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The Angel's Game | [Carlos Ruiz Zafon]

The Angel's Game

In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martin, 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.
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Publisher's Summary

In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martin, 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, Zafon 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.

©2009 Carlos Ruiz Zafon; (P)2009 Random House

What the Critics Say

"The plot resolves in a rush, for the author finds himself with many a loose end to tie up, but once it sinks in, the result is more than satisfying. Zafón delivers a warning about the dangers of obsession, mixed with an obvious passion for literature and the printed word; his book is also a song of love for Barcelona with all its creaking floorboards and hidden subbasements. A nice fit with the current craze for learned mysteries and for spooks of both the spying and the spectral kind." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (482 )
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4.4 (309 )
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3 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Chris Annandale, NJ, United States 09-30-13
    Chris Annandale, NJ, United States 09-30-13

    "Audible is the most efficient of high quality entertainment."

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Wrong narrator! English accent describing Spain."

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corinna Richmond, TX, USA 01-02-13
    Corinna Richmond, TX, USA 01-02-13 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Inconsistent story line"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Kitto Townsville 10-07-12
    Michael Kitto Townsville 10-07-12 Member Since 2010

    from Literary Exploration

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    "The Angel's Game"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kalena Lake Oswego, OR, US 08-01-12
    Kalena Lake Oswego, OR, US 08-01-12
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    "Fabulous narrator"

    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!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eduardo Queretaro, Mexico 03-05-12
    Eduardo Queretaro, Mexico 03-05-12 Member Since 2010

    MD ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "More fiction"
    Would you listen to The Angel's Game again? Why?

    Yes, it keeps you interested in the strory


    If you’ve listened to books by Carlos Ruiz Zafon before, how does this one compare?

    No


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The final one


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Very we'll narrated. The story goes beyond credible facts

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Somerset, NJ, USA 07-21-09
    Patricia Somerset, NJ, USA 07-21-09 Member Since 2009
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    "Entertaining but odd."

    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.

    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl 06-11-15
    Cheryl 06-11-15 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great plot!"

    As I approached the end of this novel I couldn't guess at the ended. Counlnt put it down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa 06-01-15
    Melissa 06-01-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Amazing"

    Carlos Ruiz Zafon is a true artist of words and continues to never disappoint. He touches hearts with every word here writes. Read it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    first time mom los angeles, ca 03-24-15
    first time mom los angeles, ca 03-24-15 Member Since 2014
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    "What an incredible story and brilliant performance"
    What did you love best about The Angel's Game?

    The storyline and Stevens performance.


    Have you listened to any of Dan Stevens’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, they are all as equally brilliant!


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend all the books performed by Dan Stevens. He is BRILLIANT!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P.J. LANSING, KS, United States 02-16-15
    P.J. LANSING, KS, United States 02-16-15 Member Since 2014

    katsuey

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Paint Drying"

    If you like to hear paint drying on the wall, this is the perfect book for you! There are parts of the story that try to grab you, but just as you start thinking the story is going somewhere, it goes back to paint drying on the wall. I do not for one minute understand what other reviewers found in this book. I tried and tried and tried again. I'm old so I have better books to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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