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Marina
     

Marina

by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
 
Barcellona, fine degli anni Settanta. Óscar Drai è un giovane studente che trascorre i faticosi anni della sua adolescenza in un cupo collegio della città catalana. Colmo di quella dolorosa energia così tipica dell'età, fatta in parti uguali di sogno e insofferenza, Óscar di tanto in tanto ama allontanarsi non visto dalle soffocanti

Overview

Barcellona, fine degli anni Settanta. Óscar Drai è un giovane studente che trascorre i faticosi anni della sua adolescenza in un cupo collegio della città catalana. Colmo di quella dolorosa energia così tipica dell'età, fatta in parti uguali di sogno e insofferenza, Óscar di tanto in tanto ama allontanarsi non visto dalle soffocanti mura del convitto, per perdersi nel dedalo di vie, ville e palazzi di quartieri che trasudano a ogni angolo storia e mistero. In occasione di una di queste fughe il giovane si lascia rapire da una musica che lo porta fino alle finestre di una casa. All'interno, su un tavolo, un antico grammofono suona un'ammaliante canzone per voce e pianoforte; accanto, un vecchio orologio da taschino dal quadrante scheggiato. Óscar stesso, nel momento in cui sottrae l'oggetto e scappa, è sopraffatto da un gesto che risulta inspiegabile a lui per primo. Qualche giorno dopo però tutto gli apparirà tanto chiaro quanto splendidamente misterioso. Tornando sui suoi passi per restituire il maltolto, infatti, Óscar incontra la giovane Marina e il suo enigmatico padre, il pittore Germán. E niente per lui sarà più come prima. Il suo innato amore per il mistero si intreccerà da quel momento ai segreti inconfessabili del passato di una famiglia e di una Barcellona sempre più amata: segreti che lo spingeranno non solo alla più lunga fuga mai tentata dal detestato collegio, ma anche verso l'irrevocabile fine della sua adolescenza.
Scritto prima de L'ombra del vento e Il gioco dell'angelo, romanzi che hanno consacrato Zafón come uno degli scrittori spagnoli più popolari di tutti i tempi, di essi Marina anticipa i grandi temi: gli enigmi del passato, l'amore per la conoscenza, la bellezza gotica e senza tempo di Barcellona.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 05/12/2014
In a novel first published in Spain in 1999, Zafón (The Midnight Palace) transports readers to 1979 Barcelona, where 15-year-old Oscar Drai lives a dreary boarding school life. That’s until he meets a girl named Marina, who takes him to an old cemetery where a cloaked woman conducts an odd ritual over a nameless grave. Soon they uncover a twisted tale of hereditary disease, murder, and horrible experiments, all of which took place years ago and whose central figures are dead. Or are they? Zafón is a master of both the subtle simile (“A strange sound throbbed in the darkness. A metallic murmur, like the sound of a venetian blind quivering”) and the outrageous image: “The light filtering down from above revealed the face of a harlequin. Two diamond shapes covered its glassy eyes, and steel fangs protruded from its lips of polished wood.” On a rational level, the tale, like many Gothic thrillers, is preposterous, but readers are never given time to think rationally. Unlikely discoveries in mysterious, half- ruined mansions alternate with spine- tingling action sequences to create a grotesquerie that will delight horror fans. Ages 12–up. (July)
Booklist

Praise for The Midnight Palace:
"With shades of modern horror classics....Zafón has crafted a highly original plot set within an exotic setting."

From the Publisher
Praise for Marina:
A 2015 ABC Best Book for Young Readers

* "This beautifully written work of historical fiction is impossible to put down."—School Library Journal, starred review

* "Zafón is a master of both the subtle simile and the outrageous image.... Unlikely discoveries in mysterious, half-ruined mansions alternate with spine-tingling action sequences to create a grotesquerie that will delight horror fans."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "Fans of Neil Gaiman will devour this book, and it deserves a place next to popular mysteries."—VOYA, starred review"

This sweeping gothic mystery...delivers gritty atmosphere, perilous action, [and] propulsive storytelling."—Booklist"

Delivers scares in spades.... [An] immersive, truly terrifying tale."—The Bulletin"

A great tale of mystery, suspense, and romance.... spell-binding."—Library Media Connection"

Zafón weaves a twisted tapestry of gothic horror, quickly paced, with intricate layers of carefully crafted stories within stories."—The Horn Book"

High-quality gothic genre fiction with a classic Mary Shelley sensibility."—Kirkus Reviews

VOYA, August 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 3) - Chelsea Stockdale
Marina is a wonderfully written thriller with a macabre twist. Any high school student will fall in love with Marina, as well as the hidden history of Barcelona threaded into the tale. The characters leave a long-lasting impression that ensnares readers in a gothic adventure. Once readers pick up this novel, they will not be able to put it down. Reviewer: Chelsea Stockdale, Teen Reviewer; Ages 11 to 18.
VOYA, August 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 3) - Etienne Vallee
Oscar is in seventh grade and has been attending a resident Catholic school in Barcelona for years. On one of his meandering walks, he discovers a dilapidated home and feels compelled to enter. He finds an elderly man sleeping by the fire and accidentally steals a watch when the man wakes. When he returns to drop off the watch, he encounters Marina and Germán, her father. She shows him a cemetery where, every month, a figure clad in black comes to worship at an unmarked grave. They begin investigating, but soon become confronted by horrors beyond their imagination. As they dig further into the secrets of people who died more than thirty years ago, they uncover a sinister and horrific plot with a villain bent on wreaking vengeance on all who wronged him. Will Oscar and Marina be added to his list? In a tale reminiscent of Frankenstein, Zafon weaves suspense from a string of small events that build towards a confrontation between the teens and the tale’s villain. The characters are all well-rounded and contribute to the narrative, and Oscar’s relationship with Marina is an accurate portrayal of early teen relations. The setting of Barcelona at the beginning of the 1980s, a few years after the end of the Franco dictatorship, adds an element of mystery and the city is almost its own character. Fans of Neil Gaiman will devour this book, and it deserves a place next to popular mysteries. Reviewer: Etienne Vallee; Ages 11 to 18.
School Library Journal
★ 05/01/2014
Gr 8 Up—Set in Barcelona, Spain from late 1979 to May 1980, this gothic novel centers around 15-year-old boarding school student Oscar Drai. Instead of studying during his free time, the teen explores the city, and one day ends up in an area that seems deserted. Drawn in by music coming from an old dilapidated house, Oscar is given a scare by the owner, an eccentric and haunted German artist. Having accidently taken a watch from the house, the boy returns to bring the valuable item back and meets the enigmatic Marina. Realizing that they both like mysteries, Marina invites Oscar on an escapade to a graveyard to observe a woman who leaves a red rose on an unmarked grave. The two follow this woman, lose her, but eventually wander into an abandoned greenhouse filled with sinister marionettes and grotesque photos. Soon, the narrator becomes embroiled in the lives and histories of a presumed dead actress, recluse tycoon, and mad scientist obsessed with escaping death. From the very first page, this beautifully written work of historical fiction is impossible to put down. With elements of romance, mystery, and horror, none of them overwhelming the other, this complex volume that hints at Mary Shelley's Frankenstein manages to weave together three separate stories for a cohesive and eerie result.—Jesten Ray, Seattle Public Library, WA
Kirkus Reviews
2014-05-14
Like Paris in Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera, Ruiz Zafón’s Barcelona is a character in its own right, linchpin for this richly atmospheric, genuinely scary tale.Oscar Drai, 15, leads a solitary existence at his boarding school, marking time until he can escape to wander Barcelona’s cold misty streets and decaying neighborhoods. While exploring the garden of a decaying mansion, he hears a beautiful voice singing and impulsively follows it indoors to its source, an old gramophone, next to which is a pocket watch. When the room’s furious occupant suddenly confronts him, Oscar flees back to school before realizing he still has the watch. Returning it, he meets Germán, its owner, and his beautiful daughter, Marina, who befriends him. Soon, Marina invites Oscar to accompany her to a lonely graveyard, where, hidden, they watch a veiled woman in black place a flower on a gravestone that’s carved with the image of a black butterfly then disappear into one of the abandoned buildings nearby. Curious, they follow her and discover a greenhouse in an overgrown garden and make a horrific discovery. What lies behind the ancient facades—and in the fetid darkness beneath the city streets—is a mystery as layered as the city’s history. It’s well-known which road is paved with good intentions—none are more lethal, Oscar learns, than love and pity.High-quality gothic genre fiction with a classic Mary Shelley sensibility. (Horror. 12 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9788852027383
Publisher:
MONDADORI
Publication date:
07/02/2012
Sold by:
ARNOLDO MONDADORI - EBKS
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
715 KB

Read an Excerpt

"The memories of hundreds of people lie here. Their lives, their feelings, their expectations, their absence , the dreams that never came true for them...All that is here, trapped for ever."
"Nothing in life can be understood until you understand death," Marina added.

Meet the Author

Carlos Ruiz Zafón es uno de los autores más leídos y reconocidos en todo el mundo. Inicia su carrera literaria en 1993 con El príncipe de la niebla, a la que siguen El palacio de la medianocheLas luces de septiembre (reunidos en el volumen La trilogía de la niebla) y Marina. En 2001 se publica su primera novela para adultos, La sombra del viento, que pronto se transforma en un fenómeno literario internacional. Con El juego del ángel vuelve al universo del Cementerio de los Libros Olvidados, que sigue creciendo con El prisionero del cielo. Sus obras han sido traducidas a más de cincuenta lenguas y han conquistado numerosos premios y millones de lectores en los cinco continentes.

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