Saturday, 11 April 2015

Boop's Bookshelf: The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Angel's Game checks off 'A book that was originally written in a different language' in my 2015 reading challenge

The Author
Carlos Ruiz Zafon is a Spanish novelist. He has written both young adult and adult novels, most notably the 4 book series nicknamed The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. This is the series containing Shadow of the WindThe Angel's Game and The Prisoner of Heaven thus far. This series was translated to English by Lucia Graves, who is both a writer and a translator. She is the daughter of poet Robert Graves. 

The Angels Game is the second book in the series - however it's a prequel to Shadow of the Wind, so I didn't feel too bad suggesting it for my book club!! The story is set in Barcelona, Spain. The story follows the life of David Martin - a writer at a newspaper, with a tragic back story and a talent for writing that needs to be explored. It is a dark tale following David's descent into writing and pouring his soul into his work. He also uncovers a mystery that parallels his own life, which he feels he needs to uncover the answers to. We as the reader, follow him in uncovering the mystery.

My Thoughts
I enjoyed reading this novel. I was pulled into the story from the start, and I wanted to know what was happening, and why the mystery resembled David Martin so much. I am not sure how much I actually liked the main character. I felt like I was on his side, but then there were situations or moments when I didn't like him. The story was all from his point of view, which towards the end made me suspect there was some tunnel vision going on.I found one of the secondary characters really interesting - Isabella - and wished there was more of her thoughts and opinions incorporated into the story line. I would have been interested to see David Martin and some of the various situations in the book through other perspectives. I liked the parallels within the story to that of other stories where a character has effectively sold their soul to the devil. The Angel pin that Corelli always wears made me think of heaven and hell, temptations and succumbing to it.

Bookclub Notes
At our discussion, one person in bookclub mentioned a review he had seen that suggested you read it thinking that the main character has schizophrenia. When I thought back through the book and the events that occurred - including the nickname Martin earned from Isabella 'Jekyll and Hyde' - it does explain some events and how some things happen in the story telling. Very intriguing - I'm glads this was mentioned because it opened my mind to a whole new side of the story!

Overall it is an involved and unusual story, and I really enjoyed reading it. However, there are a lot of points that either don't make sense, or are left wide open to interpretation - which I do find a bit frustrating. I really want to re-read Shadow of the Wind, and the newest installment - The Prisoner of Heaven. SO many books to read! 

My rating:
4 stars

I found it very difficult to rate this one - I was torn between 4 and 4.5 stars! I enjoyed reading The Angel's Game, however the unanswered questions I have are just that little bit too niggly to ignore...