8 reviews

The Angel's Game
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Published: 2009-06-16
Hardcover : 544 pages
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Recommended to book clubs by 6 of 8 members
In the turbulent and mysterious Barcelona of the 1920s, David Martin, a young novelist obsessed with a forbidden love, receives an offer from an enigmatic publisher to write a book like no other before ? a book for which ?people will live and die.? In return, he is promised a fortune and, ...
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(In the turbulent and mysterious Barcelona of the 1920s, David Martin, a young novelist obsessed with a forbidden love, receives an offer from an enigmatic publisher to write a book like no other before ? a book for which ?people will live and die.? In return, he is promised a fortune and, perhaps, much more.

Once again, the author of The Shadow of the Wind takes us into the gothic universe of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and creates a breathtaking adventure of intrigue, romance and tragedy, and a dizzingly constructed labyrinth of secrets where the magic of books, passion and friendship blend into a masterful story.

Book Description
From master storyteller Carlos Ruiz Zaf�n, author of the international phenomenon The Shadow of the Wind, comes The Angel's Game--a dazzling new page-turner about the perilous nature of obsession, in literature and in love.

?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 whomever cared to listen...?

In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Mart�n, 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, Zaf�n 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.

Carlos Ruiz Zaf�n on The Angel's Game

Years ago, when I began working on my fifth novel, The Shadow of the Wind, I started toying around with the idea of creating a fictional universe that would be articulated through four interconnected stories in which we would meet some of the same characters at different times in their lives, and see them from different perspectives where many plots and subplots would tie around in knots for the reader to untie. It sounds somewhat pretentious, but my idea was to add a twist to the story and provide the reader with what I hoped would be a stimulating and playful reading experience. Since these books were, in part, about the world of literature, books, reading and language, I thought it would be interesting to use the different novels to explore those themes through different angles and to add new layers to the meaning of the stories.

At first I thought this could be done in one book, but soon I realized it would make Shadow of the Wind a monster novel, and in many ways, destroy the structure I was trying to design for it. I realized I would have to write four different novels. They would be stand-alone stories that could be read in any order. I saw them as a Chinese box of stories with four doors of entry, a labyrinth of fictions that could be explored in many directions, entirely or in parts, and that could provide the reader with an additional layer of enjoyment and play. These novels would have a central axis, the idea of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, set against the backdrop of a highly stylized, gothic and mysterious Barcelona. Since each novel was going to be complex and difficult to write, I decided to take one at a time and see how the experiment evolved on its own in an organic way.

It all sounds very complicated, but it is not. At the end of the day, these are just stories that share a universe, a tone and some central themes and characters. You don?t need to care or know about any of this stuff to enjoy them. One of the fun things about this process was it allowed me to give each book a different personality. Thus, if Shadow of the Wind is the nice, good girl in the family, The Angel's Game would be the wicked gothic stepsister. Some readers often ask me if The Angel's Game is a prequel or a sequel. The answer is: none of these things, and all of the above. Essentially The Angel's Game is a new book, a stand-alone story that you can fully enjoy and understand on its own. But if you have already read The Shadow of the Wind, or you decide to read it afterwards, you?ll find new meanings and connections that I hope will enhance your experience with these characters and their adventures.

The Angel's Game has many games inside, one of them with the reader. It is a book designed to make you step into the storytelling process and become a part of it. In other words, the wicked, gothic chick wants your blood. Beware. Maybe, without realizing, I ended up writing a monster book after all... Don?t say I didn?t warn you, courageous reader. I?ll see you on the other side. --Carlos Ruiz Zaf�n

(Photo � Isolde Ohlbaum)

Editorial Review

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

How is David able to meet with Andrea's Corelli " The Boss" after he suspected him of so much!
by bluebelle (see profile) 06/23/09

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Book Club Recommendations

Serve tapas and sangria or tempranillo
by hlarson (see profile) 01/17/10

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
by Emily D. (see profile) 07/11/17

  "The Angel's Game"by Nina R. (see profile) 03/07/14

I love this book and the other books written by this author. The story kept my interest and was difficult to put down.

  "Love Zafon's prose"by Chary P. (see profile) 10/24/12

He is my favorite contemporary author in Spanish. This novel is brilliant. The plot, the atmosphere, the message...one of my favorite books this year.

  "Enjoyed The Angel’s Game more than The Shadow of the Wind."by Michelle M. (see profile) 02/14/11

This book is sort of a prequel to Shadow in that the story occurs directly before it. However, The Angel’s Game can be read on its own. You’ll just enjoy it a bit more if you’ve alre... (read more)

  "Gothic adventure set in Barcelona with twists and turns to keep the reader guessing."by Holly L. (see profile) 01/17/10

Although I enjoyed Shadow of the Wind more, The Angel's Game delivers. The reader finds himself/herself in another world and completely off guard. Barcelona is described perfectly; she is mysterious,... (read more)

  "So much to talk about!"by Allison L. (see profile) 01/16/10

So many plot threads, so many rich characters--this book gave us much to discuss. We had a lively talk about characters, plot, and the twists and turns the author took us on.

  "The Angel's Game"by Karla A. (see profile) 11/20/09

  "The Angel's Game"by Jan F. (see profile) 11/20/09

Very long and not very good the last third of the book.

  "A fabulous gothic novel!"by Melanie B. (see profile) 06/23/09

I loved the way the writter seemed to draw me into a different time, a different life! I was held breathless by the way he described simple everyday things. I found myself reading out loud to my family... (read more)

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