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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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    158
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    45
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    11
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    3

Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

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  • Performance
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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!

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  • Performance
  • Story

Best narrator ever!

Where does The Angel's Game rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In quality of narration it's #1. Dan Stevens was born to read.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

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.

What does Dan Stevens bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

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  • Performance
  • Story

A Tale of Deep Darkness & Soaring Narration

Would you listen to The Angel's Game again? Why?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Isabella. Strong, loving, sassy young woman who brings some much needed comic relief to this melancholy book.

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

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Judith
  • Pennington, NJ, United States
  • 11-09-13

Interesting, but also baffling

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The first half was very good, but I found the second half strange and baffling. I was not sure what was going on.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The picture of Barcelona was the best part of the story, and the language was beautiful

Which scene was your favorite?

The scenes where Isobel comes and takes care of him were the most beautiful.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes

Any additional comments?

Dan Stevens is a terrific narrator. I could listen to his voice anytime.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Beautiful writing and imagery; melancholy mood

Would you listen to The Angel's Game again? Why?

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!

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The supernatural aspects of the story lurk in the background, tempting the reader to solve the mystery.

What does Dan Stevens bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His pronunciations of the Spanish names, streets and areas of Barcelona.

Any additional comments?

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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  • Tawnya
  • Ammon, ID, United States
  • 03-19-13

Dan Stevens ability to speak several languages

Would you listen to The Angel's Game again? Why?

I enjoyed this book due to the plot, the narrator and the suspense. I would recommend it to everyone.

What other book might you compare The Angel's Game to and why?

This is a reminder of The Thirteenth Tale.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great performance. Story can be a bit confusing

What made the experience of listening to The Angel's Game the most enjoyable?

I love the narrator, and the author writes beautifully as always. The story is a bit confusing at times, though. Might be better to read the paper version, so you can look back and read again when you need to.

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Wonderful!

If you could sum up The Angel's Game in three words, what would they be?

The Angel's Game is reminiscent of old noir crime movies, of fedoras and cigarette smoke.

What about Dan Stevens’s performance did you like?

His voices were spectacular. Sometimes I would wait for a particular character to come up just because I liked the voice.

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Disappointing after Shadow

Would you try another book from Carlos Ruiz Zafon and/or Dan Stevens?

I am looking forward to reading more books from Zafon that are the quality of Shadow. This book did not have the plot development nor the character development that Zafon perfected in Shadow. <br/><br/>Stevens did a good job, but his (British ?) accent was a disappointment after hearing Jonathon Davis do such a good job that I was transported to Spain. At some points, I wondered what Sean Connery was doing in Barcelona. Stevens is a good, clear narrator I just couldn't match accents with the story and characters.

Would you recommend The Angel's Game to your friends? Why or why not?

Perhaps, but not as quickly as Shadow.

Did Dan Stevens do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

yes.

Did The Angel's Game inspire you to do anything?

No.