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On My Bookshelf: The Angel’s Game, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Angel's Game

Addictive, compelling, one of the best books I’ve ever read. Kept me up at night reading. This is the second book of the “Cemetery of Forgotten Books” series.

**SPOILER ALERT**

How much is real vs. what is all a product of David Martin’s tortured mind is up to the reader to decide. This is part of the magic and fun of the book. Compare the scene on p.106 with Cristina displaying the photo of a young girl holding the hand of a man, walking on the beach. She finds it in her father’s possessions after he passes, and she says to Martin: “I don’t know. I don’t remember that place or that day. I’m not even sure that man is my father. It’s as if the moment never existed…” Then, go to the end of the book on p. 529 where Corelli says he is punishing David with bringing Cristina back to him as a child. The moment comes full circle!

David is introduced to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books and “Lux Aeterna,” by D.M. draws him in. When he begins reading, he realizes that the mysterious mansion he’s been renting was also the former house of “D.M.,” and that very likely he typed it using the same typewriter that David had recently been using. Creepy!

There are too many story lines and characters for everything to just be in David’s head, I think. But, what about all the deaths – his previous publishers; Pedro; and Cristina? Did David do it? If it is all in his head, how do you explain what happened to the previous occupant, “D.M.,” and all of those interwoven stories?

A story of a madman or a story of man who made a deal with the devil? I don’t know. It’s beautifully complicated. I’m halfway through “The Prisoner of Heaven,” the third installment. Maybe I will know more by tomorrow night!

On My Bookshelf: The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

A shot of my worn and tattered copy of Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s “The Shadow of the Wind,” complete with “OH MY GOD!” post-its. The Shadow of the WindI write about this book because I loved it, and I want to remember it. In writing, I am forced to reflect upon how much pleasure I derived from reading the book.

It is a gothic tale set in 1945, Barcelona. Daniel, the bookseller’s son, is introduced to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, and makes his selection of one book from the labyrinth to take home and care for. In doing so, he finds himself involved in a real-life mystery. You see, the book he selected was written by a man named Julian Carax, and very well may be the last book in existence by Carax. Someone has been finding the Carax works and destroying them.

I love that it is a book about a book! I love the story, but I also love the writing itself, and how Zafon has a style that makes me want to keep reading. The man is a beautiful writer. The “Angel of the Mist” story that begins on page 233 is a haunting touch, as is Maria Jacinta’s detailing of her encounters with Zacarias (begin on page 260), and the storyline of Daniel and Fermin visiting her in the asylum.

I loved this first book so much that I immediately started reading the second book in the series, and I am about 200 pages in to “The Angel’s Game,” right now! To think, I found this gorgeous read because of a visit to the Book Warehouse over the July 4 weekend, where I unwittingly purchased the third book in the series first!

 

 

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