Marina (en español) / Edition 10 available in Paperback
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Marina based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Marina is Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Shadow of the Wind/La Sombra del Viento)'s first novel. He considers it a children book, but I think children would get nightmares from this book. The first line of the book is "Marina told me that we only remember what never happened". The story occurs in the Barcelona of the Seventies. Thus the strange and fantastic relationship starts between Oscar Drai, a student interned in a prep school, who does not get along with his real father, and thus befriends Marina Blau, and her father Germán at the Sarriá castle. Mr. Blau was an incredible paintor, married to an amazing opera singer who died of a congenital disease. He had Marina as a few years before his wife's death. He stopped painting after that, and in their home you can see multiple paintings of a woman--Diana, Marina's mother. When Oscar takes Marina and her father to the train station to Madrid, Oscar receives a card from a strange lady with the name: Miguel Kolvenik with an address. Curiosity takes the best of young Oscar and he goes to the address. There he meets Benjamin Santis, who was Kolvenik's business partner who informs him that Kolvenik died in 1948. Santis tells the strange story of this man, and the Velo-Granell factory that they owned together and how Kolvenik was an inventor of prosthesis that worked better than anything else in the market. Thus they gets rich and things go well until Kolvenik falls in love with a famous opera singer, Eva Irinova. She was "owned" by a Russian couple who had "adopted" her and Kolvenik buys them out through money and threats. On their wedding day, the Russians spay acid on Irina's face and she is never seen again. meanwhile, Kolvenik dissapears, and their home burns inexplicably and two bodies are found inside embracing each other. Mr. Santis dies under suspicious circumstances and Oscar finds out that a detective had been trying to prove monstrosities were occurring at the Velo-Granell factory. Oscar goes to the old factory and they discover cadavers that are "alive" and very dangerous. Thus an amazing adventure begins, filled with monsters, murders, and the many fabulous love stories. The book is a wonderful read and I think it is almost as goon as Zafón's masterpiece: The Shadow of the wind.
I have to admit that I only bought this book because I had loved 'The Shadow of the Wind' (another novel by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, AND my personal favorite, all time, book). In 'Marina', the same ultra-detailed fascination of the main character over Barcelona is repeated. The story of Mijail Kolvenik will completely engage you, just as Julian Carax's in 'The Shadow...'. What didn't made me put a fifth star in it is that not one character came to me as real or deep. Lowering demands, I believe the only one who would pass as real to me (and let me mention that we are talking about a character that only has around two sentences in the whole book) would be Maria Shelly. Anyway, the book is great. The ending will really mix feelings, the tangles of human obsesion and the darkest lifestyles are portraid magnificently. Love, after all, comes and sets itself as a main character and well, one or two philosophical phrases may remain woundering within your head for a couple of days after finishing this memorable story.