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Extended Audio Sample The Angels Game Audiobook, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.6 out of 53.6 out of 53.6 out of 53.6 out of 53.6 out of 5 3.60 (20 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón Narrator: Dan Stevens Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2009 ISBN: 9780739381939
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From master storyteller Carlos Ruiz Zafón, author of the international phenomenon The Shadow of the Wind, comes The Angel’s Game—a dazzling page-turner about the perilous nature of obsession, in literature and in love.

“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…”

In an abandoned mansion at 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 has taken refuge in the world of books and 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 the mysterious death of the previous owner.

Like a slow poison, the history of the place seeps into his bones as he struggles with an impossible love. Close to despair, David receives a letter from a reclusive French editor, Andreas Corelli, who makes him the offer of a lifetime. He is to write a book unlike anything that has ever existed—a book with the power to change hearts and minds. In return, he will receive a fortune, and perhaps more. But as David begins the work, he realizes that there is a connection between his haunting book and the shadows that surround his home.

Once again, Zafón takes us into a dark, gothic universe first seen in The Shadow of the Wind and creates a breathtaking adventure of intrigue, romance, and tragedy. Through a dizzyingly constructed labyrinth of secrets, the magic of books, passion, and friendship blend into a masterful story.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Absolutely marvelous Kirkus
  • Infectious The Economist
  • Outstanding Library Journal
  • Lavish Booklist
  • Gripping Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Fans of Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind and new readers alike will be delighted with this gothic semiprequel. In 1920s Barcelona, David Martin is born into poverty, but, aided by patron and friend Pedro Vidal, he rises to become a crime reporter and then a beloved pulp novelist. David’s creative pace is frenetic; holed up in his dream house—a decrepit mansion with a sinister history—he produces two great novels, one for Vidal to claim as his own, and one for himself. But Vidal’s book is celebrated while David’s is buried, and when Vidal marries David’s great love, David accepts a commission to write a story that leads him into danger. As he explores the past and his mysterious publisher, David becomes a suspect in a string of murders, and his race to uncover the truth is a delicious puzzle: is he beset by demons or a demon himself? Zafón’s novel is detailed and vivid, and David’s narration is charming and funny, but suspect. Villain or victim, he is the hero of and the guide to this dark labyrinth that, by masterful design, remains thrilling and bewildering. (June) -- Publishers Weekly, starred Review
  • Another delicious supernatural mystery from bestselling Catalan author Zafón (The Shadow of the Wind, 2005).Mix Edgar Allan Poe with Jorge Luis Borges, intellectual mysterian Arturo Pérez-Reverte, and maybe add a dash of Stephen King, and you have some of the makings of Zafón’s sensibility. Fans of his earlier book will be pleased to find themselves on patches of familiar ground, including a revisit to that wonderful conceit, the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Indeed, this is a prequel–but only of a kind: Familiar figures turn up at points, only to seem less than familiar as the narrative twists and turns. The none-too-heroic hero, David Martín, is an aspiring journalist who bucks hackwork to turn in a crowd-pleasing series for a tough boss. This leads him into an onerous contract with the usual crooked publishers and, indirectly, into a rivalry with his former mentor–all of which, naturally, entails love triangles and smoldering egos. The picture is complicated by the arrival of another curious publisher, Andreas Corelli, who offers David piles of pesetas to write, well, a book of a different sort, involving research that yields piles of corpses and occasions ample cliffhangers. Zafón has a fine talent for inserting unexpected hitches into a story line already resistant to graphing, whose outcome is definitely not seen from afar. The plot resolves in a rush, for the author finds himself with many a loose end to tie up, but once it sinks in, the result is more than satisfying. Zafón delivers a warning about the dangers of obsession, mixed with an obvious passion for literature and the printed word; his book is also a song of love for Barcelona with all its creaking floorboards and hidden subbasements.A nice fit with the current craze for learned mysteries and for spooks of both the spying and the spectral kind. -- Kirkus Reviews
  • One gorgeous read Stephen King
  • Diabolically good Elle magazine
  • Superbly entertaining Washington Post
  • Breathtaking New York Times
  • Wondrous Entertainment Weekly
  • “Magic New York Times Book Review

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cecile Echegoyen | 2/20/2014

    " Pequel To Shadow of the Wind. It was full of surprises The ending was different. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jamie | 2/17/2014

    " The reason I gave this 3* is more than likely because I listened to it rather than reading. Ruiz Zafon tells such a labyrinthine story, that not being able to go at my own pace, or flip back and forth, or even give it undivided attention (I listen while driving) probably took a star, or maybe 2, away. I'll read the next one. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 ANg | 2/15/2014

    " This was a huge disappointment after the first being SO good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janet Isenberg | 2/9/2014

    " This is a very dark novel. It is interestingly written, with the suspense of a detective novel, but it is a bit too long and the unrelenting dreariness got to me a few times. Good thing I read it during the summer and not the dead of winter. The protagonist and several of the other characters are very likeable and you really care about them. The plot kept me interested and the themes were fascinating. Overall, I recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie | 2/9/2014

    " This book is a prequel to The Shadow of the Wind (which was also a great read). It is an excellent thriller and I highly recommend it for many hours of terrific escapism. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lauren | 1/19/2014

    " One of my favorite authors "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Liv_in_wonderland | 1/19/2014

    " I really enjoyed the book, but i think the last 100 pages or so where a mess.... it seemed like zafon looked for the easiest and fastest way to finish the book. read like a manuscript with much editing left to do. i have kind of written him off after that book....maybe the shadow of the wind was just a stroke of look and the muse that kissed him broke up with him (at least she left him close to the end of this book) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer Keffer | 12/25/2013

    " My favorite line in the book is on pg 13: "Envy is the religion of the mediocre." I will remember it til the day I die. For a self-professed book nerd, if I could be laid to rest in a cemetery of lost books.....That's all I need. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny | 12/18/2013

    " This trilogy is completely addictive. Given that this is translated from its original Spanish, the translation does not lose any of its style and Zafon pulls you in. Highly recommended if you enjoy historical fiction with a mysterious twist. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pauline | 12/12/2013

    " I was very confused by this book. I think I need to read the third book to better understand it. Definitely not as straightforward as The Shadow of the Wind was. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Earl Bayer | 11/30/2013

    " I really enjoy Zafon's. writing. His work is rich with Marcellus descriptions. He paints beautiful landscapes with words. The story is a bit fantastic but I loved the journey. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Natalie | 2/6/2013

    " Carlos Ruiz Zafon is such an amazing storyteller. I can't wait to re-read all his books again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 8/30/2012

    " This book was a bit scary, but I loved it! Shadow of the Wind is a hard act to follow, but Ruiz Zafon did a beautiful job. This book had many twists and turns, but blended into one great story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shea | 8/21/2012

    " I wanted to love this book because I so love Shadow of the Wind. I enjoyed it, but it felt too baggy and too Faustian for me to love it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Feryal Khawar | 5/21/2012

    " a disappointing follow up to Shadow of the Wind, simply because for a long time nothing happens, and when it finally does, the ending is a complete "what the hell just happened" moment. Entertaining enough in its own right but the answers did not come through clearly by the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sameera Kamulkar | 4/5/2012

    " I found this book dark and morbid and honestly disappointing. I actually plodded through it hoping that I would glimpse some of the magic of 'Shadow of the Wind', but no such luck. Pick it up only if you want to complete the trilogy, like me :) "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Christopher Black | 9/28/2011

    " That was bad. Really bad. Zafon tries to write like Marquez, he tries to write meta, to write magical mystery. But it's just predictable, pretentious and boring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mel Tutar | 4/7/2011

    " This was an amazing book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bailee | 4/14/2010

    " Loved this thriller the suspense and wanting to know how it ended couldnt put down had to finish all 3 books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Godowd | 2/11/2010

    " Whilst I enjoyed reading the book there were an awful lot of loose ends that never got tied up. Nearly a very good book - definitely preferred Shadows of the Wind "

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About the Author

Carlos Ruiz Zafon, author of two critically acclaimed and internationally bestselling novels, The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game, is one of the world's most-read and best-loved writers. His work, which also includes prizewinning young adult novels, has been translated into more than fifty languages and published around the world, garnering numerous international prizes and reaching millions of readers. He divides his time between Barcelona and Los Angeles.

About the Narrator

Dan Stevens is internationally known for his role as Matthew Crawley in the hit television drama Downton Abbey, and more recently he has starred in films including Summer in February, The Fifth Estate, A Walk among the Tombstones, The Guest, The Cobbler, and Night at the Museum 3. Dan’s other screen work includes Vamps, Hilde, Sense & Sensibility, Maxwell, and The Line of Beauty, and his theater work includes The Heiress on Broadway and Arcadia, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, The Vortex, and Hay Fever in London.