The Prisoner of Heaven

The Prisoner of Heaven

4.3 43
by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
     
 

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Once again, internationally acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author Carlos Ruiz Zafón creates a rich, labyrinthine tale of love, literature, passion, and revenge, set in a dark, gothic Barcelona, in which the heroes of The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game must contend with a nemesis that threatens to destroy them.

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Overview

Once again, internationally acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author Carlos Ruiz Zafón creates a rich, labyrinthine tale of love, literature, passion, and revenge, set in a dark, gothic Barcelona, in which the heroes of The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game must contend with a nemesis that threatens to destroy them.

“Gabriel García Márquez meets Umberto Eco meets Jorge Luis Borges for a sprawling magic show." —New York Times Book Review on Shadow of the Wind

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Characters from The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game reconvene in Zafón's newest literary thriller. When a stranger shows up at the struggling Sempere & Sons bookshop in Barcelona in 1957 to buy a rare and expensive volume, Daniel Sempere—the son—sets out to uncover the mysterious man's motives. The resulting mix of history and mystery drives this third installment in Zafón's cycle about the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a "sprawling labyrinth…like the trunk of an endless tree." What Daniel discovers will implicate those he loves, has lost, and loathes—from his soon-to-be-wed friend, Fermín; to Daniel's mother, Isabella, who died under questionable circumstances; his father; his wife, Bea, and infant son, Julian; and a host of schemers, torturers, corrupt governmental officials, writers, and lovers, many of whom have changed identities, hurriedly penned secret missives, and stashed keys to hidden treasures. Zafón's storytelling is deft and well-paced, and his vivid prose brings the cultural riches and political strife of Franco-era Spain to life. Though the book will undoubtedly please readers familiar with his other novels, as the introduction explains, the book is a "self-contained tale" capable of standing alone—something it does with aplomb. (July)
Kirkus Reviews
The Count of Monte Cristo finds justice--after a fashion, anyway, and by the most roundabout of routes. Daniel Sempere leads a life of bookish desperation in a Barcelona still reeling from the years of the Franco dictatorship. His father is even more desperate; no one is buying his wares, and there are always bills to pay. It's with considerable if very temporary relief that, while his father is away from their bookshop, Daniel sells a rare copy of The Count of Monte Cristo to a shadowy stranger who uses it to send a message to a helper in the store: "For Fermín Romero de Torres, who came back from among the dead and holds the key to the future." Who is the stranger, and what does his dark message mean? Will Daniel's long-suffering wife run off, leaving the book retailer for a book publisher? Will anyone in our time read Dumas père's book without having to be assigned to do so? For that matter, why did Franco ban Dumas, and what kind of trouble is Daniel in for because he has a copy for sale? From those promising if murky beginnings, Ruiz Zafón's story takes off, resembling a Poe story here, a dark Lovecraft fantasy there, a sunny Christopher Morley yarn over there. The influences of those authors, to say nothing of Dumas and Balzac, are everywhere, though it's a little disconcerting to find a street girl talking like Oliver Twist: "It's me tits....A joy to look at, aren't they, even though I shouldn't say so." But Ruiz Zafón's story soon takes twists into the fantastic and metaphorical, heading underground literally and figuratively, to places such as the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a place that only good and diligent readers ever get to visit, and in which the solution to the mystery is lain. Ruiz Zafón narrowly avoids preciousness, and the ghosts of Spain that turn up around every corner are real enough. Readers are likely to get a kick out of this improbable, oddly entertaining allegory.
The Washington Post
Full of stylish writing, Gothic atmosphere and love letters to 19th-century novels…
—Yvonne Zipp
The Guardian
“[A novel] with the blissful narrative drive of a high-class mystery… Ruiz Zafón is a splendidly solicitous craftsman, careful to give the reader at least as much pleasure as he is evidently having.”
New York Journal of Books
“The story has heart, menace torture, kindness, cruelty, sacrifice, and a deep devotion to what makes humans tick.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Perhaps his wittiest [novel] and the darkest to date, a stylistic feat that Ruiz Zafon handles deftly…Savor this book.”
Booklist
“Gripping…suspenseful…The magic of the novel is in the wonderfully constructed creepy and otherworldly setting, the likable characters, and the near-perfect dialogue.”
Book Reporter
“Invoking the atmosphere of Dumas, Dickens, Poe and Garcia Marquez, Carlos Ruiz Zafon retains his originality and will hold his rightful place among the storytelling masters of literature.”
Miami Herald
“There is an air of magical realism to Zafón’s tales. The prose is robust and the dialogue rich with smart irony. But mostly, reading Zafón is great fun.”
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“A deep and mysterious novel full of people that feel real…This is an enthralling read and a must-have for your library. Zafón focusses on the emotion of the reader and doesn’t let go.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062206282
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/10/2012
Series:
Cemetery of Forgotten Books Series, #3
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
241,176
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Carlos Ruiz Zafón, author of two critically acclaimed and internationally bestselling novels, The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game, is one of the world's most read and best-loved writers. His work, which also includes prizewinning young adult novels, has been translated into more than fifty languages and published around the world, garnering numerous international prizes and reaching millions of readers. He divides his time between Barcelona and Los Angeles.

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