Information

Paulo Coelho Author Biography

Xavier Gonzales

Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 1970, after deciding that law school was not for him, he traveled through much of South America, North Africa, Mexico, and Europe. Returning to Brazil after two years, he began a successful career as a popular songwriter. In 1974, he was imprisoned for a short time by the military dictatorship then ruling in Brazil.

In 1988, Coelho published The Alchemist, which has sold more than 11 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 41 languages. He has written more than a dozen novels, including The Pilgrimage and Veronika Decides to Die, both of which are being adapted to film.

Coelho is an outspoken activist for peace and social justice, and also supports the free distribution of his work. He and his wife Christina split their ...

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Name Pronunciation
Paulo Coelho: POW-loo KWAY-lew

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