The Spy

The Spy

A Novel

Large Print - 2016
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In his new novel, Paulo Coelho, best-selling author of The Alchemist and Adultery, brings to life one of history's most enigmatic women: Mata Hari. The story of her celebrated yet mysterious life as an exotic dancer and courtesan, and her controversial execution as a spy during the First World War unfolds as a fascinating first-person narrative of self-creation and bravery
Publisher: New York : Random House Large Print, c2016
Edition: First large print edition
Copyright Date: 2016
ISBN: 9781524755591
Characteristics: 254 pages (large print) ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Perry, Zoë - Translator


From Library Staff

Told in Mata Hari's voice through her final letter, this story of a woman who dared to defy convention and who paid the ultimate price, recounts her life from rags to riches and fame as a dancer and courtesan who bewitched the richest and most powerful men of early twentieth century France until ... Read More »

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VaughanPLMeena Mar 17, 2018

An interesting read! I didn't know much about Mata Hari before reading this, so wasn't too sure what to expect. Coelho does a great job of blurring fiction with fact and after reading this relatively short book, I was left wanting to learn more about this mysterious spy.

Feb 15, 2018

The story was captivating up to a certain point but I could not finish the book

Feb 18, 2017

I am a big fan of Paulo. his first book, the Alchemist had taken me to a new level of my life. I was inspired. however, the spy book lacks his wisdom and inspiration. I felt that it was a documentary of a woman who had lost herself to own everything else! this was the massage. i was not inspired by her story. Because this story continues in our times with lots of women out there. I couldn't feel the power of love in this book. Apologies Paulo. I am longing to read your next inspiring book.

Jan 29, 2017

I had no idea who Mata Hari was before beginning The Spy. To say she was unapologetic is an understatement. She was a driven woman determined to live life on her terms, no matter the cost. It seems she did little to justify the charges of treason. There never was a more incompetent spy. That said, the writing was flat, who is perhaps a fault of the translator. Ultimately I finished the book uninspired.

Jan 02, 2017

I was interested in the character and the period, but this novelette was disappointing on both counts.

First of all, Coelho can't manage to write in a convincing woman's voice.

And Mata Hari never becomes convincingly alive as a human, either.

A courtesan/spy should at the very least be interesting -- this Mata Hari is a repetitive bore.

Although Spy is short I've put it down several times, and can't be bothered to finish.

ArapahoeLesley Dec 22, 2016

A tiny, super quick historical fiction account of Mata Hari's last goodbyes before her execution as a spy in 1917. Through a letter from her to her lawyer and then another from her lawyer to her, we learn snippets of who Mata Hari was and how she lived her life. Despite the insistence of many reviewers that this is a dedication to a great feminist, born before her time, I got much more of a 'beware the follies of fame' feel out of it.

A surface intro to Mata Hari with a bit of Coelho wisdom thrown in.


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