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Publisher's Summary

In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martin, 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 his nights spinning baroque tales about the city's underworld.

But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house lie photographs and letters hinting at the mysterious death of the previous owner.

Like a slow poison, the history of the place seeps into his bones as he struggles with an impossible love. Close to despair, David receives a letter from a reclusive French editor, Andreas Corelli, who makes him the offer of a lifetime. He is to write a book unlike anything that has ever existed, a book with the power to change hearts and minds. In return, he will receive a fortune, and perhaps more. But as David begins the work, he realizes that there is a connection between his haunting book and the shadows that surround his home.

Once again, Zafon takes us into a dark, gothic universe first seen in the Shadow of the Wind and creates a breathtaking adventure of intrigue, romance, and tragedy. Through a dizzingly constructed labyrinth of secrets, the magic of books, passion, and friendship blend into a masterful story.

©2009 Carlos Ruiz Zafon (P)2009 Random House

Critic Reviews

"The plot resolves in a rush, for the author finds himself with many a loose end to tie up, but once it sinks in, the result is more than satisfying. Zafón delivers a warning about the dangers of obsession, mixed with an obvious passion for literature and the printed word; his book is also a song of love for Barcelona with all its creaking floorboards and hidden subbasements. A nice fit with the current craze for learned mysteries and for spooks of both the spying and the spectral kind." ( Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great book

Awesome book. I listened to this book while riding to and from work. Excellent read.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book. Some missing commentary though

I really enjoyed this book. It's funny because if you describe the story to me before I read it I dont think I would be interested. The shadow of the wind was recommended to me by some friends and I enjoyed that story so I listened to this one also. I'll be listening or reading the third book sometime soon for sure. Only negative is that in the audiobook commentary there is 2 spots where some of the commentary seems to be cut out. Both times I rewound the playback and it cut out at the same point mid commentary.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Excellent narration. Complex but good story

Great story, I loved the first novel in this series so I was excited to try this one. I'm glad I did. It wasn't quite as good as The Shadow of the Wind but it was still really entertaining. I did find it quite complex and hard to follow at times, especially towards the end but overall it is really well written and expertly narrated and well worth a listen. I'm now on to the third book of the series.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • bluebelle
  • 24-02-2012

My Favorite Book!

First off this is not my traditional audiobook listen but I love to read this author! I have all of his books in hardback and they are among my treasured possessions. This Author has such a talent with description, he makes the story come to life! I love to read his books right before bed because I'm guaranteed the most vivid dreams! He keeps you guessing and your never quit sure what will happen next. This is the 2nd book in the series, the 3rd will be released in English during the summer of 2012 and I can't wait!!!

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MEMcL
  • 20-01-2013

I am obsessed with this series, and this author!

Any additional comments?

I listened to my first book by this author, and didn't realize that it was the second in a series of three books. (Shadow of the Wind; The Prisoner of Heaven; The Angel's Game) The Spanish names of streets and characters can be confusing at first. But, I love the use of language and beautifully crafted dialogue, as well as the complicated plot. So, I started over, and read all three in the right order.

There are many questions to be answered, and I found myself going back and listening to previous chapters. The intricate story web is not to be taken lightly, and the characters are so finely drawn, and with wise observations of human nature sprinkled in. What a joy it was to read, and reread these books! I plan to let it rest for a few months and then listen to all three all over again. I know that there are nuggets in there that I missed this time. It was kind of like reading the Count of Monte Christo, or the Man in the Iron Mask. Weighty, wonderful literature and skilled story telling.

All three books were read by different narrators, but each was wonderful. Of all the Audible Books that I have listened to over the years, this is my favorite and most admired series.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • BLD
  • 29-01-2011

Great Book made better by an awesome Narrator!

This was a fun book that I can't imagine actually reading after listening to it. The narrator does such an amazing job of telling the story I felt like I could see it. The story is descriptive and I actually found myself holding my breath at times. Very suspenseful right to the end.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • gr1
  • 24-09-2012

Amazing and very touching book

This is a beautiful book. Many times I had to rewind the story back to listen again to the beautiful language and metaphors of this book. Sometimes I had to stop and think.
The only drawback of the book is that it is so good that many other books I listened to or read around the same time just feel "lame."

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • cheryl
  • 02-03-2011

Very very good

This is a very good story, but it is for an intelligent reader and may not appeal to some. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Great story line and premise with a good finish. Spooky and heartfelt dont let the negative reviews detour you it is an excellent read.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • H. Meyer
  • 08-12-2009

Mystery and intrigue win again

Zafron's 2nd book is another great foray into that narrow land between intrigue and fantasy ... who is "the boss," what is the nature of and limit to friendship? Stevens' narration was a disappointment after hearing the rich narration of Shadow of the Wind read by Jonathan Davies - I wish Davies had narrated Angel's Game as well. But, narrator aside, the book is magic. I loved it - read it page by page once, as an audio book once, and will listen again.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Greg
  • 15-02-2011

I love his work

I'm not into the supernatural genre. Zafon's work is the exception. Well narrated. The ending is a surprise. Entertaining start to finish.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Corinna Steele
  • 02-01-2013

Inconsistent story line

I think Carlos Ruiz Zafon is one of the best writers. I have been relistening to the first two books of the series. Once again, I was enthralled to be in the world of Barcelona and the mystery Zafon weaves into his stories. Because this was a second read, I was astonished to realize the story was inconsistent in the death of a major character from Shadow of the Wind, who actually survives to old age as written in Shadow. There were also minor differences from the first book to the second book in the treatment of what happens to characters there. I suppose this happens, but it is disconcerting especially when the stories are read closely together.

The reason for the review is the narrator. Why oh why does Mr. Stevens choose do do a less than successful imitation of Cary Grant. His other voices are nice, but this faux Cary is just so distracting I was pulled from the story each time. I remember this was the same reaction I had to this voice the last time I listened. With a great narrator in Davies, I cannot understand why anyone else would be used for this series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • SusieQ
  • 21-04-2012

Good read

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Anyone who has been to Barcelona will appreciate how well the author describes the city in early 20th century.

What did you like best about this story?

The story, though complex, was not difficult to follow (easier than in the Shadow of the Wind) and kept my interest throughout.

What about Dan Stevens’s performance did you like?

Dan Stevens's wonderful, deep voice was perfect for conveying the dark side of this mystery while bringing out the sensitivity of the main character.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • John S
  • 09-07-2009

Not as good as Shadow of the Wind

I read the Angel's Game shortly after reading the wonderful "Shadow of the Wind." While both are set in Barcelona and use the city as a backdrop for the story, I found The Angel's game to be far less successful. The story is not as interesting and the characters less developed. The reader does a great job with the material, but cannot make up for the weak plot.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful