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The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The Prisoner of Heaven (2011)

by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Cemetery of Forgotten Books (3)

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2,3421274,022 (3.83)112
Recently added byksueh, ccs3, ericandsue, franciscosalido, BSolDavidson, private library, aecath, DonaKathryn, wisemetis

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» See also 112 mentions

English (96)  Spanish (11)  Dutch (8)  German (4)  Italian (2)  French (2)  Catalan (1)  All languages (124)
Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
A quick, breezy read that had some great one-liners. ( )
  rorytoohey | Mar 1, 2019 |
As in the previous book by Ruiz, here too the plot takes place in Barcelona, Spain.

Daniel Sempere and his father run a bookstore, and his friend Fermin works with them in the store.
Fermin tells of his past during the war, of being imprisoned, of his fellow prisoners, torture, Cruelties, love, books and many more until the connection revealed to the life of his friend Daniel.

It is an excellent reading but not yet reach the level of Ruiz's former books. ( )
  JantTommason | Jan 7, 2019 |
A solid easy read with the usual very enjoyable descriptions of pre and post civil war Barcelona. It was not as detailed and intricate in plot as Shadow, but nonetheless a great story with lots of familiar characters returning to populate the wonderful Barcelona background. I'm sure we haven't heard the last of this storyline and nicely set up for the next instalment! ( )
  Jawin | Dec 7, 2018 |
I'm currently making my way through Zafon's Cemetery of Forgotten Books series back-to-back, the first two of which were re-reads for me, but this and the last in the series are/will be first time reads. The Prisoner of Heaven is a much shorter book than the other three, and it takes place more or less right after the ending of The Shadow of the Wind. Fermin is preparing to wed Bernarda. However, prior to the wedding, a strange man enters the Sempere bookshop, triggering Fermin's memories of the past, which he shares with Daniel. Thus, the majority of this book centers around Fermin's past history, prior to the time that he met Daniel.

Once again, Zafon brings to life some of Barcelona's darker secrets. We find out some more detail about Daniel's mother, Isabella, and her death. David Martin, the main character in The Angel's Game, is also a significant player in this one, although rather than clearing up some of the unanswered questions from that novel, it creates even more about his character.

I'm somewhat unsure how I feel about this third installment of the series. While it was nice to read some of Fermin's history and some other background information, I didn't feel the magic in this one as I have with the other two previous novels and I was left feeling unsatisfied. While I've not yet read the last novel in the series, my gut feeling is that this one acts as a bridge between the other three, and I'm hoping I won't fully appreciate it until I've finished them all. I think, also, that the audiobook narrator for this one could've been much better, and I suspect that played a part in my feelings of dissatisfaction. ( )
  indygo88 | Nov 15, 2018 |
A very decent third book in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series, if we can call it a series given that Zafon tends to play fast and loose with the chronology of events. Not as fabulous as The Shadow of the Wind, but a definite improvement over the second book (which had the appearance of being a prequel). In The Prisoner of Heaven, Zafron is back to the wonderful labyrinthine, Gothic storytelling I fell in love with when reading The Shadow of the Wind. While Daniel is back in this book, this time it is very much Fermin’s story and his mysterious past. Zafon, obviously a fan of Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo – which happens to be one of my all-time favorite reads – takes inspiration from Dumas for the basis of Fermin’s story as a political prisoner in the dark and foreboding Montjuic Castle during Franco’s dictatorship. Zafron is very good at creating atmosphere in his stories, I will give him that. Even better, the author makes some decent connections to the first two books, so that The Angel’s Game doesn’t continue to stick out like a sore thumb. On a downside, Zafon plays messes with information from the earlier books, suddenly giving Fermin a stronger connection to Daniel’s family than originally provided, leaving Daniel to experience some “Say, what!?” moments. Also, Zafon’s female characters have not improved. They continue to come across as a mystery for the male characters to either pity, avenge or suspect of being up to something. There is a strange, token chapter told from Bea (Daniel’s wife) and Bernarda (Fermin’s fiancé) POV that adds, IMO, virtually nothing to the story. Maybe Zafon was asked to include more female character interaction, I don’t know. It just doesn’t work for me. This time, Zafon wraps up with a really solid cliff hanger for the next book in the series. I don’t always like cliff hanger endings. For me, it seems as though the author is attempting to milk a book deal made with the publisher (“Really, I can squeeze another best seller out of this!”) and I don’t like being used as a pawn, but I am intrigued enough to add the next book (which is already out) to my “to read” list.

Overall, a decent read if you, like me, are able to enjoy a somewhat flawed story that is stylized with wonderful Gothic atmosphere, mise en scène and is an ode of sorts to Barcelona and wonderful writers like Dumas. ( )
  lkernagh | Sep 27, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
While the reader should not expect many shocking plot twists, the story is gripping and the pace is just right. Further, the magic of the novel is in the wonderfully constructed creepy and otherworldly setting, the likable characters, and the near-perfect dialogue.
added by DorsVenabili | editBooklist, Kerri Price (pay site) (Aug 1, 2012)
Like his countryman Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Zafón combines sincere engagement with genre tradition, with clever touches of the literary postmodern. (The novel's epigraph is by a fictional writer who featured in The Shadow of the Wind.) This is explicitly, and joyously, a book about books, about what can be learned from them (say, how to follow someone in the street), and what is lost when they are lost. Much of the novel's appeal is that of time-travelling tourism, strongly flavoured with literary nostalgia – for a time when a bookshop could be a city's cultural nerve-centre, when a paper-based bureaucracy could be outwitted, when bohemian scribblers could afford to eat world-class crème caramels, and even when money could be "cursed". But beneath the sugared surface there is also political anger.
A rousing adventure that reads as if Jorge Borges were writing in the mode of Umberto Eco's 'The Name of the Rose.
added by thebookpile | editElle Magazine (US)
wondrous... ultimately a love letter to literature, intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero.
added by thebookpile | editEntertainment Weekly
Gabriel Garcia Marquez meets Umberto Eco meets Jorge Luis Borges...Ruiz Zafón gives us a panoply of alluring and savage personages and stories. His novel eddies in currents of passion, revenge and mysteries whose layers peel away onion-like yet persist in growing back... we are taken on a wild ride that executes its hairpin bends with breathtaking lurches.
added by thebookpile | editNew York Times

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ruiz Zafón, Carlosprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arpaia, BrunoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geel, NellekeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Graves, LuciaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwaar, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tiittula, AnteroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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In 1957 Barcelona, Daniel Semper and his close friend Fermin Romero de Torres find their lives violently disrupted by the arrival of a mysterious stranger who threatens to divulge a terrible secret that has been buried for two decades in the city's dark past.… (more)

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Average: (3.83)
1 7
2 24
2.5 14
3 137
3.5 58
4 273
4.5 40
5 119

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 1921922877, 192207988X

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