The Angel's Game (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #2)
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The Angel's Game (El cementerio de los libros olvidados #2)

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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  43,118 ratings  ·  5,066 reviews
From master storyteller Carlos Ruiz Zafon, author of the international phenomenon "The Shadow of the Wind," comes "The Angel's Game--a"dazzling new page-turner about the perilous nature of obsession, in literature and in love.
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"The whole of Barcelona stretched out at my feet and I wanted to believe that, when I opened those windows, its streets would whisper stories to me,...more
Hardcover, 531 pages
Published June 16th 2009 by Doubleday Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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JG (The Introverted Reader)
David Martín is a writer of penny dreadfuls who is offered a huge sum of money to write a book for a French publisher. He can't find any evidence that the publisher actually exists though, and violent things start happening to David's friends and colleagues.

I was rocking through the first half of the book, loving Ruiz Zafón's writing, and then I just stopped caring a little over halfway through. I'm not entirely sure what happened. I think I got sick of having absolutely no freaking idea what wa...more
Lee Goldberg
The book starts out so well, rich in a character, humor, and a powerful sense of place. It captivated me from the first few pages. I couldn't wait to keep reading. I rewarded myself with it each night. I felt I was reading a truly great book, one I was certain would become a beloved favorite of mine.

I was so in love, that I was willing to overlook a nagging flaw -- in a story where language and the craft of writing mean so much, where the writer himself aims a spotlight on authorial laziness ("...more
Becky
Dec 23, 2009 Becky rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Gothic mystery lovers
This book was ALMOST a 5 star read for me. I really, really enjoyed it, and wish that I could give it 5 stars, but I feel like the loose ends were kind of rubber-banded together, rather than tied up all nice and pretty.

But first I want to talk about the writing. GOR-GEOUS. Ruiz Zafon captured me with the first paragraph. In fact, while I was reading "What Dreams May Come" right before this, I snuck a peek and then almost didn't put it back down to finish "WDMC". I mean, look at this:
"A writer n
...more
K
When I'm reading something good, or even decent, I'll find myself reading just a few more pages when I should be doing housework or some other exciting chore. When I find myself finding all sorts of creative ways to waste time without even thinking of picking up my book, I know it's time to give up on it.

Too bad -- I really liked The Shadow of the Wind. But unfortunately, like the sequel to The Pillars of the Earth, I think the author was trying too hard to recreate his own success at the expens...more
Lavinia
My, oh my! I had such great expectations from the book - I know, it's not fair - and I was so disappointed about how it ends I actually don't know anymore if I liked it or not.

It starts OK, nothing spectacular at the beginning (well maybe that episode when David, a journalist at this point, visits the brothel - I still haven't figured out its connection with the rest of the story ), but after the first quarter it gets better and better. Now a writer, David is asked by a mysterious editor to writ...more
Elton
The Angel's Game actually takes place in the same area of Barcelona as SOTW. Set in the period just before the civil war that leads up to SOTW. The main character is David Martin, who at the beginning of book is working at a newspaper & gets his chance to be a writer. Soon with the help of of his friend & mentor, Perdo Vidal, he is able to lift himself out of poverty & start writing for a living.

He soon leaves the newspaper & starts writing pulp fiction under a pseudonym for a le...more
Jeanette (Most of My Favorite Authors Are Dead)
Overall a well-told story with a clever and original plot. David Martin is a struggling author living in poverty in the seedy depths of Barcelona. He receives an irresistible offer of 100,000 francs to write a book for a creepy man he begins referring to as "the boss." After accepting the offer Martin starts research on the designated topic, triggering a series of strange happenings. He knows he is being "played" and used, but he doesn't know why or by whom. Things just get more and more siniste...more
Yzobelle
Once more, Zafon takes his readers to a thrilling ride into a web of stories. And any ride with Zafon is guaranteed to be breathtaking.

In the Angel's Game, Zafon has again exhibited his specialty in leading his readers into a series of intricate stories. He makes sure his readers enter that labyrinth of events so engrossed that they would hardly feel that they have been sucked into it. But great Zafon makes sure that his readers come out of it safe. He really has that talent of giving little une...more
Carmen
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Kim

I am a patient reader. I can cope with ambiguity and digression. I enjoy ornate prose and the occasional serving of melodrama. I don't need each and every element of a plot spelled out for me. This means that I loved (almost) every over-the-top melodramatic moment of the first in Carlos Ruiz Zafon's "Cemetery of Lost Books" series, The Shadow of the Wind. Reading that novel, I was carried away to Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War and thoroughly enjoyed Ruiz Zafon's magical prose.

My overwhe...more
Jill
I absolutely loved The Shadow of the Wind and expected this book to be my favorite book of the year. Perhaps my expectations were too high to give it a fair chance. I didn't care for the story. I rarely felt like picking the book up after taking a break but continued to think that there would be some redeeming aspect as I read and was closer to the end. I would not recommend this book- it was terrible. I lent it to a friend and she didn't even bother finishing it (she reads a couple hundred book...more
Nancy (NE)
The Angel's Game is the second in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series which began with The Shadow Of The Wind. Each book is an independent entity and yet the stories are interwoven. They can be read in any order. Much darker than the first, this is an entirely different mystery. The question for me was, "At what price, does the artist sell his soul for the sake of his art?" And does the giving up of the soul involve a bargain with Lucifer, or losing touch with reality and self in a combinatio...more
Melissa
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Travis
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Tony
Ruiz Zafon, Carlos. THE ANGEL’S GAME. (2009). **. I enjoyed the author’s first novel, “The Shadow of the Wind,” and took a chance on this, his second novel published in the States. It was disappointing. The premise is that of “Faust,” wherein a writer sells his soul to someone who is obviously the Devil in exchange for a chance to continue writing and to be cured from a deadly brain tumor. Like Faust, this one also has a couple of Margaritas in it, both young women with whom the protagonist has...more
Erik
I count Zafon’s first novel, The Shadow of the Wind, as one of the best works of modern European literary mysteries this side of Umberto Eco or Arturo Perez-Reverte. It is a stroke of artistic brilliance in which he carefully unveiled his multi-layered mystery for the reader that was simultaneously seductive and intriguing. Knowing that his second novel, The Angel’s Game, returned us to that same world of mid-century Barcelona – yet slightly earlier in time, with different characters – I chomped...more
Blair
In many ways, I really loved this book. To use a hackneyed phrase, it grips from the first page, and stays constantly enthralling from then on - rich and exciting, gothic and often macabre. Just when you think you've got a handle on the plot, it shoots off in a different direction entirely, constantly adding new layers of intrigue. The dialogue absolutely sparkles, full of the kind of quick-fire conversations you would associate with a play rather than a novel, particularly the scenes between Da...more
Jamie
I've waited two years for this book. Though unemployed, I paid full price and bought it the very first day it came out. To date, I have reread it's predecessor (though this book was the prequel) three times and given away four copies and named a cat that sat in the front window of an art gallery I passed every day on Market Street Nuria, as homage to Ruiz Zafon's first book.
And, before I go on, I will say I had a busy month--I got a job and so I didn't have the sort of dedication I might have b...more
Leah
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Reca
I was able to take advance of an advance copy to read this one before the June release date. This story follows a writer in 1920s Barcelona through his writing for a newspaper, for himself, and a a mysterious man who promises him riches for writing a story that the man wants. That's where things get interesting. There is a complicated mystery that unfolds throughout the book, which kept me reading until it was over.
Mish

Review & thoughts on re-read in 2012
The Angel’s Game is the prequel to The Shadow of the Wind. This book is set in the gothic city of Barcelona in the 1900’s. It tells the story of David Martin, who one day dreams of becoming a serious writer. He gets his break when he is asked to write a fictional series under a pseudonym. Earning a modest wage, he decides buy an abandoned Tower house, which he has had his eye on for a while, but soon finds out it has a dark history. Over the years David st...more
Teresa
Great Expectations plays a substantial role in this novel, both the Dickens’ novel and the hopes and aspirations of our narrator David Martin – oh, not forgetting the great expectations of Shadow of the Wind devotees who have been left waiting in the wilderness for 5 years. So, have our expectations been met? The answer is a resounding yes!

The Angel’s Game has been described by some as a prequel, I suppose it is a prequel of sorts in so far as it’s set in the same wonderfully gothic location, s...more
Blodeuedd Finland
Published: June 2009
Hardcover: 448 pages

The whole of Barcelona stretched out at my feet and I wanted to believe that, when I opened those windows, its streets would whisper stories to me, secrets I could capture on paper and narrate to whoever cared to listen.'

In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martín, makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he has taken refuge in the world of books, and spends...more
Tori
I think this author is SO talented. The translator must be extremely talented, as well. I loved Zafon's first book, Shadow of the Wind, and was very excited to read his newest one. This is going to be a four-part series, and I am already looking forward to the next one. The setting is similar in both books - Barcelona in the early 1900's - and the Cemetery of Forgotten Books appears in both stories. Whereas SOTW had to do with readers, AG has to do with a writer. It's been a few years since I re...more
Lance Greenfield
Dark and sinister


This is the macabre and sinister tale of David Martín, a journalist who turns to writing books. Initially, these are regularly churned out, trashy stories, written purely for income. I won’t tell where he progresses to, or describe any of the weird events that ensue, for fear of spoiling this wonderfully intriguing story for you. Suffice to say that this book is packed with action and mystery.

If you build an affinity with a strongly crafted character, then you are in danger of b...more
Karina Halle
3.5 - kudos to the translator and for Zafon's always gripping and lyrical prose. Kudos to the haunting scenes, the page-turner aspects, and a richly-envisioned Barcelona.

But...what the fuck just happened? I like books that make me think but, you know, not too much. I'm left in a puddle of confusion with some ideas of what I just read but too much inherit laziness to really think it through and figure it out. I was expecting something a little more straightforward, but it is Zafon, author of Shad...more
Carl
I may be one of the few who read this without having read Shadow of the Wind (got on the library's waiting list early, and I'm still waiting for a friend's promised copy of SOTW). So no preconceptions.

The plot is DENSE (worsened by my usual difficulty in remembering who's who when the names are foreign), so much so that I was still confused at the end about just who did what to whom and why, and how that created such trauma for the protagonist. Or maybe that was the point??? (which wouldn't app...more
Michael
Carlos Ruiz Zafón takes up back to the gothic universe of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books with the prequel to The Shadow of the Wind; The Angel’s Game. I for one am glad to be thrown back into this world; with the beautiful backdrop of Barcelona (even if there is no mention of my favourite building). Carlos Ruiz Zafón always seems t know how to give the reader a taste of everything with this series; the adventure, romance, tragedy, and the secrets and magic of books. The Angel’s Game tells the s...more
Jeff
“The Angel’s Game” is a haunting, eerie, multi-layered novel that brings us back to the labyrinthine world of Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s Barcelona. In fact, Barcelona seems to be one of Zafon’s favorite recurring characters. With its melting, confectionary Gaudi architecture and its meandering, atmospheric alleyways of the Barri Gotic, Barcelona is the perfect mise-en-scene for Zafon and a setting that seems easy for him to mythologize.

The novel, set about twenty years before the action of Zafon’s “Sh...more
Seth Hahne
With The Angel's Game, Zafón does more than just return to the Barcelona he created for Shadow of the Wind (albeit some couple decades earlier). He returns to so many of the themes of the previous book that one wonders if he isn't trying to tell the reader something of the nature of stories. Perhaps that under their skin (the superficialities of characters, dialogue, setting, and turns of plot), they're all telling us the same things, repackaged in such ways that we might discover the truth of...more
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That's no exuse: Only 2?!?! 1 1 Mar 14, 2014 05:17AM  
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Carlos Ruiz Zafón is a Spanish novelist. Born in Barcelona in 1964, he has lived in Los Angeles, United States, since 1994, and works as a scriptwriter aside from writing novels.

His first novel, El príncipe de la niebla (The Prince of Mist, 1993), earned the Edebé literary prize for young adult fiction. He is also the author of three more young-adult novels, El palacio de la medianoche (1994), Las...more
More about Carlos Ruiz Zafón...
The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books,  #1) The Prisoner of Heaven (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #3) The Prince of Mist (Niebla, #1) Marina The Midnight Palace (Niebla, #2)

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