Rating : 3/5
Author: Paulo Coelho
Chantal Prym, a young barmaid from the serene city of Viscos gets chosen as the first girl to know the plan of ‘the stranger’ for her city.
The stranger, who poses as ‘Carlos’, tells her he lost his family (a wife and a daughter) to a terrorist attack and ever since he’s been on the mission to find out the true human nature.
He believes Viscos was just the city he could possibly direct his revenge towards, and Chantal was just the kind of girl he could use as his tool, so he proposes his deal to her.
The deal being, the 11 bars of gold he hid in forest after showing to her, would all belong to Viscos, if they decided together to kill an innocent person in return! The deal puts the inhabitants of Viscos in a sweet temptation, and together they decide to kill the old, harmless Berta, whose husband died 15 years back but who’s soul would still talk to her everyday.
Berta gets told about the plan by her husband and Chantal’s grandmother’s souls!
Later the priest visits Berta and tells her about the plan. She is given sleeping pills and once she loses her consciousness she’s taken up-hill at an important naturally carved stone table where she’s tied and all the men of Viscos aim their guns at her, but just then…
Which parts did I like?
It made me look at the human nature a little differently. The human nature has in-fed evil inside it, but at the same time, it has the innate quality of being kind towards others.
Where the entire city was ready to kill the good old Berta for 11 bars of gold that would serve not just them but all their coming generations, the stranger saved the city of Viscos from the kind of crime he himself had induced it into, hence the same person had two sides, the good one and the evil one.
What did I not like?
There wasn’t anything that I disliked in particular.
1. She remembered a man who used to work in a chemist’s in a nearby
village and who had been dismissed after twenty years’ service. He hadn’t
asked for his redundancy money because – so he said – he considered his
employers to be his friends and didn’t want to hurt them, because he
knew they had had to dismiss him because of financial difficulties. It was
all a lie: the reason the man did not go to court was because he was a
coward; he wanted at all costs to be liked; he thought his employers
would then always think of him as a generous, friendly sort. Some time
later, when he went back to them to ask for a loan, they slammed the
door in his face, but by then it was too late, for he had signed a letter of
resignation and could make no further demands of them.
2. She took the pills from him, placed them in her mouth and drank the entire bottle
of water. Water: it has no taste, no smell, no colour and yet it is the most
important thing in the world. Just like her at that moment.
Let me know how you liked the book. You can read it’s PDF version via clicking the cover picture in the post!