The Devil In Love

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Sunday, February 27, 2005
The Devil In Love by Jacques Cazotte

(#6) - I've had this book for a long time and never read it, until now! I dug around in my bookshelves to find it because my sister had just gotten The Master and Marguerite from the library which I vaguely recalled was something to do with the Devil and his love life, so I searched around until I found this title. I couldn't remember the name and it was driving me crazy. Once I found it, I thought maybe now is the time to read it. I originally bought it because it was mentioned repeatedly in The Ninth Gate by Arturo Perez-Reverte. (the book is really REALLY much better than the movie, even though the movie has Johnny Depp).

The Devil In Love reinforces some basic rules of the universe. The first is that any time you think you are going to play a trick on the Devil and win, think twice. The second rule is read the first again, and let it really sink in. I am sure this book reads a little more smoothly in the original French (if I could read French easily), but the translation might not have been my issue with some of the speech patterns and cadences (although if it had been a little longer I probably would have sunk right into it) - it may have more to do with the fact that it was first published in 1772. I am sure there are all sorts of political allegories that I missed going on within this novel since it came about in such a tumultuous time in French history. Anyway, this book is considered one of the first published works of "fantastic fiction," which is pretty cool.

cast of characters:
The Devil - as himself
Alvaro - the hapless, lovesick yet arrogant hero
Biondetta - The Devil in disguise! It's a prelude to an Elvis song!!

The book ends rather abruptly with someone advising Alvaro that he had better get married to someone who is not the Devil, and SOON. I understand from the forward that Cazotte had plannd for this to be just the first half of the story, which explains the anti-climactic ending.
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