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The Devil and Miss Prym

(On the Seventh Day #3)

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3.60  ·  Rating details ·  60,312 ratings  ·  2,987 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 205 pages
Published July 3rd 2006 by HarperOne (first published 2000)
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Average rating 3.60  · 
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Ahmad Sharabiani
52. 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 g
...more
Beth
Dec 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Agnostics
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
...more
Jelantik
Mar 13, 2008 rated it did not like it
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!
Aj the Ravenous Reader
May 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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.
Mariya
Feb 13, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
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
...more
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.
Krenzel
Jun 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1001
*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
...more
Eileen
Sep 14, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
...more
Anne
Dec 26, 2007 rated it liked it
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 ...more
John
Aug 06, 2020 rated it liked it
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
...more
Kirsten
Jan 22, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-kindle
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.
...more
Leni Iversen
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001books
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 ...more
Marianne
Apr 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
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
...more
Monther Alkabbani
Aug 22, 2015 rated it liked it
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.
Sara Dahabović
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: omiljene-knjige
I loved each and every page.
Lamski Kikita
Aug 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Asma-Mekki-Daouadji
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Life can seem either very long or very short , according to how you live it .





Paulo 💙🙏
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
...more
Cheryl
Jan 25, 2009 rated it liked it
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
...more
Sarah
Oct 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Paria:D
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the best novels ever! I really got impressed reading the writer's ideas.
Mariam
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
...more
miaaa
Oct 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Spamiola hehe
Recommended to miaaa by: Spamiola
Shelves: fictions-others
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
...more
S.Baqer Al-Meshqab
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
...more
K.D. Absolutely
Dec 16, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jillian Joy
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die
Shelves: 1001-core
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
...more
B. Asma
Jan 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Judy Croome
Nov 25, 2011 rated it liked it
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
...more
1morechapter
Apr 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Katherine Cowley
I choose this book as my prize for completing SLC summer reading program, and now I'm so glad not just to have read the book but to also own it. This novel tells the story of a stranger who comes to a small mountain town offering a fortune in gold to the community if anyone is killed within the coming week. The man's real goal is to see if there is any good--or just evil--in the world, to see if life and suffering have meaning and significance.

The temptations and choices are painted vividly in t
...more
Melanti
I'm not even going to bother writing a new review for this, because everything I said about Veronika Decides to Die applies here as well:

There's too much on the surface and too little under it.

This isn't badly written, but it is baldly written. It's written by copying from books in the self-help and new age section of the library and transcribed into flashing neon signs.

Tiresome.

And I was completely unsurprised by the "twist" at the end because of two things. One, there was huge unmissable signs
...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Reading 1001: The Devil and Miss Prym, by Paulo Coelho 3 15 Sep 30, 2018 10:24AM  
discuss about all and nothing 2 18 Jul 02, 2017 10:54PM  
Moral of the story 6 56 Apr 29, 2017 11:13PM  
what do u think about the end? specially Prym 4 94 Apr 29, 2017 11:11PM  
Boxall's 1001 Bo...: October {2015} Discussion -- THE DEVIL AND MISS PRYM by Paulo Coelho 11 127 Dec 29, 2015 12:32PM  
Link to The Alchemist 1 11 Oct 02, 2015 04:53PM  

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The Brazilian author PAULO COELHO was born in 1947 in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Before dedicating his life completely to literature, he worked as theatre director and actor, lyricist and journalist. In 1986, PAULO COELHO did the pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostella, an experience later to be documented in his book The Pilgrimage. In the following year, COELHO published The Alchemist. Slow in ...more

Other books in the series

On the Seventh Day (3 books)
  • By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept
  • Veronika Decides to Die

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