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The Angel's Game [Paperback]

Carlos Ruiz Zafon
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (253 customer reviews)

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Book Description

8 Oct 2009

In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man - David Martin - 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 city's underworld. But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house 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.

Then David receives the offer of a lifetime: he is to write a book with the power to change hearts and minds. In return, he will receive a fortune, perhaps more. But as David begins the work, he realises that there is a connection between this haunting book and the shadows that surround his home...



Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix (8 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753826445
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753826447
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (253 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 188,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carlos Ruiz Zafón is the author of six novels, including the international phenomenon The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game, the first two books in a series of novels set in literary universe of The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. His work has been published in more than forty different languages, and honored with numerous international awards. He divides his time between Barcelona, Spain, and Los Angeles, California.

Product Description

Review

The Angel's Game weaves the conventions of Wilkie Collins and Dickens into something original and surprisingly moving. (Stephanie Merritt OBSERVER)

'Beyond plentiful shocks and thrills, Zafon niftily treads the fine line between a story of paranormal events and one of psychological delusion.' (Boyd Tonkin INDEPENDENT)

This is a gothic, page-turning, supernatural thriller...there is plenty here to keep Zafon fans happy. (PRESS ASSOCIATION) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

The stunning new novel from the author of THE SHADOW OF THE WIND.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
86 of 89 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book about books 6 Sep 2009
By D. Elliott TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Once more author Carlos Ruiz Zafon has produced a magically brilliant book about books with `The Angel's Game' being a supernatural saga, an action-packed thriller, a detective novel and a love story. - and perhaps even a philosophical or religious treatise. It tells a dark and gripping tale with narrative moving at a cracking pace and introducing something new on almost every page. Though a stand-alone novel `The Angel's Game' (about writers) follows from Zafon's first book `The Shadow Of The Wind' (about readers), but for me it is not quite as good. This is partly because, in spite of its compelling nature, it reads as though at least two translators were employed with varied language that is generally elegant and stylish yet sometimes colloquial and abrupt. However the main drawback is the book's proliferation of sub-plots (of which some are left unexplained) and their complicated inter-relations. This complexity undermines any possible plausible solution and for me it leaves the ending somewhat weak. I suspect author Zafon is deliberately provoking readers to use their imaginations and to arrive at their own conclusions. I discussed this with my wife and we had both interpreted things differently - so read it yourself - you won't be disappointed.
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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerising 10 Mar 2010
Format:Hardcover
Having recently read Shadow of the Wind I was hungry for more. I was overjoyed to find The Angels Game. There are plots within plots, within plots that leave you dizzy. The story is a dark, Gothic and supernatural thriller that unfolds within the grotesque architecture of old Barcelona, worthy of the surrealism of Mervyn Peake.
I found it difficult to put down and the characters even invaded my dreams. It is laced with nightmare scenarios and impossible situations.
I loved and loathed the hero at different times but wanted him to win against all the odds. Zafon's characters leap off the page and the humour is sharp and often crops up when you least expect it.
The ending left many unanswered questions hanging in the air but was none the less satisfying. Zafon has two more books he is writing in this series. I personally feel that he will revisit the open ends in this book later on and bring them to a satisfactory conclusion; I certainly hope so and look forward to them.
Read, open your mind and let your imagine roam the dark and mysterious world of The Angels Game. You will not be disappointed.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Superb writing but horribly unfulfilling. 15 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback
Cor, I'm mad. I feel like writing to the author or publisher, not only for my money back, but for the 3 hours I spent, obsessively reading the last half of this book (unwashed children, hungry cats, unanswered phone) only to find that nothing is answered.

From the moment I started to read The Angel's Game, I realised that we were in the hands of a master - I have since discovered that it is a translation and enormous kudos must go to the translator - from a nuts and bolts writing point of view, this is superb.

However - the plot twists and turns, frequently making one unable to suspend disbelief and ending in a woolly, completely unsatisfactory manner. Perhaps the author and publisher felt that the fame Zafor realized for his earlier book (which I have not read) excused sloppy and ill-conceived structure?

I'm afraid to say that The Angel's Game is a meandering story that whilst both gripping and visually fascinating will leave most readers at the end, gritting their teeth with irritation and feeling both confused and short-changed.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm going to have to read this again. 16 Nov 2009
Format:Hardcover
Shadow of the wind is now one of my favourite books so when I saw 'The Angel's Game' in a Granada book shop last year I couldn't wait for the English translation to come out. The Angel's Game drew me in intially, although I was disappointed with the lack of interesting characters - it lacks a Fermin-, but half way through I felt let down. It was almost as if the author had lost interest in his own story and was struggling to keep it going.
I shall have to read this again to see if I 'lost the plot' but it definitely disappointed after 'Shadow of the Wind'.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What the heck actually happened? 17 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I can't decide, am I: a) thick b) being shown it's a mistake to read 'out of my genre' or c) at the mercy of a monstrously talented writer who has - literally - lost the plot(s)?!

As an hispanophile author I was drawn to this novel about writing novels, set in Barcelona; although supernatural happenings and body counts aren't my thing, I thought I'd cope. But I soon found myself saying 'yeah, yeah' every time something spooky happened or we were going down yet another over-described gloomy street or corridor 'knowing we were not alone'. Near the end of the novel we were doing practically nothing else, and I became increasingly confused as to who had done what. But I hung on in there as I cared about the characters and had a naive trust that all would be revealed. It wasn't - or not to me anyway.

It's maddening, there's an amazing story in here, some beautiful writing, interesting ideas. It amused me and moved me. Like all good novels, it's stayed with me and I'm not yet ready to start another. But for heavens' sake, what the heck actually happened?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A maelstrom of murderous twists 4 May 2010
Format:Paperback
If ever a book left me feeling I could never make it as an author then Carlos Ruiz Zafón's The Angel's Game is it. Set in pre-civil war Barcelona Zafón's tale of intrigue and murder twists and turns at relentless speed.

The Angel's Game features writer David Martìn, son of a drunken father and a disinterested, absent mother. Martìn is thrown into the somewhat seedy realm of journalism after his father is murdered in the street and the young David is taken under the wing of Señor Vidal, one of the city's wealthy sons. Taking pity on the lad Vidal finds David a job at the offices of a newspaper he has connections with, and quickly becomes David's mentor, friend and benefactor.

As David Martìn moves up, down and sideways through the world of writing his own life becomes as strange as the penny dreadfuls he pens. Taking up residence in the mysterious, derelict Tower House the young author writes day and night until he can barely breathe. He rarely eats, he never sleeps. His volatile existence is fuelled by cigarettes, coffee and alcohol.

Even with the constants of Vidal's support and friendship, the all-seeing eye of bookseller Señor Sempere and the unrequited love of the beautiful and unobtainable Cristina, a barrage of events dart at Martìn from every direction. Violence hangs around every corner. Ghosts from the past come unbidden into the here and now. The Tower House reveals itself. We are left in no doubt that all is not as it seems.

David Martìn's Barcelona is a surreal place of twisting alleys and sprawling mansions, steamy docklands and towering mountains.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
Much easier to follow than Shadow of the Winds. Strong characters, with unexpected twists. Will go back and read Shadow again now before moving on to the third part of the trilogy. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dr. A. Rogers
3.0 out of 5 stars Not in the same league as 'Shadow of the Wind'.
Having read Shadow of the wind by the same author I was a little disappointed by this book which drags along rather tediously unlike its startlingly imaginative and thrilling... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Maurellius
4.0 out of 5 stars Great author
Carlos Ruiz Zafon is a great writer, and I bought this book after reading 'The Shadow Of The Wind'. I can recommend both!
Published 1 month ago by L.BobbyG.-S.
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read
A book that keeps you gripped from beginning to end.
It has everything. Full of romance and a thriller that keeps you riveted till the last page.
Published 1 month ago by Gillyanne
4.0 out of 5 stars A hint of magic
Having read The Shadow of the Wind (TSOW) prior to Angel 's Game, my expectation was cautious due to how much I loved it's predecessor (or sequel- depending on how you look at it),... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Will
1.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating!
I loved Shadow of the Wind, but this book is so boring and very frustrating could not wait to get to the end.
Published 2 months ago by Carol
4.0 out of 5 stars CRZ is a genius!
This is an excellent follow-up to Shadow of the Wind, continuing the mysterious happenings in a bygone Barcelona. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Janice Dalgarno
5.0 out of 5 stars DESERVES 6 STARS
By nothing less than artistic sleight of hand, Zafon succeeds in transporting the reader into a completely believable twilight world where everything is possible. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Dr. Adeleke Oshunniyi
4.0 out of 5 stars The Kindle read
Far easier for me to read through kindle even though I've always loved paper books. The writing is very much in the style of his other books I've read
Published 3 months ago by Stephen J Miles
2.0 out of 5 stars Gothic parody
Really loved Shadow of the Wind so this was disappointing. Read like a parody of a gothic novel. So many dream sequences I just skipped through. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Paul F
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