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Publisher's Summary

Internationally acclaimed New York Times best-selling author Carlos Ruiz Zafon takes us into a dark, gothic Barcelona and creates a rich, labyrinthine tale of love, literature, passion, and revenge in which the heroes of The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game must contend with a nemesis that threatens to destroy them.

Barcelona, 1957. It is Christmas, and Daniel Sempere and his wife, Bea, have much to celebrate. They have a beautiful new baby son named Julian, and their close friend Fermin Romero de Torres is about to be wed. But their joy is eclipsed when a mysterious stranger visits the Sempere bookshop and threatens to divulge a terrible secret that has been buried for two decades in the city's dark past. His appearance plunges Fermin and Daniel into a dangerous adventure that will take them back to the 1940's and the early days of Franco's dictatorship. The terrifying events of that time launch them on a search for the truth that will put into peril everything they love and ultimately transform their lives.

Performed by Peter Kenny

©2012 Carlos Ruiz Zafon (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    178
  • 4 Stars
    164
  • 3 Stars
    82
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    9

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    179
  • 4 Stars
    129
  • 3 Stars
    57
  • 2 Stars
    19
  • 1 Stars
    6

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    164
  • 4 Stars
    133
  • 3 Stars
    72
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    9
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Brings together the stories from previous 2 books

Peter Kenny narrated this installment and I thought he did a very good job, I do wish Jonathan Davis would have narrated the entire series but each book has a different narrator and I liked Peter better than I liked Dan Stevens who narrated Angel’s Game but still not as much as Jonathan Davis.

Love how this book ties in all the stories and characters from the previous 2 books it makes me want to go back and re-read the whole series again. I loved this one almost as much as Shadow of the Wind and now with the details in this book I think I would enjoy Angel’s Game more. It was so nice to be back with these characters as the truth of the past is revealed to Daniel and how that affects his current life.

I just love this man’s writing he can transport you into a story so fast that it was so hard to let go. There were a couple times I wanted to shake Daniel (when it came to his wife). I enjoyed Fermin’s story and liked how it unfolded. This one didn’t have as much suspense to it just because it pulled in the stories from the first 2 books and it was more ah-ha moments of how everyone & everything fit together.

This didn’t feel like an ending of this series though so I hope there is another one! Although it was like the end of a chapter I would love more stories from these characters. Also this one seemed to be over quickly and left me wanting more.


This is a great series and this was a short but satisfying addition.

4 Stars

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Sets up an exciting conlusion

While it is the shortest of the "Cemetary of Forgetten Books" series, The Prisoner of Heaven weaves the tales of The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game seamlessly. When I initially read it, I thought it was the last of the series and was a bit disappointed at the questions that were left unanswered. Then I realized, that it is the third installment of the quartet. While the first two installments stand on their own, the 3rd needs its successor though it ties the first two in such a way that you would never want to read them in isolation without reading the rest of the series. The author insists that the series can be read in any order and The Prisoner of Heaven demonstrates that.

Zafon's poetic writing returns and brings to light the characters we were so deeply invested in from previous books. However, it should be said that Peter Kenny was not my favorite narrator. Not that he was bad (I gave him 4 stars), but Jonathan Davis was far more animated and really brought Fermin Romero de Torres to life.

Can't wait for the final installment of this wonderful series.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MEMcL
  • Carlsbad, CA
  • 01-20-13

I am obsessed with this series, and this author!

Any additional comments?

I listened to my first book by this author, and didn't realize that it was the second in a series of three books. (Shadow of the Wind; The Prisoner of Heaven; The Angel's Game) The Spanish names of streets and characters can be confusing at first. But, I love the use of language and beautifully crafted dialogue, as well as the complicated plot. So, I started over, and read all three in the right order.

There are many questions to be answered, and I found myself going back and listening to previous chapters. The intricate story web is not to be taken lightly, and the characters are so finely drawn, and with wise observations of human nature sprinkled in. What a joy it was to read, and reread these books! I plan to let it rest for a few months and then listen to all three all over again. I know that there are nuggets in there that I missed this time. It was kind of like reading the Count of Monte Christo, or the Man in the Iron Mask. Weighty, wonderful literature and skilled story telling.

All three books were read by different narrators, but each was wonderful. Of all the Audible Books that I have listened to over the years, this is my favorite and most admired series.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Poetry or Prose?

I was so excited to learn there was a third book in the Sempere & Son saga that I purchased and started listening to "The Prisoner of Heaven" as soon as I finished "The Angel's Game" and "The Shadow of the Wind." Unfortunately, I was immediately disappointed with the publisher's choice of narrator.

The combination of Peter Kenny's rhythm (i.e., hurry, hurry, wait, wait), the breathiness of his voice, the way he fades on the last word in a statement, and his seemingly unnatural pauses mid-sentence all add up to a feeling of whimsy that directly conflicts with the darkness of this gothic novel. Contrary to the narrators of the two previous novels, which were somber, strong, and exceptionally appropriate, this narrator seems to approach this novel as though it were poetry rather than prose. (I can practically "hear" a waltz playing to the rhythm of his voice as I listen.)

On a positive note, the softness in the narrator's voice lends itself well to the youthfulness of Daniel and makes his character even more endearing.

I am currently only a short way into the novel (chapter 3). At this point, the narrator is so distracting, I'm not sure I will even finish the audiobook. I may switch instead to a hardcopy.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Diane
  • Louisville, KY, United States
  • 08-10-12

Weakest book of the trilogy

I love Zafon's writing and his skill in creating a dream-like sense of reality. The Shadow of the Wind was wonderful, with The Angel's Game close behind. Both of those books had the strength of being marvelous stories which could each stand on their own.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for The Prisoner of Heaven. I have read both of the earlier books, but it's been a while, and my less than perfect recollection of the plot intricacies of the first two books definitely detracted from my enjoyment of this one.

The story itself is something of an homage to Dumas' Count of Monte Cristo, and definitely has its magical moments. However, it lacks much of the mystery and complexity of the earlier two novels. I understand Zafon intends to write one more book for this collection. I certainly plan to read it, hoping that he returns to the form which so entranced me in The Shadow of the Wind.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Pick a dialect

The story, while feeling incomplete and unsettled, was still quite engaging as one would expect of Zafon. However, the narrator of this installment in the series needs to pick a dialect and stick with it. Are we speaking with the Castillano lisp and saying "Bartheleno" or not?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A Decent Companion To Better Books

What made the experience of listening to The Prisoner of Heaven the most enjoyable?

I loved The Shadow of the Wind...
I loved The Angel's Game....
I only liked The Prisoner of Heaven.

I was wonderful to get reacquainted with old friends: Daniel Sempere, Fermin, and David Martin - and the author did an elegant job of weaving their disparate stories together into a compelling web that helps make more sense out of the other two books. The highlight for me was learning more about the dark and painful history of that loveable scamp Fermin Romero de Torres.

And yet, The Prisoner of Heaven was a bit...unfulfilling. Entertaining, yes! Fun, yes! But, somehow, more of a companion to the other books than a book that can stand on its own two legs.

If you loved Shadow of the Wind and/or The Angel's Game - then READ THIS BOOK. But if you haven't read those tales, then start at the beginning: Mr. Zafron has done better, longer, more engaging work in the longer novels - but we can be thankful that there are still more tales to tell featuring these characters after we have grown to love them.

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

Not bad, not bad. Not my favorite.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No.

Any additional comments?

Mr. Kenny is a very fine narrator - I would say 'excellent' except that at times he slipped into a nearly Scottish accent for some of the characters in this book which felt very incongruous with the Spanish story itself. This was distracting to me at times and, I think, an unnecessary directorial decision.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely loved the continuation of the story....

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. It's the third part of a purported four book story line and I have been completely enthralled by it from beginning to the end of this part (listening to each book twice in a row). I can't wait for the last book.

What other book might you compare The Prisoner of Heaven to and why?

I'm not sure I have anything in mind to compare it to.

Which character – as performed by Peter Kenny – was your favorite?

Kenny's characterizations took some getting used to.

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

I easily could have - I sat in my garage on more than one night, waiting for a better place to stop.

Any additional comments?

My only negative comment would be that the narration was not as "fitting" as in the two previous books. Jonathan Davis is exquisite narrating The Shadow of the Wind and Dan Stevens did a good job with The Angel's Game (though after having JUST finished Shadow, Dan's voice took some getting used to). I have listened to Kenny narrate other books and like him, buy I was not a fan of his work here.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Edison
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 04-15-13

What a disappointment!!!

I have no words... Shadow of the Wind was so great that, I expected nothing else of Prisoner of Heaven... maybe the next one will conclude it... left me wondering...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jenn
  • Gardnerville, NV United States
  • 08-01-12

A wonderful 3rd Installment

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would absolutely recommend this book to a friend, but only a friend that has read the other two books in the series. While The Prisoner of Heaven and the Angel's Game are often billed as being able to stand on their own as complete stories, this claim isn't entirely accurate. They do function as mostly self-contained in their respective plots, but the significance and implications of certain events is lost if the reader is not familiar with the events from the previous installments.

What about Peter Kenny’s performance did you like?

His voice for Valls was absolutely perfect for the character: soft, but still menacing.

If you could take any character from The Prisoner of Heaven out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Fermin. He's got the best stories.

Any additional comments?

Since the book are so interrelated, it may be a good idea to be fresh about what happened in the other books. I really wish I had re-read Shadow of the Wind and the Angel's Game before starting this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful