The Angel's Game

by Carlos Ruiz Zafon | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0753826496 Global Overview for this book
Registered by cluricaune of Armagh, Co. Armagh United Kingdom on 10/14/2014
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by cluricaune from Armagh, Co. Armagh United Kingdom on Tuesday, October 14, 2014
"The Angel's Game" was first published in Spain in 2008, a prequel to the the hugely popular "The Shadow of the Wind". It's English translation followed in 2009.

In December 1917, David Martin was 17 years old and working for "The Voice of Industry", an ailing newspaper based in what used to be a sulphuric acid factory. Don Basilio Moragas, the paper's deputy editor, summons him to his "office" one evening...having herad from Pedro Vidal (the paper's star colimnist) that David knows how to write. Wants a story for the Sunday edition and David has six hours to write it. Mightily impressed, though even at this early stage, Don Basilio expects David to leave the journalism for fiction. David's story proves so popular, David is handed the column on a regular basis and launches a serial called "The Mysteries of Barcelona"...the two (deadly) leading characters are Chloe Permanyer, "the dark princess of all vamps" and Baltasar Morel who dispatch the dregs of society to a better - or, as the case may be, worse - place. The readers love it, Don Pedro remains a friend and mentor and Don Basilio indulges him...unfortunately, David's fame and talent is alienating him from his colleagues in the news room.

Vidal had promised to help David wherever he could should David ever decided to become a writer. As such, he was the first person David had ever shared his writing with. Pedro, something of a playboy, comes fron an exorbitantly rich family, well-connected and high profile family. Vidal Senior is one of the paper's main shareholders, which no doubt contributes to his star billing at the newspaper. Lives in a mansion called the Villa Helius and chauffeured around the city. (Daniel is in love with the chauffeur's daughter, Christina - the frostiest maiden this side of Estella). It's Pedro who delivers David's first piece of fanmail...signed only "A.C.", it requests a midnight meeting at a place called "El Ensueno del Raval". (El Ensueno is either a brothel or a "elegent establishment for a select and discerning clientele"). David is unsure whether or not to attend, but eventually goes along. Amazingly, not to mention enjoyably, the lady he meets there is none other than Chloe...his own creation for "The Mysteries of Barcelona". After a brief rest, he wakes to find the brothel empty, though with a calling card in his hand. It contains the contact details for Andreas Correlli, an editor based in Paris, who promises to make David's dreams come true. From here, things begin getting extremely spooky...

Although the book is set before "The Shadow of the Wind" and features a different hero - David Martin, instead of Daniel Sempere - there are some familiar faces. Naturally, there's a return to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books - where Isaac Montfort still works at the front door. Gustavo Barcelo pops up once or twice, although there's no mention of Clara - his beautiful and blind niece. However, David is a frequent visitor to the Sempere and Sons bookshop - run, in this volume, by Daniels father and grandfather. As the years pass, we even get to meet Daniel's mother - who actually proved to be my favourite character in this book. Where many saw a similarity between Daniel and Julian Carax, the parallels between David and Diego Marlasca are even more overt in this book. (Marlasca had been the previous resident of David's gothic mansion, and had also - apparently - once been employed by Correlli). In a nice touch, the book also closes with an epilogue, dated 1945 - fifteen years after the 'main section' of this book finished and the same year "The Shadow of the Wind" began. However, despite all the connections, the tone of the book is somewhat different to its predecessor - it's just as readable and just as enjoyable, but it's an awful lot spookier. In fact, the author himself did a great job of summing it up : "Thus, if Shadow of the Wind is the nice, good girl in the family, The Angel’s Game would be the wicked gothic stepsister."

Journal Entry 2 by cluricaune at Belfast, Co. Antrim United Kingdom on Tuesday, October 14, 2014
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Journal Entry 3 by cluricaune at Belfast, Co. Antrim United Kingdom on Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Released 6 yrs ago (11/3/2014 UTC) at Belfast, Co. Antrim United Kingdom

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Passed to Fleurdelys.

Journal Entry 4 by fleurdelys at Belfast, Co. Antrim United Kingdom on Monday, April 5, 2021
I loved Shadow of the Wind, but I couldn’t get into this.

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