The whole of Barcelona stretched out at my feet and I wanted to believe that, when I opened those windows, its streets would whisper stories to me, secrets I could capture on paper and narrate to whomever cared to listen . . .
In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martín, makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he has taken refuge in the world of books and spends his nights spinning baroque tales about the citys underworld. But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house lie photographs and letters hinting at the mysterious death of the previous owner.
Like a slow poison, the history of the place seeps into his bones as he struggles with an impossible love. Close to despair, David receives a letter from a reclusive French editor, Andreas Corelli, who makes him the offer of a lifetime. He is to write a book unlike anything that has ever existeda book with the power to change hearts and minds. In return, he will receive a fortune, and perhaps more. But as David begins the work, he realizes that there is a connection between his haunting book and the shadows that surround his home.
Once again, Zafón takes us into a dark, gothic universe first seen in the Shadow of the Wind and creates a breathtaking adventure of intrigue, romance, and tragedy. Through a dizzingly constructed labyrinth of secrets, the magic of books, passion, and friendship blend into a masterful story.
For readers who loved The Shadow of the Wind, The Angel's Game will not disappoint. Zafón delves into philosophy, questions of good and evil, the purposes of literature and the personal tragedies that underlie society's troubles. The novel is a page turner that also addresses the issues of the world with intelligence, wonder and even humor. Who can resist a book about books, writing, love and danger? (Reviewed by BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers).
The Los Angeles Times - Nick Owchar The Angel's Game is a strange creature, a literary centaur in which a meditation on the craft of writing is combined with a thriller about David Martín, a master of pulp and Grand Guignol.
Narnes and Noble Reviews
Readers who appreciate books, romance, and intrigue will find this novel a subtle, unforgettable, and satisfying page-turner.
USA Today - Carol Memmott
Like Shadow of the Wind, Zafon's latest novel is a masterfully written love affair with books and words as well as an obsessive tribute to passionate love.
A nice fit with the current craze for learned mysteries and for spooks of both the spying and the spectral kind.
Starred Review. Fans of Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind and new readers alike will be delighted with this gothic semiprequel.
Sunday Times - Hugo Barnacle
The subtext is sly but obvious: the true Faustian bargain is Zafon’s own. He wanted to write authentic masterpieces or, failing that, good honest thrillers; instead, he sold his soul to produce meretricious and slightly pernicious million-selling middlebrow tosh such as this.
The Telegraph - Mark Sanderson
Pseudo-profound statements clog many conversations ... and the endless literary references – 'Don’t pull a Jane Eyre on me, Señor Sempere’ – become irritating. It’s as if Zafón is trying to be Dan Brown for those who have read something other than tabloids. The disappointing result is just a bloated beach-read about hassles in Spain.
The Financial Times - Zoë Slutzky
At times the candlelight and creaking hinges come on too strong, and as the novel nears its end, it spirals into Grand Guignol. But its faith in the power of fiction is endearing, and addictive.
The Guardian - Giles Tremlett
He takes us into sinful corners, indulging fantasies that are erotic, magical or violent. In the end Zafón is the tempter. Many will fall for his vigorous and exhaustingly relentless story-telling.
The Times - Margaret Reynolds
If you know your 19th-century melodrama there are pleasures in this novel, but readers with other penchants will be taken, too. There are Dan Brown puzzles and Mean Street realisms, there are quirky contemplative philosophies and — best of all — intriguing aphorisms: 'Envy is the religion of the mediocre'”; 'You end up becoming what you see in the eyes of those you love.'
Corriere Della Sera magazine (Italy)
The Dickens of Barcelona ... Every line has the flavor and explosive power of gunpowder, blood, ghosts and curses.
Literarische Welt (Germany)
Just as he did in The Shadow of the Wind, Zafón leads the reader, in this hybrid of romance and tragedy, to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, through a labyrinth of love and passion, of deception and intrigue. And once more the language, as grandiloquent as it is beautiful, creates a magic spell that's almost impossible to break.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by William Creepy thriller - No Sophomore Jinx Although there are plenty of holes in the plot, loose ends not tied up, I enjoyed this second effort of Zafon's. The narrative is surprisingly compelling, the author kept me turning the pages, There are enough scenes in dark towers, cemeteries... Read More
Rated of 5
by Jim He's Done It Again!!! How does he do it? Another masterpiece from Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Another brilliant homage to books and reading. Another novel rich with language, amazing characters, and fraught with mystery and adventure. If you liked The Shadow of the... Read More
Rated of 5
by Brenda The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon If you were a fan of Zafon’s first book “The Shadow of the Wind,” then pull up a comfortable chair, turn off the phone, and get the popcorn and snacks ready because you’re in for another treat. He brings us a mesmerizing Gothic tale of lost love,... Read More
Rated of 5
by Carolyn Another book not to be forgotten Although this novel includes the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, it is not a sequel to the author’s popular novel The Shadow of the Wind. It is set in Barcelona and includes many elements of a gothic horror story: old houses, hidden rooms,... Read More
Rated of 5
by Hollie Nothing lost in translation! After a friend sent me an advance copy of The Shadow of the Wind, I've been watching for Carlos Ruiz Zafon's next effort, and hooray for BookBrowse for making it available! Zafon's plot construction and writing are just as beautiful here as... Read More
Rated of 5
by Daniel The Angel's Game I know mere words cannot begin to express what I felt when reading this novel, but here it goes:
Have you ever begun to read a book and after a few pages realized that what is in your hands is a work of genius, a masterpiece or something truly... Read More
A Short History of Barcelona Barcelona, Spain's second largest city after Madrid, is the capital of the
Autonomous Community of Catalonia in the North East of Spain (map)
and a major economic center for finance, business, media, arts and international
trade. Its location on the Mediterranean coast brings it mild, humid
winters and warm, dry summers. With a population of 1.6 million it is the
eleventh most populated city in the European Union and the sixth-most populous
urban area (after Paris, London, Ruhr Area, Madrid and Milan) with almost 5
million people living in the Barcelona metropolitan area.
Legend has it that the city was founded by either the mythical Hercules, or around 250 BC by
the Carthaginian general Barcas (father of Hannibal). The
Romans fortified the town as a military camp in about 15 BC. As the
western Roman Empire collapsed, the Germanic Visigoths grew in strength and, by
the fifth century, had conquerored most of Gaul (France) and Iberia (Spain)
including Barcelona. Three centuries...
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