Customer Reviews


268 Reviews
5 star:
 (120)
4 star:
 (52)
3 star:
 (47)
2 star:
 (33)
1 star:
 (16)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


87 of 90 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book about books
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...
Published on 6 Sep 2009 by D. Elliott

versus
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm going to have to read this again.
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...
Published on 16 Nov 2009 by JIGardiner


‹ Previous | 1 227 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

87 of 90 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book about books, 6 Sep 2009
By 
D. Elliott (Ulverston, Cumbria) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Angel's Game (Hardcover)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerising, 10 Mar 2010
By 
This review is from: The Angel's Game (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm going to have to read this again., 16 Nov 2009
By 
JIGardiner - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Angel's Game (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'.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Superb writing but horribly unfulfilling., 15 Mar 2011
By 
C. Castle (Huddersfield, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Angel's Game (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What the heck actually happened?, 17 Oct 2011
By 
Cherry Radford (Brighton, England) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Angel's Game (Paperback)
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?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A maelstrom of murderous twists, 4 May 2010
By 
Lily Childs (East Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Angel's Game (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. Readers of Zafón's first novel The Shadow of the Wind will be familiar with the Cemetery of Forgotten Books - recalling the library with both affection and fear. Here, in this most secret of places Martìn unleashes the key that will turn everything, strange as it already is, on its head. Who is the angel playing the game of the book's title?

The pace of this novel is exhilarating. The atmosphere - noir and gothic yet coloured with Mediterranean spice. Death and love seem interchangeable in the Spanish psyche and Zafón spins these contrasts round and around, revisiting them from every angle.

Zafón is the master of description. His well-crafted prose is sprinkled with a menace laced with dark poetry. The Angel's Game excels in edginess, a sensation that reminds me of another angel - Alan Parker's 1987 film Angel Heart starring Mickey Rourke. The bizarre lifestyle of David Martìn is reminiscent of works by Burroughs.

Finishing this book I felt exhausted. Bereft - cheated even that something so powerful and addictive had been taken from me. I can honestly say that this is one of the most riveting and exciting novels I have ever read. Any fiction that can make me gasp out loud goes straight to the top of my list. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Complex story, beautiful writing, 3 Feb 2010
This review is from: The Angel's Game (Paperback)
I found this to be a somewhat confused tale, never quite sure what its core story was and more a ramble through various relationships and situations. Not that I did not enjoy it, rather I felt at a loss as to exactly where it was all going. I definitely did not see it as a prequel to Shadow of the Wind.

Set in Barcelona in the 1920s, David Martin is a young journalist and aspiring writer working for a local paper. His stock rises when his boss identifies a nascent talent and persuades him to begin writing sensational crime stories to be serialised in the paper. However his subsequent success is neither shared nor appreciated by his less talented colleagues and his fortune is by no means secured. Out of the blue he is approached by French publisher, Andreas Corelli, who promises Martin a vast sum of money for a very singular commission

Zafon's literary capabilities shine through, his wonderful turn of phrase and some beautiful passages where I slowed my reading to savour the language (a tribute to the translation). The characterisation is acutely observed as is the atmosphere and romance of old Barcelona.

However, the mix of love and personal fortunes with supernatural ghost story never quite resolves itself and, as a result, I never knew whether I should be concerned particularly with the outcome of either, I never got emotionally involved with the story or with Martin himself, which was a great pity because there are some beautiful relationships here and a pacy story.

Enjoy Zafon's writing as he deals with a complex tale.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


102 of 115 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 24 Jun 2009
This review is from: The Angel's Game (Hardcover)
I loved Shadow of the Wind and wondered if The Angel's Game could live up top it - it didn't. The writing style is flawless as are the descriptions of old Barcelona and for about three-quarters of the book I was hooked. The last quarter stretched my credulity to breaking point with the main character brushing off numerous attempts on his life by armed and very tough police officers, leaving a higher body count than a Dirty Harry movie as the story degenerated into a series of chases and killings. I found the resolution clumsy and it did not explain the various mysteries which had been so beautifully set up earlier in the story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Frustratingly Unresolved Storyline - Don't buy if you like things all wrapped up!, 8 Nov 2009
By 
Ms. Lorna Brown "Barney!" (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Angel's Game (Hardcover)
I have literally just finished reading this book and like another reviewer have come online to see if anybody has offered an explanation for what the ending of this book meant - not sad, actually quite a logical thing to do as the mysteries in this book were never explained! It took me a little while to get into this book but once I did I found it very enjoyable and mysterious and I was looking forward to finding out how the mysteries unravelled, including who/what the mysterious Andreas Corelli was. I also agree with another reviewer that Christina was very hard to like, she had no qualities of a heroine and there seemed no reason for David to love her as he did, which made it all the more frustrating.

This is one of the most frustrating books I have ever read, as after enjoying the whole book I finished it having no idea what on earth had happened. For the last 100 pages as the plot started to gather pace and revelations of gigantic proportions started coming out of the woodwork I began to suspect that I was going to finish the novel not fully understanding what had happened and who was who - but worse than that I had no understanding of the mystery at all - it just didn't seem to make any sense at all! If you ejoy reading beautifully written books that don't end satisfactarily I would recommend this - but don't buy it if you like to actually understand and have resolved the storylines.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but rambling, 13 Nov 2009
This review is from: The Angel's Game (Paperback)
Having read the Shadow of the Wind, I was excited to see that Zafon had written another. I was slightly disappointed to find it a little samey to the previous. Don't get me wrong, the plot is different, but Zafon obviously likes writing about the book culture in Barcelona.

The dark, narrative style is engaging and enjoyable but the endless supernatural twists and turns end up being a bit too much and seemingly for the sake of it rather than a strong contribution to the plot. It's a good story, with likeable characters but, if you're just getting into Zafon, I'd recommend that you read one or two books in between, otherwise you'll feel like you're reading the same story over again with slightly different characters.

If you enjoy this gothic style of writing, the Mysteries of Udolpho (a classic), by Mrs Radcliffe is brilliant and you should add to your reading list.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 227 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Angel's Game
The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Paperback - 29 April 2010)
£8.09
Usually dispatched within 9 to 11 days
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews