The novel Carlos Ruiz Zafón wrote just before The Shadow of the Wind.
'Fifteen years on, the remembrance of that day has returned to me. I have seen that boy wandering through the mist of the railway station, and the name of Marina has flared up again like a fresh wound. We all have a secret buried under lock and key in the attic of our soul. This is mine...'
In May 1980, 15-year-old Oscar Drai suddenly vanishes from his boarding school in the old quarter of Barcelona. For seven days and nights no one knows his whereabouts... His story begins in the heart of old Barcelona, when he meets Marina and her father German Blau, a portrait painter. Marina takes Oscar to a cemetery to watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the fourth Sunday of each month. At 10 a.m. precisely a coach pulled by black horses appears. From it descends a woman dressed in black, her face shrouded, wearing gloves, holding a single rose. She walks over to a gravestone that bears no name, only the mysterious emblem of a black butterfly with open wings. When Oscar and Marina decide to follow her they begin a journey that will take them to the heights of a forgotten, post-war Barcelona, a world of aristocrats and actresses, inventors and tycoons; and a dark secret that lies waiting in the mysterious labyrinth beneath the city streets.
Read by Daniel Weyman. Daniel Weyman has had a varied film, TV, radio and theatrical career, appearing in Danny Boyle's Millions, Foyles War, Wire in the Blood, Nicholas Nickleby for the Chichester Festival Theatre and Gielgud Theatre, in which he played the title role, and was nominated for the TMA Best Actor Award (Chichester Festival Theatre, Gielgud Theatre, UK Tour and Toronto) and radio productions of Rumpole of the Bailey.
He is an experienced audiobook narrator, with titles including Peter James' Dead Man's Time, C J Sansom's Dominion, Joe Simpson's Touching the Void, Nick Harkaway's Angelmaker, Andrew Lane's Young Sherlock: Rebel Fire and Simon Kernick's Payback both of which were nominated for Best Audiobook of the Year in their categories.
©2008 Dragonworks, S.L. (P)2013 Orion Publishing Group
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This is a beautiful story with some strange subject matters. The city of Barcelona is brought to life in the descriptions of buildings and streets. The "puppets" of Mical Covenique are enough to send a shiver down the spine, the cat Kafka is as all cats are aloof and inscrutable. The painter Herman's life is realistic as are the descriptions of his wife but through the it all shines an interesting girl Marina and her interactions no adventures, with Oscar. A great read.
He jaunt writes beautiful novels. The story itself is almost incidental to the stunning prose and rich settings. If you've read Shadow Of The Wind, you'll probably like this and vice versa, though Shadow Of The Wind is far superior.
"a walk into the past steps"
an amazing story of Gothic barcalona,the skill of words that zafon raises is bewitching in itself.
this will keep the lights on in your room,whilst wanting you to be alone as you travel though Oscars adventure.
you never know who to trust in this story.
the author is quite simply brilliant.
"another unique gem from CRZ"
enchanting and with surprises as always. although beautifully translated I'm tempted to learn Spanish so I can enjoy the original text
"Didn't quite live up to my expectations"
I've definitely listened to better stories. Some of the books I listened to made me really look forward to my daily train commutes. This book didn't. But overall it was solid. I don't regret having bought it.
I would have made it less grotesque. A lot of the elements in the story could be described as 'horror'. Though I like an element of magic in a book, this story really pushed my suspension of disbelief to the limits. Even if the message was clear and I understand why the writer chose to tell the story like this, I was so thrown off by the unrealistic course of events that I couldn't enjoy the story as much as I wanted to.
He is a very good narrator. He made this story a lot more enjoyable. I'm not sure I would have finished reading the book but listening to him made it a good overall experience.
"Excellent narration brings the story to life"
I have listened to this twice. love it.
Daniel Weyman is a great narrator. X
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