Asma Fedosia's Reviews > The Devil and Miss Prym

The Devil and Miss Prym by Paulo Coelho
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Aug 22, 12

Read in August, 2012

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.
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Reading Progress

08/19/2012 page 103
46.0% "Author blog 2007/08/30 says the French setting is a tiny village called Viscos & the story is a fable. A stranger and a devil arrive, the former carrying 11 gold bars, wondering whether human beings essentially are good or evil, and proposing a wager. Other characters are Old Berta who daily observes nature & village life, her ghost husband never leaving her side; Chantal the night barmaid; & various townspeople."
08/22/2012
100.0% "Viscos FR, 281 inhabitants, 6 people control it: hotel landlady, priest, mayor, mayor's wife, blacksmith, major landholder. The stranger & Miss Prym bury 11 gold bars. Why doesn't she steal a bar if she knows where it is? Sat.--the stranger's story; the wager; Chantal examines her life; the strangers' and Chantal's devils and angels; the Day of Atonement (you & I will forget each other's faults). Sun.--yes or no?"

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