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The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
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The Prisoner of Heaven (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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1,303836,002 (3.85)69
Member:ctreader73
Title:The Prisoner of Heaven
Authors:Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Info:Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) (2012), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (2012)

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» See also 69 mentions

English (60)  Spanish (11)  Dutch (7)  German (2)  French (2)  All languages (82)
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
A stranger visits the Sempere bookshop and purchases a copy of “The Count of Monte Cristo”, from Daniel Sempere then hands it back to Daniel with a cryptic inscription and instructions to give the book to Daniel’s close friend Fermin Romero de Torres. The book brings back a flood of memories for Fermin of a time he would rather forget. Fermin tells Daniel the story of how he was incarcerated in a hell hole during the Spanish Civil War and how he met “The Prisoner of Heaven.”

Like the two books before it, “The Shadow of the Wind” and “The Angel’s Game”, this was a beautifully written book and a very quick read. Unfortunately, I let it sit on the shelf for too long and didn’t get as involved in the lives of the characters as I would have if I had read the three books one after the other. ( )
  craso | Jul 26, 2014 |
Sadly, I was dissappointed with this book. Yes, it was leaps and bounds better than "The Angel's Game", but it cannot hold a candle to "The Shadow of the Wind".

The story wraps up nicely, but it's almost as though there are two sepperate stories here that belong in two different books. It makes the story drag, to say the least. The background information provided is important, yes, but it seems as though it doesn't quite fit, and there's a lot of unnecessary information. Many questions are left unanswered, or even worse half answered which drove me batty. They're more wrapped up than in "The Angel's Game", but it's more akin to a philosophy paper than a research article or even a literary piece, vague and open for interpretation, more so than is necessary.

These books can be read in any order, but I believe the order they were written in would be the best. At the very least, do not read this one first. If reading out of order, I would suggest "Shadow of the Wind" first, followed by this story and then "The Angel's Game". Although the some of the information would be out of order, I find it is the only other way that these stories would make sense. ( )
  cebellol | Jul 22, 2014 |
A couple of years ago I picked up the first book in this series, The Shadow of the Wind, on a whim. I liked it quite a bit, but life being what it is, I didn’t get to any of the others. Thankfully Zafon has constructed the books so you can read them in any order. The intricate way they are woven reminds me of a literary mobius strip in how one book continues seamlessly into another. For example in this one, Daniel is an adult and he’s trying to help Fermin sort out his past so he can get married. That past includes a bit of prison time and a fellow inmate named David Martin, the author of the book that features in the second in this series. Here in the third book during Fermin’s prison tale it hasn’t been written yet and it only shows up in the very last act (or close to it). That kind of imagination and craft really impresses me. All the snaking threads of the story finding their way to each other.

Oddly, I expect going into Zafon’s books that his language will be archaic or old-fashioned, but it isn’t at all. It’s colloquial, light and contains a lot of humor. This series is set in Spain in the 1950s which is still a very turbulent time. This one focuses on Fermin, who is a bit less whimsical in this one because his impending marriage may expose his past. There are people with power to ruin his life again and those of the people he loves.

He tells Daniel his tale and it is an homage to The Count of Monte Cristo with similar themes and a plot to spring him from prison in the same way Dantes was sprung from his. It isn’t a revenge tale per se, but there is a mysterious and potentially dangerous figure in the present who could ruin everything. Unraveling his identity and what he wants is only part of the problem, getting Fermin on solid ground so he can get married is another. Protecting the Cemetery of Forgotten Books yet another. Then there’s the whole tale of the past and the other prisoners Fermin encounters and how each of them will either befriend or blackmail him. With Fumero dead, we need a new villain and Zafon gives us a pretty good one.

For most readers this is the wrap up novel of the series, but I will have to go read the second one and I better do it soon because all the little connections are important and I’m afraid I’ll miss them if I don’t. That said, I did snag the short story (freebie) that gives us the secret origins of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. It was fun. ( )
  Bookmarque | Jul 15, 2014 |
Beautiful and lyrical with unexpected shots of humor. While this is #3 in the series, you can read it as a stand-alone book and be just fine....But read everything he's written, anyway! ( )
  limamikealpha | Jun 5, 2014 |
Amazing book! I am so sad that this series is over because it has been such a pleasure to read! The author delivers again with vivid characters and many surprises. I am such a fan of the way this author writes! Not only do the story and characters come alive, but he also challenges our ideas of what it means to be a "good" person. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to see who we would meet and what would happen! Mr. Ruiz Zafon if you are reading this, I hope you decide to add another book to this series because I would love to read more about these fascinating people you have created! Some of my favorite quotes from the book:
"…the first coffee of the day, pure optimism in a liquid state.”
“…deep down we’ve never been who we think we once were, and we only remember what never happened…” ( )
  SuzReads | Apr 24, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 60 (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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Dat jaar ontwaakten de dagen voor kerst onder een loodkleurige hemel en een laagje rijp.
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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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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 1921922877, 192207988X

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