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The Midnight Palace Hardcover – 2 Jun 2011

87 customer reviews

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Product details

Read a letter from the author and a sample chapter [PDF]
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix (2 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444001671
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444001679
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.6 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 649,197 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.

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Review

Zafon's young adult fiction was published in Spain long before he became an international sensation, and its fascinating to see, in his second book, premonitory glimpses of The Shadow of the Wind. ..Zafon makes it look so easy but he's in a class of his own. (Suzi Feay FINANCIAL TIMES)

...if you have a taste for mystery, for the supernatural, for characters of mythic strength, loyalty and heroism... then pick this book up and revel in it. (ARMADILLO)

In a tale of a secret society, a labyrinthine railway station and a shadowy figure from the past, their story and denouement has the hallmarks of the fine writing in the author's best-selling Shadow of the Wind. (CHOICE)

'this is one book that knows how to keep a reader hooked... Exotic terror tale from a master story-teller.' Four stars (FLIPSIDE MAGAZINE)

A tremendously atmospheric supernatural thriller and will particularly appeal to those who like a good ghost story told in nineteenth century style by a protagonist narrator looking back years later. (THE BOOKBAG)

It's fast-moving and never hesitates, and it quickly sketches the eight young people who inhabit its pages as quirky and likeable individuals, from the taciturn artist, Michael, to the fiery and intelligent Isobel. It's also a story about stories: tales from the past are woven into the narrative in an elegant way, with the whole book framed by the narrative of the last surviving member of the group. (THE GUARDIAN)

This dark book is not for the easily scared, but great for thrill-seekers! (WOMAN'S WAY)

Gothic in structure, the story is brimming with a sense of foreboding and insatiable evil... On every page, Calcutta, a city of dreams and lost hopes, looms large. This is an exciting and atmospheric adventure with huge appeal. (CAROUSEL)

Book Description

A mesmerising story of a secret society and a labyrinthine railway station with a dark past.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Lincs Reader TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 May 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Carlos Ruiz Zafon's adult novels; The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game are two of my all-time favourite books. I was a little disappointed by his last Young Adult novel that was published here; The Prince of The Mist, so I tried not to expect too much of The Midnight Palace.
Happily, I was not disappointed by this read at all. Set in Calcutta in the early part of the twentieth century, this is a brilliantly written mixture of adventure, magic and a little bit of horror. Probably best for older children as it contains some quite violent and gory scenes, it really is an exciting read. The setting of Calcutta is wonderful, gothic and mysterious and full of dark corners, strange old houses, corridors and ghosts. The characters are drawn so well, from the evil Jawahal who is so dark and menacing to the hero of the story Ben, the sixteen year old boy that Jawahal wants to destroy.
This is a great adventure, with ghostly trains, strange old women and brave young heroes - a great read for the young and also for the not so young!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Eugene Lafcadio VINE VOICE on 13 May 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Like many, I found Carlos Ruiz Zafon through The Shadow Of The Wind, which remains to this day my favourite piece of fiction writing. I loved The Angel's Game, and The Prince Of Mists, which although it is written for a young adult readership, is a thrilling read that any adult can, and should enjoy.

Anyway... to The Midnight Palace. One of the delights of any book by CRZ is the characterisation. The heroes and heroines become your friends very quickly, and you genuinely care what happens to them. As I say, this is a trait of Zafon, and it makes even his most convoluted plots very engaging.

Another great talent of Zafon's is to create & build great mood and atmosphere, and give a real sense of place. I feel like I "know" Calcutta from this book, despite having never been there, just as I could traverse Barcelona, as I have done many times in my mind, reading his adult books.

Something I feel gives Zafons' books a consistency is his ongoing relationship with Lucia Graves, as translator. Despite being a fluent English speaker, Zafon has used her services to give a more coloquial touch to the language of all his books so far, and retaining the true feel of his original Spanish prose. I have discussed the books with a Spanish friend, and our understanding of the texts seems very close, so much credit to Ms Graves.

I realise I haven't haven't touched on plot, and I won't, because that is a great part of the joy in reading any book, but suffice to say, readers will not be disappointed in the twists & turns of The Midnight Palace, and a rattling good read will be had. It is a page turner, and if you start in the morning, you'll be finished at bedtime, even if you take breaks for meals and the toilet!

Enjoy. Then pre-order The September Lights!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Welsh Annie TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 May 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Like so many others, I've loved Carlos Ruiz Zafon's adult books - Shadow of the Wind and Angel's Game would be in my all-time top ten. Prince of the Mist? Different target audience, but I liked it. But this one wasn't to my taste at all. As always, it's well written, well translated, atmospheric with strong characterisation - but the tale of magic, evil and mayhem with characters like the Secret Seven at its centre morphing into Deal or No Deal left me rather cold. I do think Disney would make a wonderful film out of it though. But it took me far longer to read than it should have, and didn't grip me at any stage. Just not one for me perhaps - I'm certainly not its intended audience, but I'm not sure what that was.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LMI on 18 July 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have to say that I was a bit disapointed in this book. I was so looking forward to reading it and saved it to read when on holiday. My expectations were high as I loved In The Shadow of the Wind and the Angels Game. I didn't find myself drawn to any of the characters like I did in the others. It wasn't a bad book by any means, but to me it didn't follow suit with the other 2 books. Overall an interesting read, and a very easy read I found and finished it in about 3 days.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Moonless VINE VOICE on 16 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was looking forward to reading this as I had thoroughly enjoyed Zafon's magical 'The Shadow of the Wind'. Although it is a children's book, the genre is very similar and the style and level of writing was just as I had expected. Zafon's beautiful, ethereal prose shines through in what is a chilling and sad story. He captures an enchanting yet sinister image of 1930s Calcutta in a story which does not disappoint.

However, I am not convinced about how well this book works at a children's level. I think it could actually be quite scary for children as such, and would probably appeal more to an older, say young teen, audience. Because of its target audience, the book did not go far enough for me in exploring issues or telling the story on a deeper level. All loose ends are tied up nicely and explanations provided in an almost 'ABC' style. As this is a book for children, it probably serves its purpose, but ultimately was somewhat lacking for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. B. Jackson on 1 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read most of Carlos Ruiz Zafon's books to date and have enjoyed them immensely. Although very well written with an excellent flow (the translator must take some praise for this); I have only one criticism what is it supposed to be?

It doesn't appear to be a ghost story, there is an element of the paranormal about it; but something about the central protagonist just doesn't strike the right note. I must say one thing though, the way i imagine the scenes within the book, I believe that visually this book, out of all of CRZ's books to date, lends itself most to the big screen and hopefully when it does get made my main query may be answered.

Enjoy, and I hope it makes sense to you.
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