Loving Mephistopheles

Loving Mephistopheles

Book rating: 03 Paperback

By (author) Miranda Miller


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  • Publisher: Peter Owen Publishers
  • Format: Paperback | 312 pages
  • Dimensions: 138mm x 210mm x 24mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 15 May 2007
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0720612756
  • ISBN 13: 9780720612752
  • Sales rank: 1,070,133

Product description

Jenny is a third-rate music-hall chanteuse living in Edwardian London. When she remarks to her mentor and lover Leo that she never wants to grow old, she is unwittingly making a pact with the Devil. Her contract to love him will reside at the Metaphysical Bank in High Street Kensington--forever. Leo has lived through thousands of years in numerous incarnations. As he gleefully exploits what 20th century London has to offer--as a magician ("the Great Pantoffsky"), fighter pilot, coke dealer, city banker--Jenny finds that the joy of eternal youth is short-lived. Her unchanging appearance provokes questions and Jenny has to move abroad or constantly reinvent herself. For 60 years she has to pass herself off as her own offspring. When she bears a real daughter that may or may not be Leo's, his destructive nature comes to the fore. She flees from him and destroys the contract that she has never read. At the same time Leo understands that Jenny is the one woman that he has truly loved and that perhaps it is time the Devil made a stab at family life, whatever the consequences. A compelling journey through 20th-century Europe and beyond, Miranda Miller's ingenious take on the Faust story is by turns humorous, erotic, and terrifying.

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Author information

Miranda Miller has published four novels, a book of short stories, and a work of nonfiction that examines the effects of homelessness on women.

Customer reviews

By Mark Thwaite 10 Dec 2008 3

The enigmatic and ageless Leo makes a blood pact with a very drunken Jenny and before she knows it eternal life is hers. Miranda Miller's Loving Mephistopheles then sets off on one of those fascinating literary journeys that you can't even begin to imagine or describe. Jenny quickly discovers, as she starts to enjoy the fruits of this strange existence that there is "no point in having eternal life if you don't have eternal fun." And there is masses of fun in this very clever novel. Inevitably, the fun finally runs out and things start to turn sour. Loving Mephistopheles is the work of an amazingly vivid imagination; Miller has written a brave, unusual and "ingenious reworking of the Faustian legend." You emerge from this riveting book feeling as if you have been on some strange and magical journey of your own, a journey that stays with you for a long time after that final page.
Lynne Hatwell

Review quote

"Captures the incongruities of living in a foreign land."