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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every book has a soul....
Translated from Spanish by Lucia Graves.

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 -...
Published on Aug. 5 2009 by Luanne Ollivier

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Dark, Mysterious & Gothic but Confusing
Reason for Reading: I had heard great things about Zafon's first book and the mysterious plot of this one intrigued me. It has taken me a long time to get around to reading it though as the book was so heavily reviewed at the time of its publication I kind of got tired of hearing about it and lost my desire to read it, however the time was now right for me.

Not...
Published on Aug. 4 2011 by Nicola Manning-Mansfield


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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every book has a soul...., Aug. 5 2009
By 
Luanne Ollivier - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Angel's Game (Hardcover)
Translated from Spanish by Lucia Graves.

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. The soul of the person who wrote it and the soul of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down it's pages, it's spirit grows and strengthens. In this place, books no longer remembered by anyone, books that are lost in time, live forever, waiting for the day when they will reach a new readers hands, a new spirit..."

The ending is another one that I think will gender discussion. It is definitive, but may not necessarily be the one you saw coming.

Although Angel's Game and Shadow have connections, it is not necessary to have read Shadow to enjoy this new book. There are four books planned around The Cemetary of Lost Books - each able to be read as a 'stand alone.'
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING, July 27 2009
By 
A. Jacobson "AJ" (Ontario) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Angel's Game (Hardcover)
one word for this book- AMAZING... I was reading for three days without closing the book once.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, compelling story, had to put down, June 6 2010
By 
This review is from: The Angel's Game (Paperback)
Carlos Ruiz Zafon's 'The Angel's Game' came into my possession a few days ago when I was desperate to read "something" of the non-fiction selection in my local book store. It took me a while combing the shelves and finally my eyes fell upon his book. Love the cover, rich creamy pages, and bought it without hesitation. Opened it up and started to read it. I could not put it down. Set in Barcelona, with a rich flowing narrative, we get to know, and understand the complex characters like the hero, David Martin, a struggling writer to signs up for a deal he couldn't refuse, and ends up with more than he bargained for. Witty, well-written, and mysterious, the book does not fail to deliver.
A description of the book can be found on the author's website [...].
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4.0 out of 5 stars Carlos Ruiz Zafon : The Angel's Game., Aug. 5 2013
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This review is from: The Angel's Game (Paperback)
I have read The Shadow of the Wind by Ruiz Zafon and I liked that important novel very much. When I started reading The Angel's Game, at the beginning I had the feeling that this novel is also expansive, wise, and would become a classic. The character of Isabella is unforgettable, and the final redemption of the 'would-be' writer Vidal is deeply felt. However, in about the middle the book became messy. There are too many characters, too much betrayal, and the impression that if everyone is bad, then it doesn't matter who is who. A great novel slips into a detective thriller.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars couldnt be happier, March 27 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Angel's Game (Paperback)
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 !!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read., Jan. 14 2013
By 
G. Holland (Vancouver Island B.C.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Angel's Game (Paperback)
Love the style, love the era, love Barcelona.
Follows from the first book, some of the same charcaters, some new ones.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just as awesome as its predecessor, July 27 2012
By 
G. Larouche (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Angel's Game (Hardcover)
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 "Cemetery of Forgotten Books" series. Both novels are stand alones, so don't need to have read its predecessor before you tackle with gorgeous Neo-Gothic novel.

Set in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War, "The Angel's Game" follows a young aspiring writer, David Martin, who after making a living writing penny dreadfuls, gets an enticing offer from a mysterious stranger: he must write a book that will change the world... But his love for the beautiful Cristina grows into an obsession that will torment him within an inch of his sanity, while bodies pile up and ominous characters cross his path. Eventually, you start wondering if everything that Martin sees is really happening, or has he gone mad and sold his soul?

This novel is a masterful love letter to Barcelona and a stunning homage to noir fiction: blood, money, books, love, insanity and dark strangers are elements that Zafon plays with to make you loose yourself in a story within a story. The writing flows beautifully: you can almost watch the movie of the book happening right in front of your eyes as you compulsively turn page after page to find out what happens next.

If you liked "Shadow of the Wind", this will not disappoint. Highly recommended to fans of dark, Gothic books, and any book lover who wishes to walk the aisles of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book rocks!, Sept. 20 2009
By 
NorthVan Dave (BC, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Angel's Game (Hardcover)
If you're looking for a quick review, then just read this: I LOVED THIS BOOK!

If you're looking for a little bit more of an explanation, then read on.

I was/am a great fan of Carlos Zafon's novel The Shadow of the Wind. And the items that made The Shadow of the Wind book such an awesome read - suspense, romance, action, great character development - are all present here too.

In short, this book is about novelist David Martin. As he goes about his business of writing he becomes befriended by a mysterious French publisher. The publisher asks Martin to write a special novel and from there, the book takes on many different twists and turns. I'll refrain from writing any more as I don't want to give away too much of the plot. However know this. Give this book a read. You won't be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Angel's Game, Aug. 30 2011
By 
Dr Eric A Saibil (North York, Ontario, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Angel's Game (Paperback)
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 off the page and make you desperate to find out how the relationships play out. Buy it and buy his other masterpiece, Shadow of the Wind.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Dark, Mysterious & Gothic but Confusing, Aug. 4 2011
By 
Nicola Manning-Mansfield (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: The Angel's Game (Paperback)
Reason for Reading: I had heard great things about Zafon's first book and the mysterious plot of this one intrigued me. It has taken me a long time to get around to reading it though as the book was so heavily reviewed at the time of its publication I kind of got tired of hearing about it and lost my desire to read it, however the time was now right for me.

Not having read 'The Shadow of the Wind', I cannot compare the two books. Many others say that the first is much better. This is a very intriguing story; dark, mysterious and Gothic in all the perfect ways: an old creepy house with a tower, a gruesome death from the past, an unrequited love story, a mysterious man in dark, expensive suits and a perpetual atmosphere of gloom. I really enjoyed the story, though I found it slow-going. The pace meandered along and while things became strange and spooky, they never reached intensity for me. It was not a page turner. The magical realism elements added quite an entirely new perspective to a story which could have been written straight without the supernatural involvement for a tale of mystery and madness. I did enjoy the book but I'm afraid I never did really 'get' the meaning of the plot, the overall theme. I thought I had it all figured out quite early, that this was the story of a man who had sold his soul to the devil, and part of me still believes that but by the ending I felt that had been disproved and it left me unsatisfied. It could also be the story of a man's descent into madness but again the ending can disprove that theory too. The ending blew my general grasp of the story out of the water and I finished up with a big 'huh?' and a question mark hanging over my head as to what it all meant. But then the whole story is told by an unreliable narrator and the ending leaves one wondering what, if anything, was the reality. A very strange story but I can say I'm glad I read it. I will read the author again; I just won't expect the ending to answer any questions.
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The Angel's Game
The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Paperback - May 18 2010)
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