Like Shadow, Zafon's latest novel is a masterfully written love affair with books and words as well as an obsessive tribute to passionate love.
The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, which played a key role in Shadow, is also a scene setter in Game, which takes place in 1920s Barcelona. Zafon describes the cemetery as a sanctuary where every book has a soul: "Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens."
Game is a multi-layered confection that combines undying love, magical realism, meditations on religion, the importance of books and a love affair with the vibrant city of Barcelona.
Zafon hits the reset button on what it means to be a great writer. His visionary storytelling prowess is a genre unto itself.
Noticia publicada en www.usatoday.com
"The Angel's Game" fue presentada en Londres el pasado día 1 y con ella el escritor barcelonés espera repetir el éxito de "La sombra del viento", que vendió un millón de copias en su versión inglesa.
Noticia publicada en www.adn.es
In turbulent 1920s Barcelona, the solitary hack writer David Martín rises (or so he imagines) from a life-sentence of drudgery, spewing out lurid potboilers for book-trade swindlers. Zafón both satirises and indulges David's "disease of Grand Guignol". The scribbler's own story – a murdered father, an ice-hearted mother, a plutocratic protector, a book-loving Dickensian assistant and a true love imprisoned in a tower – outranks in scandal and sensation anything in his own "Mysteries of Barcelona" or "City of the Damned".
Then an elegant, enigmatic publisher from Paris offers David 100,000 francs to write a book that would found a new religion. This fabricated faith must deploy all the hate-driven plot devices of successful scriptures through the ages: "sooner or later, the world becomes flesh, and the flesh bleeds".
Yes, we have slipped into the infernal territory of the Faustian pact. Zafón believes that "'Faustian tales are the story of modern man... In many ways, our story is a Faustian bargain. We don't ask to come into this world but we find ourselves here... We're faced with choices and dilemmas that are not necessarily the ones we wanted to face".
As opposed to the "sunshiny image" it enjoys today, "the Barcelona of the 1970s, of my childhood, was a much darker place" - a sombre network of buried memories and secret traumas that, in its flamboyant way, the "extreme stylisation" of his books do record. "Civil war leaves a kind of a path behind that is different even from the horrors of World War Two," he reflects.
"Things that have been inflicted between neighbours – it has a different quality, and you can feel that in Barcelona". As a child, "My parents would never talk about the war. My grandparents would never talk about the war. Nobody who had been there would talk about the war. But it seemed that the walls were talking about it." Perhaps, obliquely, so do his novels - even if its events feature hardly at all. Some critics connect the Gothic style in literature with Freud's "return of the repressed".
Noticia publicada en www.independent.co.uk