Book Review: The Devil And Miss Prym by Paulo Coelho

Book Name: The Devil and Miss Prym

Author’s name: Paulo Coelho

Language: English

“She had just realized there were two things that prevent us from achieving our dreams: believing them to be impossible or seeing those dreams made possible by some sudden turn of the wheel of fortune, when you least expected it. For at that moment, all our fears suddenly surface: the fear of setting off along a road heading who knows where, the fear of a life full of new challenges, the fear of losing forever everything that is familiar.”

Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist, born in 1947 in the city of Rio De Janeiro. The Alchemist, published in 1998, became the best-selling Brazilian novel and made people believe in their dreams. His works include "Veronika Decides to Die" (1998), "Eleven Minutes" (2003), The Zahir (2005), "By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept"(1994) etc. His books revolve around the concept of self- improvement and human psychology. His works has always inspired readers across the world.

About the book:

The story begins with old Berta who has been spending her days sitting outside her front door for past 15 years on the lookout for devil and she believes she is the one on whom lies the responsibility to protect her village and its people from that evil.

A stranger arrives in the village and approaches Chantal Prym, an orphan who lives alone and works at the only hotel/bar of Viscos (the village). She believes the residents of Viscos lack wisdom and have become accustomed to the simple and monotonous life where time stands still and things never change.

She is always on the lookout for change and hopes to have a better future. She is hopelessly waiting for the day when a stranger would and make her life a bed of roses. The stranger who has come to the village to resolve his dilemmas, he has been through a lot in his past and that has compelled him to believe that each and every human being is evil.

He has chosen Chantal the task, she is assigned with the task to convince the people of Viscos to kill a resident of the village and get gold in return. The entire village agrees on the decision to kill Berta and get gold in return which will be used for the betterment and development of the village, but the ending is intriguing turns and the story upside and down and makes the readers hooked to the story till it ends.


The story is centered around the question whether humans are evil or good. The book answers this question as the story progresses and approaches its end. In comparison to the other works of the author, this book didn’t meet my expectations and I ended being slightly disappointed with book.

At a certain point the story becomes monotonous and the plot becomes stagnant until the end start approaching. The books give insight into human traits like selfish behavior, greed and dilemmas in human life. I liked the character of Chantal Prym who at first gets tempted on seeing the gold and with the idea that with this gold she’d be able to fulfil all her wishes but then takes on the responsibility of making the stranger realize that humans are both evil and good and both can not survive with each other.

People who have been reading the author’s work might get a little disappointed with this book but people who would be reading this book a their first piece of Paulo Coelho might get enchanted with his writing style.  

Written by: Harshita Bansal

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