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The Prisoner of Heaven

Narrated by: Peter Kenny
Series: Cemetery of Forgotten Books, Book 3
Length: 7 hrs and 22 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The third in the cycle of novels that began with The Shadow of The Wind and The Angel’s Game, The Prisoner of Heaven returns to the world of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and the Sempere & Sons bookshop. It begins just before Christmas in Barcelona in 1957, one year after Daniel and Bea from The Shadow of the Wind have married. They now have a son, Julian, and are living with Daniel's father at Sempere & Sons.

Fermin still works with them and is busy preparing for his wedding to Bernarda in the New Year. However something appears to be bothering him. Daniel is alone in the shop one morning when a mysterious figure with a pronounced limp enters. He spots one of their most precious volumes, that is kept locked in a glass cabinet, a beautiful and unique illustrated edition of The Count of Monte Cristo. Despite the fact that the stranger seems to care little for books, he wants to buy this expensive edition. Then, to Daniel's surprise, the man inscribes the book with the words 'To Fermin Romero de Torres, who came back from the dead and who holds the key to the future'. This visit leads back to a story of imprisonment, betrayal, and the return of a deadly rival.

Read by Peter Kenny. As both actor and singer, Peter Kenny has worked widely in theatre and broadcasting, appearing with, amongst others, the Royal Shakespeare Company, A&BC, Coventry Belgrade, and the BBC Radio Repertory Company. He is a prolific audiobook reader. Titles include: The Wasp Factory and Look to Windward by Iain Banks.

©2011 Shadow Factory L.L (P)2012 Orion Publishing Group

What members say

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  • Overall
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So enjoyable

I have loved reading the stories of Carlos Ruiz Zafon books they are enjoyable to read and to listen too.

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  • Tim P.
  • 05-15-18

Ties together the previous two books

I proffer it is best to have read The Shadow of the Wind and The Angels Game before this.

I loved the first book (thought it was a better story and I enjoyed that narrator more) but the second held its own.

This attempts to tie them both together, which it does, but for me fails to deliver the same atmosphere, mystery and suspense. That said, it is well written with returning characters etc.

Prisoner does leave the ongoing story open for a fourth instalment though which I have not been put off!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan
  • 12-08-13

Fascinating prequel

What did you like most about The Prisoner of Heaven?

It lived up to the high standards of The Shadow of the Wind which I had read rather then listened to and which is great favourite of mine and those to whom I've recommended it.

What did you like best about this story?

Glimpses of Barcelona which I visited recently and complex background to the character Fermin from The Shadow of the Wind. As ever there is a lot of suspense and intrigue from start to finish.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The references to the Spanish Civil War were a reminder of a more brutal and painful Spain than is portrayed today.

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

I was hooked but made it last for several days.

Any additional comments?

I like Zafon's work; it is impossible to tell it's translated from Spanish.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs.
  • 08-15-12

Captivating!

Having read Zafon's other books it was great to be re-introduced to the same characters. The book beautifully develops the friendship between Daniel and Fermin leading ultimately to Fermin sharing about his past. The insight into human relationship and character under extreme difficult circumstances is so well written and Zafons ability to draw the reader into the lives of the character continues to enthrall. Brilliant!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • D. D. Pianta
  • 08-23-19

as always it delivers

fab story, can't wait to start the next one in the tetralogy. I absolutely love this author

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  • Lillian
  • 06-10-19

Brilliant

Love all the books in the series. Superbly written also a great narrator. Shadow in the wind got me hooked. Highly reccomend this book as well.

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  • Alan Mapstone
  • 03-15-19

Disappointing, not as good as others in the set

Not as good as Zafon's other novels in this series. The story never really gets going and rather goes nowhere very slowly.

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  • Ella
  • 02-17-19

Ties the first two books together

Make sure you've read Shadow of the Wind first. SotW has been one of my most adored books for years, my paper copy has been read and re-read and the story never left me.
Angel's Game and Prisoner of Heaven have never quite had the same effect, but you should read them for completeness of the series.
PoH has some of the beautiful phrases you expect from Zafon and it's consistent in style with the previous two.

However, I would recommend you read PoH as a print book, this narration is terrible. As many other reviewers have said, Fermín, the key focus of this book, was performed with a bizarre and totally out of place northern English accent, completely lacking his wit and vivacity that we love in SotW. Why?! How this left the production room like this is a mystery :(.

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  • Ian
  • 01-13-19

Brilliant!!!

Wonderful story, brilliantly read. Fermin is the greatest character creation in 21st Century. Get this audiobook!!

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  • sj22
  • 01-07-19

3rd book in the Cemetery of Lost Books series

So glad I read this book! It brings together so much of the last 2. I found the second one slightly fanciful and was a bit disappointed. This one however makes the second book make so much more sense. Great trilogy. Can’t wait for the next instalment!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-29-17

I cant wait for the next installment......

Loved this story.

Wasn't sure about narrators voice to begin with but it did grow on me. Should say its my first ever audio book.

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  • Andrew
  • 01-03-18

The Best from Zafon

Would you consider the audio edition of The Prisoner of Heaven to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version so I can't answer this question directly other than to comment that the audio edition was/is very engaging and well put together. I think the story would hold up equally in either format. The Narrator was very good and I thought his technique was very well honed.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Prisoner of Heaven?

I love the way that Zafon creates a story that can stand alone but ties into the other two books in this 'series'. Being the third book, each time reference is made to any of the characters in the first two, a tingle creeps up my spine, reminding me of those storeys also.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

No one particular scene, but I really enjoyed when Daniel took his friend to the the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, and received the package with the note (I'm trying not to use names to avoid giving bits away)!

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

Yes, but in the end I split it over 4 'sittings'.

Any additional comments?

I'm now off to see what else Zafon has written and am thinking about re listening to each in the series. The Prisoner of Heaven is by far my most favorite, I wonder though if this is because it was the third and the main characters were already set for me? Would it have been as good if I read this book first? I think so, but possibly with a different slant.Well done Zafon, you have a life long fan in me.As an Australian, I am planning on taking my first trip to Spain at the moment, and I must admit, a big part of it will be tracing the footsteps of some of the places in Zafon's books, when visiting Barcelona.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • 10-31-16

An enthralling tale

Once again we are treated to a rich tale and deep believable characters. A joy.

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  • Elly
  • 10-23-15

Always pulls you in

When I met Daniel Sempere in The Shadow of the Wind I instantly fell in love with the world he lives in, followed close behind was the love and obsession for Juilan Carax. Fortunately, Carlos Ruiz Zafon wrote follow up books that drew me in again from start to finish. The way he writes has an insane way of making you believe you are inside his mind. In The Prisoner of Heaven we get to learn about who Fermin was before he met Daniel and what lead him to live on the streets. Exceptional book and will be reading again.