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
"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)
One of the darkest books carlos ruiz zafon has ever wrote, its a crossbreed between his and stephen king's writing. You will like the book in the begining, hate it, like it again, and cant let go until you finish it.
There are structural and pacing issues here that severely limit the success of the story overall. Potentially compounded by the translation, although it seems excellent, given the number of fine sentences throughout the text. And despite the issues, it was rewarding to listen to a long book that wasn't an endless exercise in exposition.
For a story that is set in Barcelona, Dan Stevens has a strange habit of slipping into a Welsh accent for minor characters. As Tolkien might have said, all roads lead back to Welsh.
The storyline and Stevens performance.
Yes, they are all as equally brilliant!
I highly recommend all the books performed by Dan Stevens. He is BRILLIANT!
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.
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