The Angel's Game

Zafon, Carlos Ruiz

Published by Subterranean
ISBN 10: 1596063629 / ISBN 13: 9781596063624
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Synopsis: In 2004, Carlos Ruiz Zafon made a spectacular English language debut with The Shadow of the Wind, a brilliantly constructed novel set in Barcelona in the aftermath of World War II. Its central symbol and most indelible image was an intricate Borgesian labyrinth called The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Zafon's latest, The Angel's Game, is also set in Barcelona and also revisits the mysterious Cemetery. It is, however, neither a sequel nor a prequel, but an independent narrative that elaborates a coherent, increasingly complex fictional universe.

Zafon's narrator/hero is David Martin, an orphan brought up in true Dickensian squalor. After years of struggle, he achieves success writing a popular series of "penny dreadfuls" called City of the Damned. In time, his work comes to the attention of Andreas Corelli, a Parisian publisher with a truly Faustian proposition. Corelli offers David 100,00 francs if he will use his narrative gifts to create a viable new religion.

The extraordinary tale that follows is many things at once: mystery, love story, supernatural thriller, historical drama, gothic romance, and meditation on the primal importance of stories, of narrative itself. As the author reminds us throughout this novel, books have souls, and reflect the souls of both their readers and their writers. The Angel's Game beautifully illustrates this proposition, and offers further proof that Carlos Ruiz Zafon is one of the most compelling--and unpredictable--storytellers of the modern era.

The Angel's Game, like its predecessor, The Shadow of the Wind has become an international phenomenon, a best-seller in dozens of countries. Subterranean Press is proud to announce this deluxe limited edition, which will feature a fine paper (80# Finch), deluxe cloth, a sewn binding, and be printed in two colors throughout, with copious illustrations--including full color plates and duotone section breaks--by Vincent Chong.

Review: Book Description
From master storyteller Carlos Ruiz Zafón, author of the international phenomenon The Shadow of the Wind, comes The Angel?s Game--a dazzling new 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 dizzingly constructed labyrinth of secrets, the magic of books, passion, and friendship blend into a masterful story.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón on The Angel's Game

Years ago, when I began working on my fifth novel, The Shadow of the Wind, I started toying around with the idea of creating a fictional universe that would be articulated through four interconnected stories in which we would meet some of the same characters at different times in their lives, and see them from different perspectives where many plots and subplots would tie around in knots for the reader to untie. It sounds somewhat pretentious, but my idea was to add a twist to the story and provide the reader with what I hoped would be a stimulating and playful reading experience. Since these books were, in part, about the world of literature, books, reading and language, I thought it would be interesting to use the different novels to explore those themes through different angles and to add new layers to the meaning of the stories.

At first I thought this could be done in one book, but soon I realized it would make Shadow of the Wind a monster novel, and in many ways, destroy the structure I was trying to design for it. I realized I would have to write four different novels. They would be stand-alone stories that could be read in any order. I saw them as a Chinese box of stories with four doors of entry, a labyrinth of fictions that could be explored in many directions, entirely or in parts, and that could provide the reader with an additional layer of enjoyment and play. These novels would have a central axis, the idea of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, set against the backdrop of a highly stylized, gothic and mysterious Barcelona. Since each novel was going to be complex and difficult to write, I decided to take one at a time and see how the experiment evolved on its own in an organic way.

It all sounds very complicated, but it is not. At the end of the day, these are just stories that share a universe, a tone and some central themes and characters. You don?t need to care or know about any of this stuff to enjoy them. One of the fun things about this process was it allowed me to give each book a different personality. Thus, if Shadow of the Wind is the nice, good girl in the family, The Angel?s Game would be the wicked gothic stepsister. Some readers often ask me if The Angel?s Game is a prequel or a sequel. The answer is: none of these things, and all of the above. Essentially The Angel?s Game is a new book, a stand-alone story that you can fully enjoy and understand on its own. But if you have already read The Shadow of the Wind, or you decide to read it afterwards, you?ll find new meanings and connections that I hope will enhance your experience with these characters and their adventures.

The Angel?s Game has many games inside, one of them with the reader. It is a book designed to make you step into the storytelling process and become a part of it. In other words, the wicked, gothic chick wants your blood. Beware. Maybe, without realizing, I ended up writing a monster book after all... Don?t say I didn?t warn you, courageous reader. I?ll see you on the other side. --Carlos Ruiz Zafón

(Photo © Isolde Ohlbaum)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Angel's Game
Publisher: Subterranean
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New

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Book Description Subterranean, Burton, Michigan, U.S.A., 2011. Hardcover. Book Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. 1st Edition. SIGNED by Zafon on special edition page. First Edition, as stated. Signed, Limited Edition of only 750 copies. Near Fine (like New)/Near Fine (Like New) condition. Ordered directly from special edition publisher, and as is the case with mail-order book purchases, I never know in what condition the book will arrive. I refrain from requesting special care and handling, for fear of the restaurant equivalent of the waiter spitting in one's food. And so I received a less than perfect copy. Light bumping to dust jacket edges, which is mylar protected now. Otherwise corners sharp and pages unread (very tight, crisp and clean). Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 004980

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