"Audible is the most efficient of high quality entertainment."
After Jonathan Davis's captivating performance reading 'The Shadow of the Wind', I was excited for this sequel to continue my journey in old Barcelona. How shocked and disappointed I was to hear the badly miscast narrator. The clear English accent of narrator Dan Stevens is jarringly out of place reading about Spain. Where 'Shadow's Davis brought warmth and flair to the pronunciations of Barcelona's people, places and passion, Stevens flatly delivers 'Angel's Game' as if reading an article from the UK Daily Mail.
Get the print edition or eBook in order to imagine Jonathan Davis's authentic narration in your mind.
I think Carlos Ruiz Zafon is one of the best writers. I have been relistening to the first two books of the series. Once again, I was enthralled to be in the world of Barcelona and the mystery Zafon weaves into his stories. Because this was a second read, I was astonished to realize the story was inconsistent in the death of a major character from Shadow of the Wind, who actually survives to old age as written in Shadow. There were also minor differences from the first book to the second book in the treatment of what happens to characters there. I suppose this happens, but it is disconcerting especially when the stories are read closely together.
The reason for the review is the narrator. Why oh why does Mr. Stevens choose do do a less than successful imitation of Cary Grant. His other voices are nice, but this faux Cary is just so distracting I was pulled from the story each time. I remember this was the same reaction I had to this voice the last time I listened. With a great narrator in Davies, I cannot understand why anyone else would be used for this series.
from Literary Exploration
Carlos Ruiz Zafón takes us back to the gothic universe of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books with the prequel to The Shadow of the Wind; The Angel’s Game. I for one am glad to be thrown back into this world with the beautiful backdrop of Barcelona (even if there is no mention of my favourite building). Carlos Ruiz Zafón always seems to know how to give the reader a taste of everything with this series; the adventure, romance, tragedy, and the secrets and magic of books. The Angel’s Game tells the story of young writer who is approached by a mysterious man to write a book.
For anyone that’s read The Shadow of the Wind, you’ll be pleased to know this prequel will see the return of the backdrops you’ve come to know and love; including The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, Barcelona’s Raval district, and the Sempere & Sons bookshop. Also Zafón continues to blend gothic and modern storytelling to make yet again another thrilling read. If I’m comparing it to The Shadow of the Wind, sure it doesn’t hold a candle to its predecessor, but the idea to be thrown back into the same universe with a completely different story makes this book worth reading.
I love what Carlos Ruiz Zafón does with his characters; only revealing so much of these complex people and keeping so much hidden from the reader. A mystery that helps the reader to continue reading in the hope of grabbing a bit more information about this brilliant characters. The Writer David Martin was an interesting character; I really felt the struggle we went through while trying to become a literary sensation. But his love interest Cristina was the biggest downfall in this book, she was completely annoying and I hated David for showing an interest in a woman like her. My highlight character was David’s assistant, Isabella; she was a troubled girl with such a complexity and air of mystery about her that she stole the show (or book).
Overall I loved this book, it will never be The Shadow of the Wind but it was still a book that every book lover should read and it was such a joy to be back in historical Barcelona again. This was a slower paced book to its predecessor but the struggles of writing made this book for me. I did start to worry that this wasn’t going to be a true prequel but you’ll be pleased to know that Daniel; the protagonist from The Shadow of the Wind does have a role in this novel and it will all make sense in the end. Book three in this series; The Prisoner of Heaven is out now and while I’m disappointed it’s so short, I’m looking forward to reading this book too.
I liked 'shadow of the wind' a little better than 'the angels game' but the story was very well developed and kept me interested and involved. I couldn't anticipate what was going to happen next. I would definitely recommend this book. Dan Stevens is an amazing narrator!!
MD ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON
Yes, it keeps you interested in the strory
The final one
Very we'll narrated. The story goes beyond credible facts
I'd say I was in the 10th hour of this audiobook and joked that I still wasn't sure what it was about. It was entertaining, dark and intriguing but somewhat confusing. I thought I knew where it was going, but ultimately didn't. Kept me entertained but I wouldn't say I highly recommend it and was glad to move on to something else.
In quality of narration it's #1. Dan Stevens was born to read.
The plot did keep me moving and wondering, though sometimes it was a bit too Gothic. I might not have finished it, but I couldn't give up Stevens' voice.
The voice of a god, the diction of the Englishman (he played Matthew in Downton Abbey), the ability to inhabit and voice many roles, and a perfect sense of timing.
I immediately looked for Stevens' other books and listened to his read of Roal Dahl's memoir "Boy," also wonderful. I hope he continues narrating even though he's now famous and in demand as an actor.
Yes, engrossing story. INCREDIBLE narration - Best I've ever listened to in 10 years of listening to audio books. I would give Stevens 10 stars if it were possible.
Isabella. Strong, loving, sassy young woman who brings some much needed comic relief to this melancholy book.
No. I stretched it out over a week or so. But I was definitely fully engaged and didn't listen to anything else once I had started it.
Zafon teases us with some parallels with Dickens / Great Expectations - this book (in a way) is kind of an anti-Dickensian melodrama. Be warned: the second half of the last act is very violent and pretty dark. So if you are sensitive to violence, be warned.
The first half was very good, but I found the second half strange and baffling. I was not sure what was going on.
The picture of Barcelona was the best part of the story, and the language was beautiful
The scenes where Isobel comes and takes care of him were the most beautiful.
Dan Stevens is a terrific narrator. I could listen to his voice anytime.
I'm a retired teacher who loves to read, knit and enjoy my grandchildren. I tend to read mysteries and thrillers.
Yes! Dan Stevens does an excellent job with the narration. When he reads this beautifully written prose it's like a massage for the the ear!
The supernatural aspects of the story lurk in the background, tempting the reader to solve the mystery.
His pronunciations of the Spanish names, streets and areas of Barcelona.
This story drags a bit more than Shadow of the Wind, and I found the resolution of some of the plot points a bit drawn out. Listening to Zafon's beautiful prose does make up for this, though.