A Bookaholic, Pro-life, Pro-Family, Pro-Oxford Comma, Catholic (with Asperger's) who reads and writes as her obsession. I've been reading over 400 books a year lately. These are my ramblings on some of the books I read. To read about all the books I read and comment on, visit me at LibraryThing or Goodreads.

I've been blogging since 2007 and at this point (July 2015) am trying my hand at turning the theme of this blog towards mystery, thriller, and crime, fiction and nonfiction. I have some special interest topics and categories within this broad genre which include (but are not limited to) serial killers, scandi-crime, Victorian history and historicals, history of the criminally insane and asylums, psychopathology, death, funerary practices and burial, corpses, true crime and anything dealing with the real life macabre, or that portrayed in fiction.

I also read a short story a day from various collections, sometimes anthologies othertimes collections of a single author's work. These reviews are also posted here and while they are of mixed genre the mystery, thriller, horror, gothic and macabre often appear within their pages as well.

I also blog about
graphic novels and manga on a separate BLOG.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

142. The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Translated from the Spanish by Lucia Graves (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 531
Ages: 18+
Finished: Jun. 14, 2011
First Published: 2008, Spanish (2009, English)
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Genre: magical realism, Gothic,
Rating: 3/5

First sentence:

A writer never forgets the first time he accepted a few coins or a word of praise in exchange for a story.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Random House Canada.

Reason for Reading: I had heard great things about Zafon‘s first book and the mysterious plot of this one intrigued me. It has taken me a long time to get around to reading it though as the book was so heavily reviewed at the time of its publication I kind of got tired of hearing about it and lost my desire to read it, however the time was now right for me.

Not having read “The Shadow of the Wind”, I cannot compare the two books. Many others say that the first is much better. This is a very intriguing story; dark, mysterious and Gothic in all the perfect ways: an old creepy house with a tower, a gruesome death from the past, an unrequited love story, a mysterious man in dark, expensive suits and a perpetual atmosphere of gloom. I really enjoyed the story, though I found it slow-going. The pace meandered along and while things became strange and spooky, they never reached intensity for me. It was not a page turner. The magical realism elements added quite an entirely new perspective to a story which could have been written straight without the supernatural involvement for a tale of mystery and madness. I did enjoy the book but I’m afraid I never did really “get” the meaning of the plot, the overall theme. I thought I had it all figured out quite early, that this was the story of a man who had sold his soul to the devil, and part of me still believes that but by the ending I felt that had been disproved and it left me unsatisfied. It could also be the story of a man’s descent into madness but again the ending can disprove that theory too. The ending blew my general grasp of the story out of the water and I finished up with a big “huh?” and a question mark hanging over my head as to what it all meant. But then the whole story is told by an unreliable narrator and the ending leaves one wondering what, if anything, was the reality. A very strange story but I can say I'm glad I read it. I will read the author again; I just won’t expect the ending to answer any questions.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read anything by Zafon yet, either. One of these days I want to at least try, but hasn't happened yet...