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The Prisoner of Heaven (2011)

by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Cemetery of Forgotten Books (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,6561413,713 (3.83)124
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.

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» See also 124 mentions

English (110)  Spanish (11)  Dutch (9)  German (4)  Italian (3)  French (2)  Catalan (1)  All languages (140)
Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
Better than the second one, but not nearly as perfect as the first of the series.
Peter Kenny is the narrator of the audiobook.
3.75 stars, and recommended.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/412591577?book_show_action=true&from_r... ( )
  stephanie_M | Apr 30, 2020 |
Though I could sense there were tangential connections among this series of books by Ruiz Zafón, I didn't realize upon previous completion of book two that the plots of all four would be so unexpectedly intertwined. Comparatively brief, The Prison of Heaven focuses on Fermín's surprising and horrifying back story as a political prisoner under Franco's regime, and reveals his connection to the Sempere family. Well done -- I enjoyed it and look forward to the series conclusion, The Labyrinth of the Spirits. ( )
  ryner | Feb 26, 2020 |
I liked this story better than the second one, this felt more concise and I appreciated it being more linear. I really like how the story line is all coming together, and I'm looking forward to the 4th book. ( )
  Linyarai | Feb 16, 2020 |
Marvelous! ( )
  Klatooo | Feb 8, 2020 |
The third in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series, The Prisoner of Heaven draws together the lives of the previous two books' main characters, but also gives sufficient back-story for the book to work on its own.

Daniel Sempere, of The Shadow of the Wind, is now married with a young son, and that book' best character, Fermin, is planning his own wedding to Bernada. But he is not as happy as one would expect, and one evening (and over the course of several chapters), he explains his councerns to Daniel.

This process of bringing the previous two strands together by means of Fermin's back-story makes this work feel a little clunky. In its own right, this book is average. Inevitably, as part of a series, it must be compared to its predecessors, and while it is an immense improvement on The Angel's Game, it is, well, a shadow of Shadow of The Wind. It's a lightweight read, with little depth, and no great character development. And I was rather annoyed to find most of The Angel's Game appears to be written off, in this book, as the imagination of a man in the process of losing his mind

It also leaves a huge number of mysteries and unanswered questions. Why does Valls seem to disappear from public life in 1956? Where is Salgado's fortune? Where did Bea go if she didn't meet her former fiancé? Why was said fiancé asked by his employer, a company owned by Valls, asked to reconnect with Bea? It feels as if Ruiz Zafon will inevitably write a fourth in the series, but I'm unconvinced that the last two have been strong enough to maintain the momentum. ( )
  TheEllieMo | Jan 18, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 110 (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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I have always known that one day I would return to these streets to tell the story of the man who lost his soul and his name among the shadows of a Barcelona trapped in a time of ashes and silence. These are pages written in the flames of the city of the damned, words etched in fire on the memory of the one who returned from among the dead with a promise nailed to his heart and a curse upon his head. The curtain rises, the audience falls silent and before the shadow lingering over their destiny descends upon the set, a chorus of pure souls takes the stage with a comedy in their hands and the blessed innocence of those who, believing the third act to be the last, wish to spin a Christmas story--unaware that once the last page is turned, the poison of its words will drage them slowly but inecoxably towards the heart of darkness.
--Julian Carax, "The Prisoner of Heaven" 1992
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Barcelona, December 1957
That year at Christmas time, every morning dawned laced with frost under leaden skies.
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Average: (3.83)
1 7
2 25
2.5 15
3 156
3.5 59
4 292
4.5 40
5 136

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 1921922877, 192207988X

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