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The Midnight Palace [Paperback]

Carlos Ruiz Zafon
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
Price: 5.27 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Kindle Edition 3.86  
Hardcover 5.98  
Paperback 3.86  
Paperback, 5 July 2012 5.27  
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Book Description

5 July 2012
The book begins with a chase through the streets of Calcutta in May 1916. Lieutenant Peake pauses for breath outside the ruins of the Jheeter's Gate station knowing that he only has a few hours to live. Inside his overcoat he is sheltering two newborn babies - twins, a boy and a girl. Peake entrusts them to Aryami Bose. Sixteen years later we meet the boy, Ben, and his friends. They have formed a secret club, The Chowbar Society, which meets each week at midnight in the old ruin they have christened The Midnight Palace. Then Aryami Bose turns up with Sheere, Ben's sister, and tells them the story of the parents they never knew. Their father was an engineer and writer who died in tragic circumstances at the inauguration of Jheeter's Gate station. But as the novel unfolds, there is more to their history than meets the eye and they are lured by a shadowy figure from the past into a final showdown in the ruins.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Childrens (5 July 2012)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1444003453
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444003451
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 13 x 19.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 272,895 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


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)

...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)

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)

A beautiful, haunting and atmospheric tale imbued with the scent of the shady alleyways of Calcutta and a foreboding of tragedy. (Good Book Guide March)

Book Description

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

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fabulous Adventure Story 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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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More magic from a master storyteller 13 May 2011
By Graeme Stewart VINE VOICE
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
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for me, I'm afraid 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
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the others! 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
3.0 out of 5 stars A puzzled enjoyment. 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Midnight Palace 29 July 2011
By Mo 9
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the works of Carlos Ruiz Zafon which have been published in English. This book whilst being written for a younger audience still proved riveting. I have found all of his books captivating from the first to the last sentence and I hope that we will find more of his work available in English in the not too distant future. Zafon is by far my favourite author.The Midnight Palace (Adult Cover)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The ending was very good.
The Midnight Palace was a very interesting and exciting novel. I thought the characters were very skillfully drawn and it was altogether very well written. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Daphne A. Booth Yardley
3.0 out of 5 stars For kids not adults
This is actually young adult fiction - I didn't realise. As such it is an exciting if highly fantastical and illogical tale.
Published 20 days ago by Angela Long
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love Carlos Ruiz Zafron's works, and this book didn't disappoint
Published 28 days ago by Mrs. Karen L. Harvey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
All great. thanks.
Published 28 days ago by Stephanie Patton
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An enjoyable read.
Published 1 month ago by A. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
Magic and great book, I would recommend to everybody, very easy to read and original in its story. worth it
Published 3 months ago by mat
4.0 out of 5 stars Yet another excellent book
Again another well written book by Carlos. Truly captivating and as usual captures the imagination of the writer. Loved it.
Published 4 months ago by Vickig
3.0 out of 5 stars hard going
Have read all of his books but found this one not as exiting wish he would come out with more he writes beautifully
Published 6 months ago by Tinkerbell
2.0 out of 5 stars Silly
'The Midnight Palace' is a ruin which provides the headquarters of a club for a group of teenage orphans who when about to age out of their orphanage, discover that one of their... Read more
Published 7 months ago by R. A. Davison
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a good as some of his later books but still gripping
I'd previously read 'The Shadow of the Wind' by the same author and, as you probably know from the millions of reviews, that book is near perfection! Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mr Robert J Burnell
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