The Angel’s Game
By Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
This will be published June 16, 2009
I must admit, my expectations for this book were very high. I read and absolutely adored The Shadow of the Wind the year it was released in the States and waited with baited breath for Zafón’s next book. When I saw the offer of an Advanced Reader Copy of The Angel’s Game a couple of months ago, I requested it and prayed and prayed and PRAYED that I would be picked to get it. So, when it turned up on my porch a few weeks later, my scream probably scared my neighbors, but I didn’t care.
I had Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s newest book IN MY HOT. LITTLE. HANDS.
Once I picked it up, it was hard to put down. All the hallmarks of a Carlos Ruiz Zafón novel were there. The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. The lonely, orphaned boy, struggling to make his way in the world. The gothic and the macabre. A Sempere and a son. It was marvelous to be back in Zafón’s Barcelona and with his wonderful gift of description:
“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…”
Young writer David Martín, makes his living writing pulp, sensational novels, under a pseudonym. He lives in an old, abandoned, very gothic mansion, in the heart of Barcelona. He is a survivor of a very troubled childhood – he saw his father murderer right in front of his eyes – and has now taken refuge in a world of paper, ink and words. He spends his nights spinning stories about the seedy, underbelly of Barcelona. And in his own house, in a small, spare room, lay the clues to the mysterious death of the previous owner.
The stress of intense writing, the impossible love he feels for Cristina, his friendship with his patron/father figure Don Pedro Vidal, and their eventual betrayal leaving David feeling close to despair. So when a strange, yet intriguing, publisher Andreas Corelli, makes an interesting offer, he feels he can’t refuse. All he has to do is write a book that will change the world.
“I want you to bring together all your talent and devote yourself body and soul, for one year, to working on the greatest story you have ever created: a religion.”
Doesn’t that sound just totally wicked? I love how Zafón calls The Angel’s Game the wicked, gothic stepsister. For all it’s similarities to The Shadow of the Wind, it is vastly different. Once again, he takes us into the dark recesses of the mind, playing games with our imaginations in new and exciting ways and creates a heart-stopping adventure with mystery, romance and misfortune. This dizzy tangle of secrets, books, passion and magic combine to make a un-put-down-able read that I highly recommend.
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