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The Angel's Game (El cementerio de los libros olvidados #2)

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  61,074 Ratings  ·  6,158 Reviews
From the author of the international phenomenon The Shadow of the Wind comes a riveting new masterpiece about love, literature, and betrayal.

In this powerful, labyrinthian thriller, David Martín is a pulp fiction writer struggling to stay afloat. Holed up in a haunting abandoned mansion in the heart of Barcelona, he furiously taps out story after story, becoming increasing
Hardcover, 531 pages
Published June 16th 2009 by Doubleday (first published 2008)
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Alex It's not necessary because in both books the author tells the story of Sempere's bookshop and the Cemetery of forgotten books, so you'll understand…moreIt's not necessary because in both books the author tells the story of Sempere's bookshop and the Cemetery of forgotten books, so you'll understand the action.
Actually, the Action from The angel's game is happening before the one in The shadow of the wind.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane SetterfieldThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafónRebecca by Daphne du MaurierThe Historian by Elizabeth KostovaThe Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Modern Gothic
7th out of 418 books — 993 voters
The Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafónThe Thirteenth Tale by Diane SetterfieldFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
Stories For Book Lovers
33rd out of 1,079 books — 3,023 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Lee Goldberg
Dec 03, 2013 Lee Goldberg rated it it was ok
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 ("
Will M.
David Martin is a pulp fiction writer struggling in life. He went to Barcelona in hope of a better future, and the mysterious man with an unbelievable offer seemed to fulfill his wish. The events after he accepted the offer changed his life forever.

The first book, The Shadow of the Wind managed to exceed my expectations. I was a bit reluctant with this second one, but clearly Zafón is one hell of a writer. He once again managed to exceed my expectations. I consider him as one of the best Histori
Dec 23, 2009 Becky rated it liked it
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
Jan 20, 2010 Lavinia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2010
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
Feb 05, 2016 Nikoleta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, book-lovers
Όταν έπιασα στα χέρια μου «το παιχνίδι του αγγέλου» νόμιζα ότι θα διαβάσω άλλη μια «σκιά του ανέμου» – το οποίο είναι το αγαπημένο μου βιβλίο- οπότε δυστυχώς έπεσα σε συγκρίσεις κ δυστυχώς το αδίκησα μέσα στο μυαλό μου. «Το παιχνίδι του αγγέλου» έχει περισσότερη δράση, ποιο πολύπλοκο μυστήριο, σκοτεινή ατμόσφαιρα κ απρόσμενα γεγονότα, επίσης ναι, σοκάρει τον αναγνώστη. Αλλά δυστυχώς δεν συμπάθησα τους ήρωες, ο Νταβίδ δεν είναι δυνατόν να φτάσει τον Ντανιέλ και η Χριστίνα ούτε καν πλησιάζει την Μ ...more
Jul 13, 2009 K rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldntfinish
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
Dec 14, 2015 Maxwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-it, 2015, translated
More like a 4.5 stars but still really, really good. I couldn't get enough of this book. It has the delightfully gothic elements that Ruiz Zafón does so well: mysterious figures, creepy mansions, blood and mist, and the eerie atmosphere of Barcelona at night. And of course, the importance of books in the story makes it quite an enjoyable read.

The story follows David Martin, a writer for a newspaper and penny dreadfuls who gets sucked into a creepy plot with a figure called "the boss" who employs
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
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

Corelli se inclinó hacia adelante y me clavó los ojos.
—Martín, quiero que cree una religión para mí.

David Martin es un escritor desesperado en busca de reconocimiento, tras varias luchas infructuosas en el mundo de la literatura conoce al Señor Corelli, un caballero cuyo símbolo es un ángel, este le propone un trato del cual Martin no podrá negarse. Cosas extrañas comenzaran a suceder en la vida de Martin que lo llevaran a preguntarse si el símbolo del patrón debería ser un ángel o un demonio.
Mar 17, 2009 Elton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
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
Carmo Santos
Dec 16, 2014 Carmo Santos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: espanha

Foi o segundo livro que li de C.R.Záfon e começo a reconhecer-lhe o estilo gótico e misterioso, com alguns apontamentos de sobrenatural que imprime aos seus romances. Parece ser uma receita vencedora já que os livros vendem-se como pãezinhos quentes. E com razão, em mais de 500 páginas não encontrei uma que fosse aborrecida ou me desse vontade de pousar o livro. Pelo contrário; cozinhei com ele na mão, comi com ele na mão, ignorei a malta à minha volta e só não li e dormi ao mesmo tempo porq
Aug 15, 2009 Carmen rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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

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
Nov 14, 2014 Charlene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book, mystery
Last night, I listened to the end of this audiobook with tears in my eyes. I won't easily forget those last scenes.

My favorite parts of this story were the visits to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. I love the idea of a place where:

"Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The first time someone visits this place, he must choose a book and adopt it, making sure that it will never disappear, that it will always stay alive."

Just reading those sentences makes my soul sigh with contentm
Nov 19, 2015 Vaso rated it really liked it
Όσοι θέλουν να λένε ότι γνωρίζουν από λογοτεχνία γιατί απλά διαβάζουν πολλά, πλανώνται πλάνην οικτρά. Ο ΘΑΦΟΝ είναι μεγάλος λογοτέχνης, απ’ αυτούς που δύσκολα συναντάς πια. Δεν είναι μόνο οι περιγραφές του αλλά και ότι σε βάζει να σκεφτείς αυτά που κρύβονται πίσω από τις λέξεις. Ένα εξαιρετικό βιβλίο!
Oct 17, 2015 TL rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-reading, favorites
“Every book has a soul, the soul of the person who wrote it and the soul of those who read it and dream about it.”

“We spend a good part of our lives dreaming, especially when we're awake.”

" A writer never forgets the first time he accepted a few coins or a word of praise in exchange for a story. He will never forget the sweet poison of vanity in his blood and the belief that, if he succeeds in not letting anyone discover his lack of talent, the dream of literature will provide him with a r
Nancy (NE)
May 28, 2013 Nancy (NE) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
May 18, 2009 Jill rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Everything is a tale, Martin. What we believe, what we know, what we remember, even what we dream. Everything is a story, a narrative, a sequence of events with characters communicating an emotional content. We only accept as true what can be narrated.

Zafón’s books are pure magic. And while I loved The Shadow of the Wind because of the story, I enjoyed The Angel’s Game primarily because of its protagonist, David Martin.

I really can’t properly describe why I love Zafón as a writer; you trul
Dec 28, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 26, 2015 GeorgeD rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Υπέροχη ιστορία με έντονο το υπερφυσικό-μεταφυσικό στοιχείο και με μια (μεγαλούτσικη) δόση αστυνομικού νουάρ. Είναι καλογραμμένο και φέρνει στο προσκήνιο με όμορφο τρόπο και χωρίς βιασύνες το Κοιμητήριο των Ξεχασμένων Βιβλίων και το μαγικό βιβλιοπωλείο "Σέμπερε και Υιός" που λατρέψαμε (όλοι το λατρέψαμε, ε?) στη Σκιά του Ανέμου!
Έχω προγραμματίσει τον "Αιχμάλωτο του Παραδείσου" να μου κάνει ποδαρικό την καινούργια χρονιά! Λίγες μέρες έμειναν μόνο, μέχρι τότε θα μου κάνει παρέα ο Κάφκα του Κου Μου
David Martín is a young man that dreams of becoming a writer. Unfortunately, he signs a slave deal with the publishers Barrido and Escobillas. But one day a strange man that claims to be a publisher offers him a deal he can’t refuse. But is this man an angel or the devil?

The Angel's game is the second book I have read by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and a prequel to The Shadow of the Wind. I will probably go against the tide, but I found this book much better than The Shadow of the Wind. I liked the charac
Sep 26, 2012 Travis rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Sep 01, 2015 Miguel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cheguei a O Jogo do Anjo por osmose literária. As impressões de A Sombra do Vento ainda ardiam.

A escrita pericial de Carlos Ruiz Zafón guia-nos para uma história angulosa frequentada por personagens cuja disparidade e pluralidade psicológicas são evolutivas, isto é, a autenticidade do seu carácter firma-se à medida que a leitura progride.

David, um homem circunspecto, casuístico, escritor com obras publicadas, lança-se para o abismo de um livro críptico que irá dinamitar as suas relações.
Somewhere around 70% I'm deciding to abandon this book. I really tried to keep going, hoping I would start to enjoy it, but right now I've given up and it seems pointless to force myself. Plenty of better books out there for me to read.

It's a shame, and quite a surprise, because I remember loving The Shadow of the Wind. True, the writing in Angel's Game is just as beautiful, but the story is dull and I don't care about any of the characters (once again I realize how Fermin was the real magic in
Nov 19, 2015 Athena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Αφού διάβασα το "Η σκιά του ανέμου" δανείστηκα από την βιβλιοθήκη και το δεύτερο βιβλίο της τριλογίας. Η αλήθεια είναι ότι ήμουν αρκετά ενθουσιασμένη με το πρώτο βιβλίο, αλλά το δεύτερο δεν ανταποκρίθηκε στις προσδοκίες μου. Αρχικά, ξεκίνησε με αργό ρυθμό. Στις πρώτες 100 σελίδες βαρέθηκα. Επίσης, ο συγγραφέας φαίνεται να ακολουθεί κάποια μοτίβα και στα δύο βιβλία. Κάποια από αυτά είναι: α)ο πρωταγωνιστής και στα δύο βιβλία βιώνει έναν ανεκπλήρωτο έρωτα, β) υπάρχει πάντα ένα σπίτι που κρύβει μυσ ...more
Jun 25, 2009 Tony rated it it was ok
Shelves: thrillers
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
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Carlos Ruiz Zafón is a Spanish novelist. Born in Barcelona in 1964, he has lived in Los Ángeles, 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 about Carlos Ruiz Zafón...

Other Books in the Series

El cementerio de los libros olvidados (3 books)
  • The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books,  #1)
  • The Prisoner of Heaven (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #3)

Share This Book

“I don't suppose you have many friends. Neither do I. I don't trust people who say they have a lot of friends. It's a sure sign that they don't really know anyone.” 736 likes
“Every book has a soul, the soul of the person who wrote it and the soul of those who read it and dream about it.” 552 likes
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