Friday, July 18, 2008

The Devil and Miss Prym

Hmmm... Paolo Coelho's books are always thought-provoking, aren't they? I've read The Alchemist and Veronika Decides to Die before and really liked them and I tried reading Eleven Minutes, but couldn't get into it. Is it worth trying again?

I enjoyed The Devil and Miss Prym, though not as much as the first two books of his that I read. This one's theme is good and evil - how they interact in the world and within each one of us. Are people intrinsically good or evil? A couple of ideas on this theme really struck me as I was reading. One of them was the notion that we are only good because of the threat of punishment, i.e. that we would do a lot more things 'wrong' if we didn't think we'd get into 'trouble'. This is probably true to some extent - maybe people wouldn't respect their hours at work if no one was watching; but I'm not sure that it means that more people would commit murder if they could go unpunished. What do you think?

The other idea that I liked is one that the author mentions in his introduction, namely that a week is enough time to show our true face/decide where our destiny lies/pass or fail a test of God or the Gods or the universe. I agree with Coelho on this - a week is plenty. I'm sure we've all had times in our lives when everything changed in one week.

So, thought-provoking and interesting, although I wasn't totally crazy about it, I can't really explain why... maybe I'm still not completely in the mood for 'heavy' books and it was giving me too much to think about! ;-)

Challenges: 10 out of 100 out of 1001 and the 1% Well-read Challenge, A-Z Challenge, Orbis Terrarum


Iliana said...

I loved Veronika Decides to Die and unfortunately just haven't read anything else by him. It seems that either people love his books or hate them doesn't it?
This one sounds good.

joanna said...

Iliana - yes indeed, people either love him or hate him. At least he's making people think though! :-)

Melody said...

I only read Veronika Decides to Die and think that book is a little depressing. Other than that, I haven't read his other books.