Marina Hardcover – 26 Sep 2013
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A magical, gothic tale (GLAMOUR)
Readers who loved Zafron's The Shadow of the Wind will find shades of that magical bestseller in this gothic tale that's so elegantly told (CHOICE MAGAZINE)
Vivid and unforgettable. (MY WEEKLY)
Packed with every Gothic excess - freak-show photography, severed artificial hands, even evil butterflies - but Oscar's growing infatuation gives it depth and unity (METRO)
Readers who loved Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind will find shades of that magical bestseller in this gothic tale that's so elegantly told. (CHOICE MAGAZINE)
Packed with every Gothic excess - freak-show photography, severed artificial hands, even evil butterflies - but Oscar's growing infatuation gives it depth and unity. (METRO)
The novel Carlos Ruiz Zafon wrote just before THE SHADOW OF THE WIND; a cult classic in his native Spain.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I loved this book from the moment I started reading it; it's very well written. It's a mix of sci-fi, romance, drama, thriller and mystery all resulted in a thoroughly enjoyable read and one that I shall not be forgetting any time soon. I love the cover, it's beautiful.
The book has an aura that makes you not know what is going to happen next and if I was to say I knew what was going to happen next then I'd be lying. The characters made this book something that I was not expecting - they brought it to life.
I was gripped from the start and it took me to boundaries emotionally no other book has, I didn't cry but I think I was close. It touched me because even weird people have feelings. The story is fast paced and full of action and once you've started you wonder where the time has gone to because this book definitely grips you by the gonads and forces you to want to continue reading and enjoy such a magnificent story.
Marina was by far the greatest character in the book. I loved everything about her, her wonderful charm, her loyalty, her fierce protection of those she loves dearly whilst remaining true to herself. She knew her fate but she refused to let the two people closest to her know, I don't think it was out of selfishness but out of love - something she had an abundance of.
I don't think I gave this book the review it thoroughly deserves but I gave it my best shot.
Fans of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books cycle will be pleased to see that `Marina' is set in Barcelona. This is Oscar's story or as he puts it `We all have a secret buried under lock and key in the attic of our soul. This is mine.' It is a Gothic tale, closer to his adult books in style and tone. Oscar is at a boarding school in Barcelona when he meets Marina and her father Germain Blau in a very unusual way and that is where his strange adventure begins, leading to him disappearing for 7 days in May 1980.
There is a mysterious woman in black, a gravestone with a black butterfly engraved on the stone but no name. It is about a fortune won and lost, betrayal and death. To say too much would ruin a future reader's pleasure in discovering this story for themselves, imagine what you expect from a Gothic novel and Marina provides it. There is a nod to Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein and other novels of the period, the kind of thing that fans of his adult novels have come to expect.
This may be given the YA tag but it is really a book for all ages, for anyone who enjoys a good story well told. Zafon has a wonderfully visual writing style, and his characters come alive on the page. Although I found this one a bit slower than `Prince of Mist', `Midnight Palace' and `Watcher in the Shadows', I am sure that his many fans will not be disappointed and perhaps it will gain him a few more.
The cool thing is, it's clear that Zafon cottoned on to what didn't quite work in Marina, and see how he tweaked it to it's full effect in Shadow.
On its own, it's still a lovely yarn, but suffers, particularly towards the end, from 'three characters sit down while one of them explains the backstory' syndrome. That's fine to a point, but not when it's the relationship between Marina and Oscar that the reader (this reader, anyway) cared about the most. Although this sort of thing still happens a LOT in Shadow, Daniel Sempere is a little more finely drawn, his relationship to Barcelona and numerous unforgettable characters within it a little more solid than Oscar's.
Still, check it out if you're a fan. Some of the writing's almost unbearably fruity, but the heart is unquestionably there, and the last few chapters are worth the price of entry alone. And for God's sake, get the beautiful hardback, nor the ebook!
This is a story of many layers and folds. One is the story of Oscar Drai, a young boy of fifteen in the late 1970s in Barcelona, a school student who spends his free time wandering the old and forgotten streets of the city. Another is the story of Marina and her father, and the love for a dead woman. And another is the mysterious story of the old woman who delivers a flower to a grave on the last Sunday of every month. Is her story related to the story of Mijail Kolvenik? And if so, how and why? And how could it possibly involve Oscar and Marina?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The only problem I had with it was that it just always felt, right the way through reading it, that it wanted to be set earlier than 1980 - to me, the atmosphere, the environment, the people all really wanted to be set some 40 or 50 years earlier. But maybe that was just me.
Overall, the story is a wonderful tale of mystery and imagination (rather Poe-like). The language and the narrative are wonderfully captivating and lyrical, and the characters are all odd enough to capture the reader's interest. A great read (but I did just feel the period setting was somehow wrong). Definitely recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Worth reading. Stories insides stories. Mystery grows as stories develop.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
A story of love and uncontrollable passion written from the heart and placed in the haunted wind of memory.amazing and unforgetablePublished 5 months ago by Janice henderson
Better than I thought it would be since it looked like a child's book. Has the same magic as his other books.Published 5 months ago by DimSum
On the edge of the sit stuff. Would make a fantastic film. One of the best books I have read.Published 6 months ago by larmor
Good read with good characters just what l expected from Carlos Ruiz zafonPublished 6 months ago by phil
Typical Zafon dark story, just missing some depth /context in some areas. More importantly the villian was not believable. Enjoyable read though.Published 6 months ago by MR P S THOMPSON