The Wager (Donna Jo Napoli) 2010

An old Sicilian folktale about dealing with the Devil gets a new look in this story of a wealthy young man who loses everything in the eruption of Mt. Etna in the late 12th century.  Don Giovanni is an arrogant, willful, spoiled young man who, in desperation, takes a bet offered by the Devil that he will gain back all he has lost if he will not bathe, groom, wash, or change his clothing for 3 years, 3 months, and 3 days.  As time passes and Don Giovanni’s outward appearance becomes more like that of an animal, he experiences an internal transformation and learns the value of real friendship, patience, humility, and love.  A fun re-telling of a classic.  This is a Folktale for Grownups!

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