A community devoured by greed, cowardice, and fear. A man persecuted by the ghosts of his painful past. A young 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? In the remote village of Viscos--a village too small to be on any map, a place where time seems to stand still--a stranger arrives, carrying with him a backpack containing a notebook and eleven 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 brings to our everyday dilemmas fresh incentive: incentive to master the fear that prevents us from following our dreams, from being different, and from truly living.