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The Angel's Game

IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, 2010

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780753826492

Price: £9.99

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‘A heady brew of detective thriller, supernatural horror tale, magical realist fable and a heartbreaking love story’ DAILY MAIL

‘Readers familiar with The Shadow of the Wind will find themselves back in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books where, from a labyrinthine library, volumes seem to select their readers . . . rattling good gothic fun’ SPECTATOR

In an abandoned mansion in the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martín, makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he 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 an unsolved mystery.

Like a slow poison, the history of the place and an impossible love bring David close to despair. But then he receives a letter from a reclusive French editor who makes him the offer of a lifetime . . .

‘Will grip you from start to finish’ DAILY EXPRESS


Draws with relish on all the conventions beloved of Wilkie Collins, Dickens . . . then weaves them into something entirely original and surprisingly moving
Sultry days are made for chunky pageturners such as The Angel's Game . . . It unfolds in Twenties Barcelona where a young man undertakes to write a book that will change people's lives. The task is daunting and the stakes perilously high
Daily Mail
The prose is intelligent but unpretentious, and the author is clear in his intentions to provide a rollicking, fun read . . . the novel's themes address the power of narrative, and many sharp lines pertain to storytelling . . . hugely enjoyable
Daily Telegraph
Starts off as an intelligent literary thriller, but morphs into action-packed adventure with a hefty body count
Daily Express
'Beyond plentiful shocks and thrills, Zafon niftily treads the fine line between a story of paranormal events and one of psychological delusion.'
The tale is rich, evocative and literate, with Great Expectations and Faust among its more nakedly displayed influences. Zafón is a great describer, with a cinematic flair for murders and sexual encounters
Evening Standard
In this book about books, Zafón writes about Spain's harrowing history with literary aplomb
The Times
This is a gothic, page-turning, supernatural thriller...there is plenty here to keep Zafon fans happy.
Readers familiar with The Shadow of the Wind will find themselves back in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, the echo of Eco where, from a labyrinthine library, volumes seem to select their readers . . . rattling good gothic fun
Revisits some of Zafón's much loved urban landscapes in old Barcelona. Yet this novel stands alone, a complement or even an antagonist to its forerunner. If the previous book celebrated the ecstasies of reading then this one - no less in love with literature, and no less crammed with archetypal plots - explores the agonies of writing
The Angel's Game weaves the conventions of Wilkie Collins and Dickens into something original and surprisingly moving.
Stephanie Merritt, OBSERVER
Those who were hooked on Zafón's The Shadow of the Wind will be similarly entranced by The Angel's Game . . . Surprising and bittersweet, it's as potent as an Audrey Niffenegger novel, with a nod to a certain nineteenth-century romance