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After police detectives save a pop star, her manager invites them for a weekend in Mexico on his yacht. But the perfect vacation turns to terror when his wife and friends go missing. When a pastor is shaken by the visible faith of a street corner preacher, he is reminded that true belief always requires action.

His response ignites a journey that impacts everyone it touches in ways that only God could orchestrate. Seven years after the world's most devastating tsunami in Thailand six strangers find themselves trapped in a beach side resort on the brink of an oncoming hurricane. Each of their hearts In the last days before Armaggeddon, three men must made one eternal choice: This movie will make you think about your own life choices. Ironically, the never-married Annie doesn't always follow her own advice.

Media mogul Terrance Bishop invites A young man finds himself torn between his current girlfriend and an old flame at a funeral of friend where lifestyles and attitudes clash over a long weekend in this faith-based dramedy. College philosophy professor Mr.

Radisson's curriculum is challenged by his new student, Josh, who believes God exists. Amidst foreboding lighting and tremors, a traveling salesman with a dark past must fight demons, both his own and a murderous biker gang, in his quest to complete his last sale and go home. When the life of mega film star, Michael Steele Travis , is destroyed right before the most important day of his life, his faith is put to the ultimate test. When it comes to movies that express Christian beliefs and values,you are not going to get the Hollywood heavyweights.

There is no one named Depp,Hanks,or Penn. They wouldn't be caught dead anywhere near anything like this. About as good as you are going to get are a country music singer and a few former sitcom actors. With The Wager,it's not about great performances from the actors. As long as they don't just stand around and look like they are reading from cue cards and are giving their best effort,I am satisfied with that.

It's not about dazzling special effects. It's about the message,and it is presented well. Visit Prime Video to explore more titles. Find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, track your Watchlist and rate your favorite movies and TV shows on your phone or tablet! Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends.

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See, here's how it works: There's still a soul in balance, but the devil only gets it if Don Giovanni fails - oh, and the mortal loses the magical money-granting purse that tempted him into this deal in the first place. This raises all sorts of questions.

Does it count if someone else bathes him? What about getting caught out in the rain - even if he knew the rain was coming and waited for it? This book could have so easily been moralizing and annoying and everything mature readers get annoyed by, but it was not. The most important thing, I think, is that even from the beginning when he is still wealthy and immature, Don Giovanni is likable enough. This is vital, though, because if he had been absurdly horrid the reader might not have pitied him in his misfortune.

If he had mistreated his servants, been absurdly lecherous, or displayed any other major flaws but pride, he couldn't have been a hero. But right after the tsunami that ruined his life, he goes down into the streets of Messina to help with the wounded. He isn't a cad - just a young, privileged man who doesn't understand the world as well as he might. And even when he becomes a beggar, he notices the beauty of the world and he comes to appreciate the simple life.

There is goodness in him, and that is what made the book. This is, after all, a fairy tale; it has to end happily, and that means that for the ending to be satisfying, the protagonist has to be sympathetic. Speaking of fairy tales, there was one 'twist' that won't be much of one to anyone with a passing familiarity with archetypes and such, but it's still sweet. Now that all that character stuff is out of the way, here is why this book got five stars. And believe me, I didn't want to give them; I've been trying to trim my average rating and so this book had to pry each and every star from my clenched, miserly hands.

It did that by making me think about something that I take for granted. Now, maybe this is a product of the situation I've grown up in, which has been a fortunate one, but I don't put much thought into cleanliness as a privilege, nor into the power it has in a social context. When you don't have to worry that much about being clean and well-groomed, you don't consider the alternative - unless you're Donna Jo Napoli, apparently, who's put a great deal of thought into both the physical and social repercussions of being absolutely filthy. Even though Don Giovanni has unlimited funds, it doesn't make life very easy for him - he doesn't run afoul of any "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service" signs, but it becomes abundantly clear that money is not the only thing necessary to function in society.

It's an interesting contrast, actually - something we rarely think about set next to something we spend far too much time thinking about. Cleanliness is an instinct, as anyone who's ever watched an animal groom themselves knows, but it is also part of human culture. There was a time when I was hearing about this book literally once a month, and I thought there was no way it would live up to that sort of praise.

Well, I was wrong. It really is that good. View all 3 comments. Mar 25, Sesana rated it it was ok Shelves: Don Giovanni de la Fortuna is an Italian story about a man who makes a deal with the devil. If he refrains from cleaning himself for three years, three months, and three days, he can keep a magical purse that will give him all the money he could ever want. If he breaks the no washing rule, his soul is forfeit. Donna Jo Napoli has written a pretty straight forward interpretation set in late 12th century Sicily. Which is, if I may rant a bit, not ancient.

The term you're looking for, dear blurb w Don Giovanni de la Fortuna is an Italian story about a man who makes a deal with the devil. The term you're looking for, dear blurb writer, is medieval. High Middle Ages, to be exact. So, what did Napoli do right? Let's start with Giovanni himself. He starts the book as a selfish and thoughtless young man, but he really isn't a bad person.

It's obvious nearly right away that there's a good heart in there, even if he is a bit selfish, something of a libertine, and dumb as a box of hair when it comes to money. If he'd started as a bad person, I couldn't have felt sorry for everything he went through, or been so happy when he beats the devil. I also have to commend Napoli for not shying away from the grim details of what happens when somebody doesn't clean himself at all for years.

There's a common, mistaken impression that people in Ye Olden Days didn't wash, but the general reaction to Giovanni by ordinary people will quickly dispell that notion. Why only two stars? Well, part of that is because this is a very straight forward retelling. If you read the version I linked to, you have essentially read this book. That's not as bad as it would be in a much more well-known story, of course.

The other thing is that, well, Napoli and I are not meant to be. I've read a few of her books over the years, and there's something about her writing style that keeps her work from really clicking with me. I'm not saying she's a bad writer. I think she's a very good one, and I love that she puts a lot of care into writing these books.

She's just not the writer for me. Jun 18, Margo Tanenbaum rated it really liked it Shelves: The story of The Wager is likely to be less familiar to most readers than those named above. Don Giovanni, a young Sicilian nobleman, seems to have it all. He's the most handsome young man in the town and well-known for his skill as a lover , he's well-educated, having been groomed to one day be an advisor to the king, and he's rich.

But when an earthquake and tsunami caused by the eruption of Mount Etna destroy not only the city of Messina but all Don Giovanni's wealth, he is reduced to stealing and begging on the streets. When a stranger offers him a magic purse that will produce an infinite number of gold coins, Don Giovanni realizes it must be the devil in disguise. But the devil doesn't want his soul; instead he demands the youth's beauty. For three years, three months, and three days, Don Giovanni must not wash, change clothes, shave, or comb his hair.

If he does, he will forfeit his soul. Of course, Don Giovanni accepts the wager. We 21st century Americans are so obsessed with being clean and free of body odors that I never gave much thought to what would happen if a person didn't wash for an extremely long time. Of course we all know the person would be dirty and smell bad. But I never thought about the other problems that Napoli describes in gruesome detail, such as sores which fill with pus, boils, and insects which work their way inside and on top of his body. As time passes, no human will come near him as he wanders around different regions of Sicily; only his faithful dog, a stray who attaches himself to Don Giovanni on the road, remains loyal.

Giovanni is unable to tell anyone why he refuses to change clothes or bathe, and people think he is mad. But in Palermo, he uses his magic purse to buy a palazzo, where he is able to pay to hire servants to tend to his needs although they don't come too close. Soon he opens his house to all the needy of the area, and even the king hears of his largesse. King William seeks Giovanni's help to build a new cathedral--Monreale an actual cathedral and one of the great monuments of Sicily, whose construction began around this time.

In gratitude, the king offers Giovanni the hand of his sister. Can Giovanni beat the devil at his own game--and win the wager, allowing him to wed when his sentence is up While the story is not historical fiction in the strict sense, I would call it "historical fantasy,"; although there are supernatural elements in the story, the author has also set it in a very specific time and place Sicily in , and filled the tale with the kind of attention to historical detail that we would expect to find in well-written historical fiction.

This book delves into many themes we find in folklore, such as the true meaning and importance of beauty, and whether money really leads to happiness. In many ways this folktale echoes some of the themes of Beauty and the Beast in the transformation of the main character; here, as Giovanni becomes more and more sub-human, through his filth and stench, he becomes more and more human in his compassion, charity, and love for others.

In the beginning of the novel, Giovanni is not a very sympathetic character; but as he becomes more and more physically repulsive, to himself and others, the reader is drawn into his story and can't help but empathize with Giovanni's loneliness and hunger for human contact. One aspect of this novel that I found particularly enjoyable was the manner in which Napoli captures in words the many flavors of Sicily, in all its multicultural splendor, including mouth-watering descriptions of the international Sicilian cuisine, the cacophony of languages, the different religions--Muslim, Christian, and Jewish, and even the landscapes.

While we're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, I'd like to draw attention to the dramatic red and black design of the cover; it's a great fit for the dark nature of this story. Sep 20, Krista the Krazy Kataloguer rated it it was amazing Shelves: I just loved this story, set in 12th century Sicily, and based on a Sicilian folktale which I vaguely recall having read somewhere.


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Don Giovanni is a wealthy young man who has everything--until Mt. Etna erupts, causing a tsunami that wipes out the city of Messina and the loss of all his possessions to looters. He wanders Sicily, looking for work, until one evening he encounters the devil, who offers him a wager: How can he refuse?

But will he be able to keep the wager? What I liked best about the story is that, as he tries to survive despite his increasingly ugly and odorous appearance, Don Giovanni learns about people and about himself, and becomes a better person for it. He even sets an example for others. You are what you do, not what you look or smell like. The story has a twist at the end, which I thought I'd guessed but I didn't. It was another book that I just couldn't put down, because I couldn't wait to see whether he could resist cleaning himself for that long. I also loved the descriptions of the Sicilian countryside, the foods of the various cultures on the island, and the cultures themselves.

Great story, and highly recommended!

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Now I've got to find that folktale Aug 11, Angela rated it liked it. When I finished this, I wasn't quite sure what to think. I knew I liked it, but couldn't quite articulate it. And it wasn't that I was so in love with the story that I was left wordless. I think I've finally figured out what I liked about this story: Everything about this book is a slow build.

When we first meet Don Giovanni, he's totally unsympathetic - an overgrown boy with too much money to spend and an insufferable braggart about his skills in bed. And then a tsunami wipes out his home town and reduces Don Giovanni to begging. And then the Devil appears with his wager - do not bathe or even change clothes for three years, three months and three days. In return, Don Giovanni gets a purse that will give him any ammount of money he desires.

His hygiene and pride are the only things he must sacrifice - unless he loses the wager, for then the Devil gets his soul. Napoli's descriptions of Giovanni's descent into filth are absolutely disgusting - and I mean that in a complimentary way! Don't read this while eating - you really don't want your meal interrupted by descriptions of pustules and sores and the company of flies. Blech, I'm grossing myself out again just thinking about it. It's not an action packed story, but as Giovanni gets closer and closer to winning the wager, I was getting more and more tense.

Would he make it? Would he make it without going absolutely insane? And if he did make it, would his experience truly change him for the better? For that's how Don Giovanni grew on me - as he was forced to slip further and further away from humanity by his filth, he actually became more humane, using his endless wealth to help others who were indigent in a way he had never even considered before entering the bet.

Aug 29, Liaken rated it it was ok Shelves: If you are not familiar with this particular tale in its many forms, this review contains what could be considered spoilers. The tale of the man who makes a deal with the devil: Endless wealth in return for never washing himself or his clothes for years. The man gets very dirty. Then he gets dirtier. And sick in yucky ways. And finally, he makes it through and has a very fast happily ever after.

This book has some serious disconnect between the reader and the main character. It seemed Quick note: It seemed like the book was being written as a fable or fairy tale, as in "there once was a man who So, it just went on and on with this man who There were moments that were interesting or insightful, but I couldn't connect with the main character and what he was going through. It always felt distant. The ending was ridiculously fast. After dragging out the last days of his filth, the author zips through his restoration to being a clean, acceptable human being in just a matter of sentences.

A few paragraphs later, he is married and happy and the book is over. So, the reader wades through endless yuck for a quick "all better" at the end. Lots of historical details, some of which are interesting, some of which are tedious, and some of which are unsavory. Oh, and if you're looking for a book that gets very descriptive about what kinds of things the human body does when it is unwashed for too long, this is the book for you.

View all 4 comments. Oct 01, Mina Quigley rated it it was amazing. I was hesitant to read this novel due to its intimidating cover sorry, unfortunately I am one of those people , but when I began to read its pages the story came to life. Mystery, hidden meanings, and heartbreaking actions lurk throughout Don Giovanni's tale from rich nobleman to poor beggar.

A few things I think the Author did well was her use of detail and symbolism, there was only one thing that I did not like about the overall book and its that the Author didn't carry on with the original en I was hesitant to read this novel due to its intimidating cover sorry, unfortunately I am one of those people , but when I began to read its pages the story came to life. A few things I think the Author did well was her use of detail and symbolism, there was only one thing that I did not like about the overall book and its that the Author didn't carry on with the original ending; She describes her thoughts on the idea in her acknowledgements.

I think the bigger picture would have made more sense if she did so.

Overall I enjoyed this unimaginable, unpredictable tale and I find myself wanting to read it again, its intriguing depths still wander in my brain. You'll find yourself questioning whether you're living the right life and what exactly is making it the way it is. This is a read you will not regret, if you dare to endure it. Oct 30, Cora Crotteau rated it it was amazing. I really enjoyed the story and how it was told. Apr 27, Sandy rated it it was amazing Shelves: As I read this book, I thought it had the makings of a fairytale and then in the notes in the reader at the back of the book, I found that it is an old Sicilian fairytale that the author put her spin on.

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I will tell this tale often as it is with so many fairytales, there is a deeper meaning within its grasp if you truly want to look for it. I picked up The Wager at the library because the cover surprised me. I loved the wickedness of the red and black contrasting colors, the pictures portrayed o As I read this book, I thought it had the makings of a fairytale and then in the notes in the reader at the back of the book, I found that it is an old Sicilian fairytale that the author put her spin on.

I loved the wickedness of the red and black contrasting colors, the pictures portrayed on the front and the font showcasing the title. When a tidal wave swept the village away that surrounded him, Don helped the villagers as others purged out his wealth from his castle on the hilltop. Alone, neither servants nor family, no money to fall back on, Don was just like all the other villagers and he like everyone else had to find a way to survive.

Don Diovanni, a man once admired was left on the streets trying to rebuild his life. No sleep for me as I watched Don try to uphold is clean image living among the others on the street. They laughed at him, how he could be the famous Don, the man with all the money living among them, eating day-old bread and scrounging among the trees and bushes for berries.

This novel was remarkable and I knew my evening was inside this book when Don met a distinguished gentleman and what he offered Don, would push him to his limits. This was no gentleman, for what he offered him was a gamble, a risk, a bet that only the Devil himself thought he could win at and he had set it before Don, hoping Don would crumble at his feet. Don could not take his sad pathetic life anymore so he took The Wager from the Devil, the deal was made.

No washing, no shaving, no changing of his clothes, no change to his beauty for 3 years, 3 months and 3 days.


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  4. I could not tear myself away from this novel, what a terrific story. As Don walks among the villages, now looking sometimes worse than the beggars, my image of him was disgusting, not bathing or washing his clothes for days or months, he had to look and smell awful. His sores, the lice, his breath and hair, his fear of losing but yet he continued on looking forward to the day he would get his wealth back and what exactly he would do on that day.

    This is definitely a keeper! Nov 06, Mara rated it it was ok Shelves: The Wager is based off of an old Sicilian fairy tale, so you can assume that Don Giovanni actually does make a bargain with the devil. It has been a long time since I've read one of Donna Jo Napoli's books. I remember most of her stories with fondness and a little frustration toward her characters. Don Giovanni is aggravating, but The Wager is one of those tales where you don't particularly care for any of the characters exc The Wager is based off of an old Sicilian fairy tale, so you can assume that Don Giovanni actually does make a bargain with the devil.

    Don Giovanni is aggravating, but The Wager is one of those tales where you don't particularly care for any of the characters except Cani, his dog. You read it out of curiosity, and you finish it out of curiosity. I didn't care what happened to Don Giovanni, I didn't particularly feel sorry for him, and I didn't dislike him, either.

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    It was very difficult, for some reason, to attach to Don Giovanni in any manner. Which may partially by why this is a book that is difficult to get through. But it isn't the only reason. The Wager is not a book you should read while you are eating a meal, or if your stomach is empty. The whole premise of the story is how Don Giovanni copes with not bathing, changing his clothes, or combing his hair for three years, three months, and three days. Donna Jo Napoli likes detail, and when a story's premise is about someone who doesn't bathe for that long, you can imagine where her detail focuses.

    The resulting effect on a person's physical health when they don't wash. It would turn anyone's stomach. On top of that, the devil finds various ways to make Don Giovanni's filth increase, and there is a particular incident that is really disgusting.

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    I had to stop reading because my stomach was so hungry, and it was turning to a degree that threatened to make me physically sick. That, unfortunately, isn't the only content. Don Giovanni loves women, and everyone seems to give themselves freely to him. While there are no actual sexual scenes, there is lots of alluding to past relationships, as well as pleasant feelings compared to physical, intimate contact with a woman. Most of this is in the beginning of the book, and it isn't terribly explicit, but it is worth noting.

    The Wager was an interesting story, but I don't think I'll buy it, and I certainly won't read it again. Definitely not for weak stomachs. Aug 24, Amanda rated it liked it. The Wager is a retelling of an old Sicilian fairytale. Unlike the Disney retellings, but closer to the original tales, The Wager is more of a dark tale and is filled with graphic depiction of the disgusting reality of being unwashed for three years.

    My mother asked me "Why would you want to read about that? So I thought about why I picked this one up. I love reading about the dark, unpleasant and wrong, the despicable, vile and disgusting. In recent review I said I sometimes root for the villain. A book with the tagline "never make a deal with the devil" let's just say I was enticed.

    This book did not disappoint. There were times when it became so graphic and disgusting that my stomach churned. I was filled with pity for Don Giovanni, but also pride as I watched him become humble after being humiliated. It was a story where the character experienced immense change as time passed with the wager. Don Giovanni went from being a stuck up, rude and ungrateful man, to the most down-to-earth, charitable and shameful man. The transformation was remarkable.