I wasn't expecting it but this book gave me chills. I actually listened to it a number of times and may go back again. I have been retelling the story to anyone who will listen to me.
Yes, this book was a wonderful blend of intrigue, nostalgia and humanity. It's an ageless coming of age story.
The revelation of how all the seemingly unconnected characters connected.
Penelope because she represents the tragedy of betrayal and loss we all suffer at some point in our lives.
This a well written book with exquisitely crafted characters. A must read.
The story kept twisting and turning, and it kept me interested the whole time!
The mystery, the love stories, everything!
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
This is a fabulous multistory interwoven mystery with gothic horror elements and every other passionate story cliche you could ask for. That it doesn't come across as cliched in any way is a tribute to Ruiz Zafon's mastery at story-telling. I suppose a lot of credit must also go to the translator. It makes you wonder how much great literature we are missing out on only because it didn't originate in English.
It wasn't bad - it just never sucked me in.
I never made it all the way to the end.
When I started this I was concerned I was not going to be able to follow it as at the start there was a lot of references to the history of a war in Spain that I am completely clueless about (I like history, it was my favorite subject in school, but I never did like the war parts) and the way this read at the start made me feel like I would be missing a lot if I didn't know this history. Luckily that was not the case.
I was wondering where this story was going for quite a while, and true to form I figured out who the mystery bad guy was pretty early on, though I will say there was a spot or two that I was doubting myself, but in the end I was right.
The only flaw I found was that when the main character is learning about the past, mostly in letters, there are bits of information that are out of place, that don't fit with the context of the person writing the letter.
That flaw aside I did enjoy this book, so many of the characters are so complete, you really start to feel a connection with them.
I liked the main character and the story about him, but when the narrative changed to talking about an elusive author he was trying to track down, I found I didn't care.
The story was unique, interesting and had many well developed characters. At times it was a bit slow, but I must say it may just be that I paused so many times because of the piano music along with the dialog. The music was completely inappropriate in that it did nothing to set the mood, was so loud and going on at the same time as the narration (there was no fade, etc.) that I had A LOT of trouble understanding the dialog. It didn't help to increase the volume, because the music volume increased as well. I may just read the book to enjoy it more. Otherwise, I think it should be re-recorded or re-released with out the music.
This review will be very short. This is, by far, my favorite book of all time. The ideas and the words with which they were expressed spoke to my heart as no other book has ever done.
this book was so incredibly well written. It had twists and turns, there was clarity with the characters, with all loose ends tied up. It is really a must for mystery readers every where