Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The Angel's Game
by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Published by Doubleday Books
June 2009
ISBN: 9780385528702

When an author publishes their second novel after having tremendous success with their first novel, most readers approach it warily. For some authors it's hard to follow up a great debut with a second, equally as good. Luckily The Angel's Game is not actually Zafón's second book, just the second that's been translated to English. Zafón actually published a few young adult novels in Spanish before he wrote The Shadow of the Wind.

But needless to say, Zafón has done it again. He has woven a new story just as engaging & beautiful as SOTW.

The Angel's Game actually takes place in the same area of Barcelona as SOTW. Set in the period just before the civil war that leads up to SOTW. The main character is David Martin, who at the beginning of book is working at a newspaper & gets his chance to be a writer. Soon with the help of of his friend & mentor, Perdo Vidal, he is able to lift himself out of poverty & start writing for a living.

He soon leaves the newspaper & starts writing pulp fiction under a pseudonym for a less than desirable publishing house. But while making good money, he realizes that he is truly not happy & longs to write for himself. Soon he's approached by a mysterious benefactor, Andreas Corelli, who asks David to write a book for him. The subject would be Corelli's choosing. And David would have one year to write it. Once he's done, he will be rich & free to write for himself. But just who is this man giving him this chance? And what will it truly cost him in the end? I'd tell you more, but that might give something away.

Much like SOTW, there is an overall mystery winding it's way through the story. But at the same time there is a fabulous love story/triangle and sins of the past come back to haunt the characters.

Zafón really shines in his storytelling & his dialogue. The interaction between David & his "ward/protege", Isabella, is simply magic. As with SOTW, you really fall into the lives of these characters & live and breathe with them. But eventually the story has to end. And at the end I was in tears, not just because of the story, but simply because I knew my time with these characters was coming to a close.

This is a book I would highly recommend, definitely in my top 20 of all time.



Dropped in from Pat's blog. I've just reserved a copy of Angel's Game. I enjoyed Shadow of the Wind so with out your review I'd have missed it. Thanks.

Booknutt said...

Not a problem, glad you stopped by.

Chris said...

I also just finished this book. I'm a little bummed out now, because I know whatever I read next won't be nearly as good....