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Publisher's Summary

A community devoured by greed, cowardice, and fear. A man persecuted by his painful past. A woman searching for happiness. In one eventful week, each of them will face questions of life, death, and power, and each will choose their own path. Will they choose good or evil?

The remote village of Viscos is the setting for this extraordinary struggle. A stranger arrives, carrying with him a backpack containing a notebook and 11 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 lives.

Paulo Coelho's stunning novel explores the timeless struggle between good and evil and its relevance to our everyday dilemmas: to dare to follow our dreams, to have the courage to be different, and to master the fear that prevents us from truly living.

©2006 Paulo Caelho; (P)2006 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Philosophical questions are posed by Coehlo in the same mesmerizing, lyrical style he employed in The Alchemist." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    105
  • 4 Stars
    79
  • 3 Stars
    53
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    4

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    67
  • 4 Stars
    47
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    69
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    25
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    2
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  • Overall
  • Kourosh
  • Laguna Niguel, CA, United States
  • 11-21-07

Classic.

I enjoy this author and have read many of his books but I must admit that after listening to this book, I realized that the book was written to be read out loud. I found it very enjoyable and was disappointed that audible only carried one other book--"the alchemist"--by this author. I loved it!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Art of Storytelling

This is classic storytelling, and it is well done. Good vs. Evil with the hero/heroine facing a moral delima. The ending is not quite what I had wished, but if everything were as we expect, where is the suspense?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A battle between goog and evil

Well read. However, it would have been better to have a male narrator as well. This book captures the timeless battle between good and evil. The author uses his right once more to delve into the mystic to illustrate his point. Enjoyable listen

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A story from the collective consciousness of man.

the Battle of Good and Evil. what happens when a man comes into town offering every person's hearts desire if they do the one thing that their soul could be destroyed for......

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Terrible, although not as bad as The Pilgrimage

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Anyone who says "I'm not religious, but I'm spiritual." Fans of the Twilight Zone episode "The Hunt."

Would you ever listen to anything by Paulo Coelho again?

This is the second Paulo Coelho book I've read and it was better than the first (the truly terrible Camino de Santiago book) so maybe if I read another one it will be even better and I'll eventually like Paulo Coelho as much as everyone else seems to? <br/><br/>But the kind of woo-woo spirituality (much love to all abrahamic faiths but special shout out to Catholicism) on display is a lot for my skeptic mind to deal with.

What three words best describe Linda Emond’s performance?

Doing her best.

Any additional comments?

Rip-offs of the Twilight Zone and Shirley Jackson's The Lottery are packed into a relatively short book but it still seemed too long. It could have been a 40 page short story.

  • Overall

Okay but not thrilling

I loved the narrator but the story was not as captivating as I had hoped it would be.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Excellence

Unadulterated excellence! From start to finish, worth listening to more than once! Perfect reading ... Recommend

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Ahhhh!!! Enough with the music!

I have just started this book and the music is incredibly distracting....want to pull your hair out distracting. In skipping to the start of other chapters and then fast forwarding through each, I discovered that the music is only at the beginning so you only have to be tortured for about two minutes for each chapter. Addendum: The book was very good and the story very well told. The ending though was lackluster and was as if after the author had made all the moral points needed, ended the book as quickly and easily as possible.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent story & performance

Finally got around to reading/listening to this one and glad I did. A modern morality play that is read very well.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great read

This book is definitely worth the four hours I spent on it. Great philosophical debate. I normally don't but this book is so much more