Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s novels feature a very human hero and several cynical malevolent bad guys in sleazy film noir settings. They are ominous and foreboding. They are also well written and unpredictable. I finished reading The Angel’s Game (2009) last week; well actually I listened to a download from EVPL. I thought listening to it would help me follow the twists and turns, which it did. However, despite a very good reader I lost some of the pleasure of reading the writing. I enjoyed The Angel’s Game more than Zafon’s other novel, The Shadow of the Wind (2005).
David Martín, is the young hero and narrator The Angel’s Game, and is tormented soul – undereducated, orphaned, and alone in the word save one or two good men who have been his benefactors while growing up. Martin is also a tormented writer turning out a “penny dreadful” newspaper serial called “The Mysteries of Barcelona.” His success with the newspaper serial does not lead him to write a great novel, but a series of books entitled “City of the Damned.” Martin is approached by a mysterious publisher, Andreas Corelli, who entices him to write a book for him, a writing espousing a new religion; he begins to believe he has made a deal with the devil. The project Corelli has hired Martin to do involve him in all manner of deceptions and crimes, including a fair number of violent deaths.
David’s saga starts in the final days of World War I and ends with a spooky epilogue in 1945 in a dark Barcelona. The plot is an elaborate pact-with-the-devil filled with love, hate, and violence.