The Angel's Game Paperback – May 18 2010
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Fans of Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind and new readers alike will be delighted with this gothic semiprequel. In 1920s Barcelona, David Martin is born into poverty, but, aided by patron and friend Pedro Vidal, he rises to become a crime reporter and then a beloved pulp novelist. David’s creative pace is frenetic; holed up in his dream house—a decrepit mansion with a sinister history—he produces two great novels, one for Vidal to claim as his own, and one for himself. But Vidal’s book is celebrated while David’s is buried, and when Vidal marries David’s great love, David accepts a commission to write a story that leads him into danger. As he explores the past and his mysterious publisher, David becomes a suspect in a string of murders, and his race to uncover the truth is a delicious puzzle: is he beset by demons or a demon himself? Zafón’s novel is detailed and vivid, and David’s narration is charming and funny, but suspect. Villain or victim, he is the hero of and the guide to this dark labyrinth that, by masterful design, remains thrilling and bewildering. (June) -- Publishers Weekly, starred Review
Another delicious supernatural mystery from bestselling Catalan author Zafón (The Shadow of the Wind, 2005).Mix Edgar Allan Poe with Jorge Luis Borges, intellectual mysterian Arturo Pérez-Reverte, and maybe add a dash of Stephen King, and you have some of the makings of Zafón’s sensibility. Fans of his earlier book will be pleased to find themselves on patches of familiar ground, including a revisit to that wonderful conceit, the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Indeed, this is a prequel–but only of a kind: Familiar figures turn up at points, only to seem less than familiar as the narrative twists and turns. The none-too-heroic hero, David Martín, is an aspiring journalist who bucks hackwork to turn in a crowd-pleasing series for a tough boss. This leads him into an onerous contract with the usual crooked publishers and, indirectly, into a rivalry with his former mentor–all of which, naturally, entails love triangles and smoldering egos. The picture is complicated by the arrival of another curious publisher, Andreas Corelli, who offers David piles of pesetas to write, well, a book of a different sort, involving research that yields piles of corpses and occasions ample cliffhangers. Zafón has a fine talent for inserting unexpected hitches into a story line already resistant to graphing, whose outcome is definitely not seen from afar. The plot resolves in a rush, for the author finds himself with many a loose end to tie up, but once it sinks in, the result is more than satisfying. Zafón delivers a warning about the dangers of obsession, mixed with an obvious passion for literature and the printed word; his book is also a song of love for Barcelona with all its creaking floorboards and hidden subbasements.A nice fit with the current craze for learned mysteries and for spooks of both the spying and the spectral kind. -- Kirkus Reviews
Praise for The Shadow of the Wind
“One gorgeous read”—Stephen King
“Diabolically good”—Elle magazine
“Superbly entertaining”—Washington Post
“Breathtaking”—New York Times
“Magic”—New York Times Book Review
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Carlos Ruiz Zafón is the author of The Shadow of the Wind and other novels. After Cervantes, he is the most widely read Spanish author of all time. His work has been translated into more than forty languages and published around the world, gathering numerous international prizes and reaching millions of readers. He divides his time between Barcelona and Los Angeles.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I loved Zafon's breakaway bestseller novel The Shadow of the Wind and have eagerly awaited the release of The Angel's Game from Random House Canada.
David Martin is raised in poverty in Barcelona in the early 1900's. Orphaned, his love of words is what saves him. The owner of a bookstore - Sempere and Sons - also plays a significant role in his life. David lands a position at a newspaper and over the years works his way up to being a writer. He is befriended by a wealthy, older writer - Don Pedro Vidal - and begins writing successful, sensationalistic fiction under a pseudonym. When a mysterious French publisher, Corelli, offers him a small fortune to write a book that Corelli thinks will change the course of a belief system, he leaps at the chance. David moves into a small mansion that has been shuttered for years and begins to write. But Corelli is not what he seems and David's new home has secrets that threaten to consume him and those he loves.
The Angel's Game is intriguing, combining subtle supernatural elements with an actual mystery. It has a very gothic feel to it. There are many twists and turns, that change the story and keep you glued to the edge of your seat. Obsession is a theme running throughout the book - with love and language. David's love of Cristina - Vidal's wife and the written word are captured by Zafon's prose. His language is beautiful, seizing settings and bringing them to life. I could taste the dust in the bookstore.
The Cemetery of Lost Books plays a part in The Angel's Game as well. For those who haven't read The Shadow of the Wind, here's a passage that absolutely captivated me:
" This place is a mystery. A sanctuary. Every book, every volume you see, has a soul.Read more ›
A description of the book can be found on the author's website [...].
Our hero rents a long-abandoned, eerie home with a history of mystery, violence, and the supernatural. He becomes obsessed with his writing, the mystery, and the deterioration of his own health. Between the blurring lines of a bizarre reality and the dark imaginings of David we see something of a Picture of Dorian Grey or a Faustus, where someone has made a pact with the devil.Read more ›
Even the main character, David Martin, doesn't know who he is. How guilty is he?
I don't understand the two Cristinas. Why is the mature one so desperately unable to be happy, and who is the child Cristina, who is brought to Martin by Lucifer? Is she a child of human parents,or did the Devil create her to please and torture Martin for eternity?
In every work of art there should be a believable outline. Only then can we believe in the unbelievable,that is,if the feeling of normality is maintained all around. So, I must say that this novel was a disappointment considering the expectations.
Most recent customer reviews
I stumbled on The Shadow of the Wind browsing at my local Chapters bookstore. It was in the staff recommendation section, a very positive blurb from Stephen King didn't hurt... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Ben
I'm a huge fan of Zafon's books about the mysterious book store. A great translation. The suspense will keep you reading into the wee hours.Published 12 months ago by ZoeKegan
the book i received was in great condition, i love this book and im so glad i got it at such a great price thank you !!!Published on March 27 2013 by Lerna Jay
Love the style, love the era, love Barcelona.
Follows from the first book, some of the same charcaters, some new ones.
After reading "Shadow of the Wind", I knew I would ravenously read anything else Zafon would publish, and I was not disappointed in the least with the second installment of his... Read morePublished on July 27 2012 by G. Larouche
Great read. The writer repeatedly lulls you into thinking this is a mystery, but then surprises you with sensitive interpersonal stuff that make the characters' personalities leap... Read morePublished on Aug. 30 2011 by handsome
Reason for Reading: I had heard great things about Zafon's first book and the mysterious plot of this one intrigued me. Read morePublished on Aug. 4 2011 by Nicola Mansfield