Miranda Miller

Loving Mephistopeles

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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. For ever. Leo has lived through thousands of years in numerous incarnations. As he gleefully exploits what twentieth 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 sixty 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 twentieth-century Europe and beyond, Miranda Miller's ingenious take on the Faust story is by turns humorous, erotic and terrifying.
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433 printed pages
Original publication
2014

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