The Angel's Game (Unabridged)
by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
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In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martin, 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, Zafon 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.
Ok, so I am a huge fan of Shadow of the Wind. Listened to it 2 times. That being said, and realizing that not all of Zafon's work has to measure up to Shadow, I found The Angel's Game to be hard to maintain an interest, hard to care about the main character Martin, hard to care about the romance and even harder to care about the plot (or the lack thereof). I did enjoy the narrator, as he truly was the best thing about the book. It almost seems as if Zafon was at odds with his publishers (much like Martin in the book), and wrote a trite second book as a means to make the first book all the better (again like Martin in the book). Unfortunately, art's imitation of life in Angel's Game was not very interesting. Sorry, but don't waste your time on this one.