Friday, April 15, 2011

The Angel's Game

I took the day off today and had planned on sleeping in but the construction outside my window that typically starts around 7am makes it impossible to do so.  Instead, I slept until just before 8 this morning and spent my first hour finishing Carlos Ruiz Zafon's prequel to Shadow of The Wind, The Angel's Game, which was actually written 5 years after.

As this was a prequel, we're taken back to Barcelona, the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and the Sempere & Sons bookshop - the descriptions of which, real and imagined, made me wish I could return again for a visit. 

On the story though - this effort felt more gothic and sinister and there was a twist near the end which was unexpected - and I like to think that I'm a pretty smart reader.  There were definitely shades of Dorian Grey here, too, as Daniel seizes to age as the years go on, and while I've never actually read Wilde's novel, I do know that this detail figures hugely in the plot. 

The end seemed rather hurried and maybe a bit ambiguous...and that's all I'll say without giving away the ending.

From the dust jacket:

'The whole of Barcelona stretched out at my feet and I wanted to believe that, when I opened those windows, its streets would whisper stories to me, secrets I could capture on paper and narrate to whoever cared to listen.'

In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David MartÌn, 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 existed - a book with the power to change hearts and minds. In return, he will receive a fortune, perhaps more. But as David begins the work, he realises that there is a connection between this haunting book and the shadows that surround his home.

1 comment:

Fairfield Curtains said...

Now with that, I think I would want to read it now. I'll have to search in the internet where I can buy it? Or, will you be willing to post the rest of the stories here (lol)?

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