Customer Reviews for

The Angel's Game

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

Zafon's newest is FAR different but an excellent read!

The length of this volume could have been drastically reduced by better editing in the first act, entitled "City of the Damned." This section strives to become the foundation for the remaining two "acts" and does so overly well. The hero, David Martin, is a writer, the ...
The length of this volume could have been drastically reduced by better editing in the first act, entitled "City of the Damned." This section strives to become the foundation for the remaining two "acts" and does so overly well. The hero, David Martin, is a writer, the son of a mother who abandoned him and his father shortly after his father returned from the Spanish "War in the Phillippines" a broken and haunted man. When David was in his early teens, his father was murdered in front of him. Fortunately, he was employed as a writer at a rather "raggy" daily newspaper and his writing caught the eye of a wealthy benefactor who made it possible for him to become a featured writer. As expected, the other journalists grew jealous and he was sacked after a year. He becomes a highly read author, who is contractually required to use an alias, nearly losing everything else in the process and that is where the story becomes intriguing. It is also the end of "act one."
The following two "acts" detail the relationship David develops with "the boss," Andreas Corelli, a mysterious publisher who commissions him to write a book that "will capture the world." The path this writing leads our hero, the people he meets and the problems he encounters in the year following his meeting Mr. Corelli, makes the last 261 page a much quicker read than the first 139.
This is a much darker novel than was The Shadow of the Wind. The Sempere & Sons' book shop and the Cemetery of Forgotten Books are welcomed old friends returning from that novel, however, Mr. Zafon takes the reader into an entirely different aisle in the world of literature with the writing of this work than was his leading in the previous novel. This is as a bloody a tale as is it dark. By the end of the book, I was weary of the body count and discouraged by the "cheap" manner in which Mr. Zafon was dealing with the conclusion of his tale. I was discouraged, that is, until the epilogue, when the picture was complete and the story was shown to have no wasted bloodshed. Each action was as necessary, and usually painful, for David as it was for the reader. There are no nightmares to be found in this book, only the sorrow experienced by those who feel compelled to write then share that part of their soul with the world.
There is a decided Spiritual dimension to this parable. David wrestles with an evil who befriends him, yet the price for that friendship far exceeds the benefits given. He is confronted with the miracle of life, magic, love, and mystery all by his skill as a writer, yet he refuses to glimpse beyond the material to see the Real. Mr. Zafon is either a lapsed Catholic or a very radical practicing one, as his understanding of religion is seeped in ritual and he presents faith as something that is deeply personal but just as deeply powerful. Even the title of the book is a hint of the Spiritual nature of the story, as he understands the Biblical idea of "Angel" as a messenger and who is not always a welcomed guest.The love Mr. Zafon has for literature is evident in this, and in his previous, novel. There are references to Dickens' Great Expectations, homage to Goethe's Faust, Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray and a host of other great novelist's works are evident in this tale. Mr. Zafon does not plagiarize the other works, he only honors them with incorporating their "flavor"

posted by YoyoMitch on April 22, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Incomplete Ending

I loved Shadow of the Wind. While I enjoyed The Angel's Game, I did not like the ending. It just felt wrong and unfinished. It left me incomplete. I found the characters in both books interesting. I just feel that Shadow of the Wind had more to offer the reader. Bet...
I loved Shadow of the Wind. While I enjoyed The Angel's Game, I did not like the ending. It just felt wrong and unfinished. It left me incomplete. I found the characters in both books interesting. I just feel that Shadow of the Wind had more to offer the reader. Better characters, and story.

posted by Sundari on March 12, 2010

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  • Posted January 22, 2010

    Amazing and beautiful

    I must start by letting everyone know that I dont write reviews. I had to make an exception because this novel took my breath away. Not only is it beautifully written but the plot is thrilling and unexpected. The characters are wonderfully developed, they are human and very real. I sat down to read this and could not put it down... I wanted to find every excuse throughout the 5 days it took me to read all 500 pages, to steal away and read on. I almost wish it hadn't ended and I could read on forever. I simply loved every moment of it.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    OOPS! I accidentally wrote this review on Zafon's other book!!!

    Loved this one too! As I accidentally said, Love loss, buried secrets, lack of trust, connection, books....What more can you ask for? I love Zafon's writing style and his creativity to keep the reader hooked to each page! His writing appeals to both sexes, which is quite a trick to pull off! Another book that captured my heart recently is EXPLOSION IN PARIS, by Pirrung,only it appeals more to women. Loved it so much that I'm promoting it as best I can! It deserves to be read and enjoyed! The reviews tell the story!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR

    I THINK THE BEATLES SONG IS AN APPROPRIATE TITLE FOR THIS REVIEW. I JUST READ TERRANCE RAFFERTY'S REVIEW IN THE NEW YORK TIMES,AND IT'S A SHAME HE DIDN'T FIND THIS AS MAGICAL AS "SHADOW OF THE WIND".
    I AM 54 YEARS OLD AND I MUST SAY, THAT LIFE HAS NOT BEEN A VERY MAGICAL EXPERIENCE. THE MUNDANE BUSINESS OF DAY TO DAY OVERPOWERS THE FEW MOMENTS OF JOY,AND LIKE THE MAIN CHARACTER IN THIS BOOK, WE MIGHT ALL CONSIDER A PACT WITH A "DEVIL" TO ACHIEVE THAT WHICH WE LONG FOR.I HATED TO PUT THIS BOOK DOWN BETWNNE READINGS. IT IS HARD FOR ME,A VORACIOUS READER, TO FIND REALLY INTERESTING BOOKS ON ALL LEVELS, BUT THIS ONE WAS,FOR ME. ALL READING IS SUBJECTIVE,AND I NEVER BASE MY PURCHASES ON CRITICS LIKE MR.RAFFERTY. I WISH THE AUTHOR HAD TRANSLATED THIS BOOK HIMSELF,OR I WISH I READ SPANISH,BECAUSE THEN I THINK IT WOULD HAVE MEANT A LOT MORE.
    MACBETH SAYS IT BEST WHEN,AFTER HIS WIFE'S DEATH AND HIS PREPARATION FOR HIS FINAL BATTLE, THAT LIFE IS "FULL OF SOUND AND FURY,SIGNYFYING NOTHING". THIS BOOK BRINGS ME ALONG WITH THE PLOT AND REMINDS ME OF THE FEW JOYFUL MOMENTS IN MY LIFE WHERE INTELLECT, EMOTION, TALENT AND PASSION ALL COMBINED MAGICALLY TO PUSH MY SOUL ABOVE THE MEDIOCRE LEVELS OF EVERYDAY LIFE, AND ACHIEVE THAT SOMETHING I LONG FOR.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2009

    Couldn't put it down

    I loved this book. It was thrilling, I couldn't put it down. I also loved "Shadow of the Wind." I can't wait to read more of his books. His books are definately intended for readers who want suspense and mystery.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    As soon as I fininished The Angel's Game I reread The Shadow of the Wind. Please translate more books as soon as possible!!! Ruis Zafon is the writer for anyone who loves books and believes in their soul. Just say "No" to kindle.

    Please translate more books by Ruis Zafon. This book is the perfect book for anyone who love books, who loves to read, and sees books as a mirror into the soul of humanity.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fantastic story

    I loved Shadow of the Wind and am just as enthralled with The Angels Game. I am listening to it on CD (which I sort of hate to do with such excellent writing but that's just what worked out for me) I do not speak much Spanish so I would never come up with the pronunciation that the narrator has. It really makes you feel like you are in Spain listening to an authentic Spanish story. I highly recommend this. The names of people and places spoken by the narrator with his accent are just beautiful to listen to. I may go back and read it later so I can take it slow and savor some of the passages and hopefully read it with the same beautiful pronunciation in my head. I hope he will write many more books.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    As Good as it Gets

    "The Shadow of the Wind" is without doubt one of the finest literary achievements in recent history. Sublime in Spanish, it is possibly even surpassed by the remarkable translation of Lucia Graves, and "The Angel's Game", in Spanish, is as rich, beautifully written, original and thought-provoking as its predecessor. We look forward to the English-language version, with its incomparable use of language.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2009

    Psst! Want a Great Summer Read that's Smart and Fun? Here it is!

    Vividly told with drama, intrigue, laughs, love and the pure joy and magic of books and their power to transform us, The Angels Game is the prequel to the internationally best-selling The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. The author dazzles us but never overwhelms as he weaves his tale set in Barcelona of the 1920s. An orphaned boy grows to manhood in a Gothic world of wonders and secrets. He is befriended by a rich, failed writer, and a local secondhand bookshop owner and is seduced into the world of words. We follow David Martin as he becomes a writer himself and is drawn into a literary mystery involving a powerful stranger Andreas Corelli, who commissions a book to be written which brought only bad luck and ruin to the writer previously hired for the task. Clues are unearthed in the old house where David now lives involving closed off rooms and dreams and visions of unsettling events. The characters are well drawn and the tale is enlivened with a dash of humor and wit. There are two loves in Davids life and you will fall in love with these women too.
    Explore the Barcelona of the 1920s in this exciting and enchanting tale. It is perfect for summer reading for anyone who has ever fallen in love with a great book. It has already become one of my new favorites.

    Curt Jarrell
    Glen Burnie, MD

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2015

    Beautiful!

    The language of this book is lovely. After having read Shadow of the Wind I wanted more. I will now read the next in the series. These books, to me are metaphores for what reading and writing add to a life. There is no complete life without books!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2014

    I read all three in this series, but I really loved this one bes

    I read all three in this series, but I really loved this one best. It's an absorbing gothic fiction with good plot and character development.

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  • Posted June 13, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    As captivating as The Shadow of the Wind

    I really enjoyed this book....I like how some characters cross over. This authors particular style of writing really calls to my deep desires when reading a book, especially when it is set in another country. Such descriptive prose attracts me and a intriguing story sucks me in....I'll be reading his other works!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2014

    Hetalia~

    I love you, Spain, and your books! Those who agree search alfred jones and go to result two, which should say something about a paper. Thanks!!! ~D

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  • Posted December 27, 2012

    Loved Shadow of the Wind and couldn't wait to see what Angel's G

    Loved Shadow of the Wind and couldn't wait to see what Angel's Game would provide. It did NOT disappoint... enthralling, magically painted world and characters.

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  • Posted December 11, 2012

    The book, The Angel¿s Game, is an exciting and question raising

    The book, The Angel’s Game, is an exciting and question raising book written by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. The Angel’s Game is the second book in the series, The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, the first book being The Shadow of the Wind. Zafon has written a total of seven books, The Angels Game being one of the more recent of his books, published in 2008. The Angel’s Game is a book based off of greed, anger, and fear. The main character of the book is David Martin, an amateur journalist and book writer in Barcelona Spain in the early 1900’s. Martin encounters serious trouble throughout his life and he’s trying to dig himself out. This book is directed more towards an adult or teenager with a high reading level, due to the complex writing choices and pace of the book. The Angel’s Game was an amazing read and is a definite page-turner.
    The Angel’s Game is a mystery novel based on the upcoming author, David Martin. David Martin is trying the best he can to make something of himself but nothing seems to work. Finally Martin decided to give himself the last push he needed to make it as a writer and as a person; that last push was inspired by his traumatic past. Martin’s push for happiness brought everything but that. Then Martin saw a tunnel to the happiness he needed and so much desired. Martin made a deal, the worst deal of his life. Martin’s life has been turned upside down. Fear and guilt crept into David Martin’s mind and turned him into a man he never thought he would be, only some little things keeping him somewhat sane. Martin goes to serious and drastic measures just to keep his own safety and the safety of others around him. A life filled with lies, hurt, fear, and no trust is the life that David Martin is now living and David doesn’t know how to cope or live like that. Martin turns to very extreme measures to try and get rid of the “curse” that is following him around. With no friends and no love for himself, Martin feels alone and only starts to think about himself and one or two other people. Dangerous people are on Martins tail and are always looking for him so Martin feels that he has no privacy and nowhere to run to get away. Martin is drowned in his own world, his own work, and his own life. The Angel’s Game is a riveting journey into the dark mind of David Martin.
    The book The Angel’s Game was a very well developed and organized book. The author, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, achieved his goal in this book very nicely. The plot is well developed and every event that happens, happens in a distinct order that leads to the other events chronologically. The point Zafon is trying to get across to his readers is hard to decipher until the middle or close to the end of the middle of the book. Although the beginning and middle are clear and complete the end of the book doesn’t come to a full complete conclusion. There are still many untied strings at the end of this book that you have to tie together yourself. Zafon focused on the feelings and ideas of David Martin, the main character and the narrator of the story. Although that was an okay choice, the story would be more complete and possibly easier to understand if Zafon showed the thoughts or feeling of other characters in the story. Some of the characters and the plots behind the characters are unrealistic and jumbles up the text. Also, Zafon spends much of his time in the story describing the scenery that David is around and that causes it to get slightly boring and its unnecessary in some parts. Although this book has some faults this is one of the most well written and well developed book in its genre of mystery and thriller. Zafon’s word choice and writing choices builds up suspense. Although this book is amazingly well written it is not very relatable. The fiction aspect of this novel overpowers the ability to relate. The Angel’s Game is a highly recommendable book to anybody that enjoys a great old fashion mystery.
    The Angel’s Game is an intense novel that keeps you intrigued from the front cover to the back cover. A story base of confusion and fear, Zafon brilliantly connects the story together and develops his characters in profound depth. This book is a classic mystery book that any book lover would be intrigued and enjoy to read. The Angel’s Game gets you lost in its own secrets of lies, depression, and personal gloom.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2012

    Beautiful

    Angel's Game does not get the credit it deserves. It is a beautiful piece of literature, just like Shadow of the Wind. Zafon is a wonderful storyteller. You will not regret reading this novel!

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  • Posted August 24, 2012

    Must Read!

    Must Read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2012

    Amazing Journey

    I loved this book more than the first and that's saying alot. Great story with twists and turns. Highly worth the time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    Win win win

    I'm ready for anther sequel. Enjoyed this as his others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    Tyk..l.jkkip

    T..bhdyigjktm

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2011

    Excellent follow up

    A modern classic. The best new book for book lovers - hearkening back to the smell of worn leather and pulp.

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