The Angel's Game

This magical realism thriller (544 pages) was published in August of 2009 by Doubleday. The book takes you to 1920s Barcelona. read The Angel's Game and loved it; it wouldn't be on our site if didn't recommend it.

The Angel's Game

Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Lucia Graves (translator)

The story is set in Barcelona of the 1920s and ’30s — a volatile city populated by anarchists, communists, monarchists, and people merely trying to eke out a living.

Our hero, David Martin, lives in an abandoned mansion — alone — writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym and exploring the shadows of his imagination. To escape a painful past and troubled present, he hides in the words and worlds of his books.

But his home may be haunted by more than his flights of fancy: Within a locked room, he finds mysterious photographs and letters that imply the house has secrets. When an enigmatic French editor makes him an irresistible offer — money, fame, power — to write a one-of-a-kind book, David agrees, and his life takes on deeper shades of darkness.

The atmosphere of this novel — of a city and a character on the brink of something — pulls you into its world from the very first page. It’s a celebration of the transcendent power of books as it weaves together plot threads of secret-fueled intrigue, dangerous passion, heart-rending tragedy, and the enduring bonds of friendship.

The Angel’s Game is part of the thoroughly engrossing Cemetery of the Forgotten Books series by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. The author has said that he wrote these to create a labyrinth and that we’re invited to enter at any point.

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 whomever cared to listen… — Carlos Ruiz Zafón

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These books — set between the two world wars — feature houses that could be a safe haven for the characters, if it weren't for all the tension, the close quarters, the haunted feelings, and oh, yeah... muuuurder.

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