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The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Angel's Game (original 2008; edition 2011)

by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Vincent Chong (Illustrator)

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6,059349687 (3.68)371
Title:The Angel's Game
Authors:Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Other authors:Vincent Chong (Illustrator)
Info:Subterranean (2011), Edition: Signed, Limited, Hardcover, 512 pages
Collections:To read

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The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (2008)


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English (288)  Spanish (17)  Dutch (15)  German (9)  French (7)  Italian (6)  Norwegian (3)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (1)  All (1)  Finnish (1)  Hungarian (1)  All (1)  All (352)
Showing 1-5 of 288 (next | show all)
I'm just past halfway and so far the book is a disappointment compared to Shadow of the Wind. It's not bad, but it's not great. But I'll keep pushing on! ( )
  a.leenlu | Dec 28, 2016 |
Just fine and it doesn't bother me a bit that in a week, I will remember nothing about it. No -oh my gosh how wonderful - moments like Shadow of the Wind but pleasing enough. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
David Martín want nothing more than to be an author, and after being released from a grueling contract with a unscrupulous publisher, he makes a pact with another, very shady publisher who requests that he write one book abut religion, one that will cause Martín to encounter some possibly demonic characters. I really enjoyed this trippy trip through 1920s Barcelona; the characters' tragic choices are very engaging and the descriptions of the various locales are evocative and colorful. The story itself is as, if not more, intriguing than The Shadow of the Wind, but unfortunately it falls apart a little at the end with some very convoluted twists and turns. It is still a fantastic read and my trust in Zafón's ability to deliver a riveting read remains strong. This is technically a prequel to The Shadow of the Wind, but the ties between the two are such that it doesn't matter which you read first. ( )
  -Eva- | Oct 16, 2016 |
After I read The Shadow of the Wind a couple of years ago, I couldn't wait to read as many of Zafon's other books as I could get my hands on. I originally began reading this novel in the summer of 2014, but only managed to get about 50% in before I decided to read something else instead. It wasn't a bad book, it just wasn't holding my interest. Fast forward to this month and I decided to give it another try, and I began the book again. Sadly this book still didn't do it for me, the best way I can describe it is disappointing, I loved the Shadow of the Wind so much, and this book failed to deliver any of that excitement.
My main problem with the novel was boredom. I was bored for long long stretches of this novel, and I really struggled to persevere through to the end. I wasn't really interested in the story or the characters and I really had to force myself to pick this novel up and actually read any of it. It wasn't that the plot didn't have anything happening, there was a lot going on in this novel, but for some reason none of it felt like it mattered to me, I wasn't invested in the story at all. The characters also didn't help this lack of interest, I didn't really like or dislike any of the characters, I just felt sort of "meh" about all of them. This again meant I wasn't really rooting for anyone throughout the story, I didn't really care about them at all.
I also had a problem with the amount of plot points and loose strands of the story that didn't seem to link together in my mind, and while I was reading I had no idea what was going on throughout the novel, I was reading it with very little idea how all these things would link and tie together in the end. The irritating thing was that these loose strands didn't tie up in the end. I read the epilogue at the end and I still didn't understand parts. No spoilers but there are still parts of the story that don't make sense in my head, even thinking about it now!!!
The only element of this novel that saved it from a lower rating was the writing style. Zafon is so good at creating a setting and atmosphere until you feel like you are there with the characters. I felt like I was living in 20th Century Barcelona, I could see what the author was describing, I could feel the atmosphere, Zafon's writing is that good. He also has a lovely lyrical way of writing, varying the sentence length to give the writing an ebb and flow, allowing the world he is writing to flow around you. He also writes tension very well, the whole novel had this feeling of benevolence and menace running through it, and the pressure was built throughout the story until it came to a head at the end.
Overall I gave this novel 3/5 stars, and although I was disappointed by this novel from Zafon, I own a couple of his others, and I will read them in the hope that this was just a slight blip in his work, and that I will love the rest as much as I love The Shadow of the Wind. ( )
  ACascadeofBooks | Oct 5, 2016 |
3.5/5 ( )
  Amanda105 | Sep 5, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 288 (next | show all)
The result is a twisty, sarcastic ode to books, with a satisfying dollop of religious theory thrown in for good measure. On its surface, "The Angel's Game" is a thriller laden with Gothic elements, but readers who need a traditional denouement with answers neatly laid out will come away disappointed. (I definitely had a little moment of "Wait! What? Huh???" at the end.)

But while the plot payoff may not be what readers are expecting, the novel itself is such a pleasure to read that the characters could have ended with a rendition of "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow," played on cowbells and a zither, and I would have shrugged it off.
added by sduff222 | editThe Christian Science Monitor, Yvonne Zipp (Jul 11, 2009)
“Faust” this isn’t. Ruiz Zafón’s flamboyant pulp epic is something altogether sillier, a pact-with-the-devil tale whose only purpose is to give its readers some small intimation of the darker pleasures of the literary arts, the weird thrill of storytelling without conscience.
Game is a multi-layered confection that combines undying love, magical realism, meditations on religion, the importance of books and a love affair with the vibrant city of Barcelona.

Zafon hits the reset button on what it means to be a great writer. His visionary storytelling prowess is a genre unto itself.
added by sduff222 | editUSA Today, Carol Memmott (Jun 16, 2009)
The early pages of the novel, focusing on the travails of a writer coming of age, call to mind Mario Vargas Llosa's Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter. But we are not in the nuanced world of literary fiction; calamities pile up on poor Martin's head as they only can in a genre novel. He writes a book for his friend, another aspiring writer, only to see it praised by the same critics who pan his own novel; his girl abandons him and marries his best friend; and he is diagnosed with a brain tumour.

The Angel's Game draws the reader into nothing more than a world where people who read, write, or collect books are shown to be special; it peddles narcissism. On the pretext of transporting readers to another time and place, it contracts their world.
While much of this novel is highly enjoyable, at some latter point the tongue withdraws from the cheek. In wrapping up a host of absurd sub-plots, somewhere in there the writer loses his sense of humour. When the book ceases to be self-conscious about its own manipulations, it stops being fun. This won’t bother some readers; some will happily dive into the mysticism up to the neck. But others will miss the drollery and sophistication with which the novel began, and for these readers Zafón’s straight resolution will disappoint.

» Add other authors (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Zafon, Carlos Ruizprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arpaia, BrunoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blank, YvonneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geel, NellekeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Graves, LuciaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Härkönen, TarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Partanen, AnuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwaar, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For MariCarmen, «a nation of two»
First words
A writer never forgets the first time he accepted a few coins or a word of praise in exchange for a story.
It is part of our nature to survive. Faith is an instinctive response to aspects of existence that we cannot explain by any other means, be it the moral void we perceive in the universe, the certainty of death, the mystery of the origin of things, the meanings of our lives, or the absence of meaning. These are the basic and extremely simple aspects of existence, but our limitations prevent us from responding in an unequivocal way and for that reason we generate an emotional response, as a defense mechanism. It's pure biology.
An intellectual is usually someone who isn't exactly distinguished by his intellect. He claims that label to compensate for his inadequacies. It's as old as that saying: Tell me what you boast of and I'll tell you what you lack. Our daily bread. The incompetent always present themselves as experts, the cruel as pious, sinners as devout, usurers as benefactors, the small-minded as the patriots, the arrogant as the humble, the vulgar as elegant, and the feeble-minded as intellectual.
I'm staying here to read. Life's too short.
Silence makes even idiots seem wise for a minute.
Most people, as they grow old, continue to believe in nonsense, usually even greater nonsense. I swim against the tide because I like to annoy.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Na Barcelona turbulenta dos anos 20, um jovem escritor obcecado com um amor impossível recebe de um misterioso editor a proposta para escrever um livro como nunca existiu a troco de uma fortuna e, talvez, muito mais. Com deslumbrante estilo e impecável precisão narrativa, o autor de A Sombra do Vento transporta-nos de novo para a Barcelona do Cemitério dos Livros Esquecidos, para nos oferecer uma aventura de intriga, romance e tragédia, através de um labirinto de segredos onde o fascínio pelos livros, a paixão e a amizade se conjugam num relato magistral.
(Bullhosa books & living)
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385528701, Hardcover)

Book Description
From master storyteller Carlos Ruiz Zafón, author of the international phenomenon The Shadow of the Wind, comes The Angel’s Game--a dazzling new page-turner about the perilous nature of obsession, in literature and in love.

“The whole of Barcelona stretched out at my feet and I wanted to believe that, when I opened those windows, its streets would whisper stories to me, secrets I could capture on paper and narrate to whomever cared to listen...”

In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martín, makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he has taken refuge in the world of books and spends his nights spinning baroque tales about the city’s underworld. But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house lie photographs and letters hinting at the mysterious death of the previous owner.

Like a slow poison, the history of the place seeps into his bones as he struggles with an impossible love. Close to despair, David receives a letter from a reclusive French editor, Andreas Corelli, who makes him the offer of a lifetime. He is to write a book unlike anything that has ever existed--a book with the power to change hearts and minds. In return, he will receive a fortune, and perhaps more. But as David begins the work, he realizes that there is a connection between his haunting book and the shadows that surround his home.

Once again, Zafón takes us into a dark, gothic universe first seen in The Shadow of the Wind and creates a breathtaking adventure of intrigue, romance, and tragedy. Through a dizzingly constructed labyrinth of secrets, the magic of books, passion, and friendship blend into a masterful story.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón on The Angel's Game

Years ago, when I began working on my fifth novel, The Shadow of the Wind, I started toying around with the idea of creating a fictional universe that would be articulated through four interconnected stories in which we would meet some of the same characters at different times in their lives, and see them from different perspectives where many plots and subplots would tie around in knots for the reader to untie. It sounds somewhat pretentious, but my idea was to add a twist to the story and provide the reader with what I hoped would be a stimulating and playful reading experience. Since these books were, in part, about the world of literature, books, reading and language, I thought it would be interesting to use the different novels to explore those themes through different angles and to add new layers to the meaning of the stories.

At first I thought this could be done in one book, but soon I realized it would make Shadow of the Wind a monster novel, and in many ways, destroy the structure I was trying to design for it. I realized I would have to write four different novels. They would be stand-alone stories that could be read in any order. I saw them as a Chinese box of stories with four doors of entry, a labyrinth of fictions that could be explored in many directions, entirely or in parts, and that could provide the reader with an additional layer of enjoyment and play. These novels would have a central axis, the idea of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, set against the backdrop of a highly stylized, gothic and mysterious Barcelona. Since each novel was going to be complex and difficult to write, I decided to take one at a time and see how the experiment evolved on its own in an organic way.

It all sounds very complicated, but it is not. At the end of the day, these are just stories that share a universe, a tone and some central themes and characters. You don’t need to care or know about any of this stuff to enjoy them. One of the fun things about this process was it allowed me to give each book a different personality. Thus, if Shadow of the Wind is the nice, good girl in the family, The Angel’s Game would be the wicked gothic stepsister. Some readers often ask me if The Angel’s Game is a prequel or a sequel. The answer is: none of these things, and all of the above. Essentially The Angel’s Game is a new book, a stand-alone story that you can fully enjoy and understand on its own. But if you have already read The Shadow of the Wind, or you decide to read it afterwards, you’ll find new meanings and connections that I hope will enhance your experience with these characters and their adventures.

The Angel’s Game has many games inside, one of them with the reader. It is a book designed to make you step into the storytelling process and become a part of it. In other words, the wicked, gothic chick wants your blood. Beware. Maybe, without realizing, I ended up writing a monster book after all... Don’t say I didn’t warn you, courageous reader. I’ll see you on the other side. --Carlos Ruiz Zafón

(Photo © Isolde Ohlbaum)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:25 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martin, makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. Close to despair, he receives a letter from a reclusive French editor, Andreas Corelli, who makes him the offer of a lifetime--write a book unlike anything that has ever existed--a book with the power to change hearts and minds. In return, he will receive a fortune, and perhaps more. But as David begins the work, he realizes that there is a connection between his haunting book and the shadows that surround his home.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 14 descriptions

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4 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 1921520523, 1921656719

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