"Un escritor nunca olvida la primera vez que acepta unas monedas o un elogio a cambio de una historia". Con estas palabras ya ha cautivado a millones de lectores españoles, pero también en inglés, lo acaba de hacer para su legión de seguidores de habla inglesa repartidos por todo el mundo.
La célebre plaza de Picadilly en Londres se vestía de luces publicitarias para anunciar la esperada versión inglesa de 'El Juego del Ángel'. Carlos Ruiz Zafón regresa: ¿qué diría Shakespeare si levantara la cabeza?
"Shakespeare era un dramaturgo de enorme éxito, un escritor popular que escribía para el gran público, abierto a todo el mundo, con lo cual, si alguien no se escandalizaría del éxito de la literatura, ése sería Shakespeare", explica Zafón.
12 millones de ejemplares vendió en todo el mundo Ruiz Zafón con 'La sombra del viento' y sólo una cuarta parte fue en lengua castellana. Por eso hay tanta expectación con el lanzamiento en inglés de 'El juego del ángel'. Tanto que librerías londinenses como la de la Reina tiene este libro en el escaparate entre sus ejemplares más importantes.
"Leí su primer libro", dice la más madrugadora de las clientas, "y quedé tan fascinada que estuve esperando y esperando hasta que ha llegado por fin este otro".
Noticia publicada en www.antena3noticias.com
Ask people at random what their favourite book of the past few years has been and you will be amazed how often The Shadow of the Wind crops up. From TV presenters to ordinary readers across Ireland, all kinds of people have been entranced by this book by a previously unknown Spanish writer called Carlos Ruiz Zafón.
It was a "sleeper" book, the kind that gets passed around and talked about and ends up being a huge bestseller.
First published in English five years ago it has been a phenomenon in countries around the world, selling over 12 million copies.
It attracted ecstatic praise everywhere, from readers, critics and authors alike. Stephen King., for example, called it "the real deal, a novel full of cheesy splendour and creaking trapdoors, a novel where even the subplots have subplots ... one gorgeous read."
Above all, even though it's a literary novel in the tradition of Dickens and Wilkie Collins, it's also a gripping page turner, with ancient buildings, dead bodies and a shock around every corner. As one eminent critic said, it's "a triumph of the storyteller's art."
Those gripped by the book have been waiting impatiently for Zafón's next book, hoping for more of the same.
They won't be disappointed because the new one, called The Angel's Game, has now arrived and it is indeed more of the same. It's a prequel rather than a sequel, beginning in the 1920s and taking us back to the Cemetery of the Forgotten Books, the Sempere and Son bookshop, and the winding streets of Barcelona's old quarter.
Zafón, who is coming to Dublin: this week for the launch of the new book, says that when he was working on Shadow he "started toying around with the idea of creating a fictional universe around four inter-connected stories in which we would meet some of the same characters at different times in their lives, see them from different perspectives and where many plots and subplots would tie around in knots for the reader to untie.
"At first I thought this could be done in one book, but soon I realised it would make Shadow a monster novel and destroy the structure I was trying to design for it. I realised the right way to do this would be to write four different novels. They would be stand-alone stories that could be read in any order. I saw this as a Chinese box of stories with four doors of entry, a labyrinth of fictions that could be explored in many directions. These novels would have a central axis, the idea of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and would use a highly stylised, gothic and mysterious Barcelona that would provide its backdrop."
Next week will be Zafón's first visit here, although he is well aware of the historic links between Ireland and Spain.
"Maybe the infamous Armada served some purpose after all," he says.
'Until now I haven't had the chance to visit Dublin and I am eager to walk those streets I've explored in my mind numerous times. From what I understand Dublin and Barcelona could be close stops along the same train line. I also find many elements about Ireland somewhat similar to Catalonia. We have more sun, though, but the grass is always greener on your side."
A scriptwriter, musician and successful author of young adult fiction before he hit the jackpot with Shadow, Zafón has always been a voracious reader, especially of the big story classics from over a century ago.
He also loves the great Irish writers.
"Well, there's plenty to choose from!" he says. "Irish literature is so rich and vast you would think the country is the size of a continent. Despite the many new brilliant voices, my personal favourites tend to fall among the classics, from Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw to Bram Stoker. I'd also stay with the James Joyce from Dubliners. Call me old-fashioned."
How did he get so immersed in books? "Authors are often asked why they do what they do, why they didn't become corporate lawyers or dentists. Why do we choose this strange profession? I write because I really have no other choice. This is what I do. This is what I am.
"I am in the business of storytelling. It is what I've been doing since I was a kid. Telling stories, making up tales, bringing life to characters, devising plots, visualising scenes and staging sequences of events, images, words and sounds that tell a story.
"I write for a living. I've been writing and making stuff up to make ends meet since I left school. It is my way of surviving, of earning a living and of navigating this world. I have written for young readers, for the movies, for so-called adults; but mostly for people who like to read and to plunge into a good story. I do not write for myself, but for other people.
"I believe it was Umberto Eco who said that writers who say they write for themselves and do not care about having an audience are full of shit, and that the only thing you write for yourself is your grocery shopping list. I couldn't agree more."
Noticia publicada en www.independent.com
Ruiz Zafón viajó a la capital británica para asistir al lanzamiento de "The Angel´s Game", promocionado también desde hoy en uno de los anuncios luminosos de Picadilly Circus y convertido en anticipado best-seller por la cadena de librerías Waterstones.
Esta tarde leerá fragmentos del libro en el teatro Bloomsbury, en un evento para el que se han puesto entradas a la venta, y el martes por la mañana firmará ejemplares del libro.
El lanzamiento en inglés continuará el próximo día 16 en Estados Unidos, con una tirada inicial de 600.000 ejemplares, algo insólito en ese país para un libro extranjero ( )
En EEUU, "The Shadow of the Wind" también superó el millón de ejemplares vendidos y "The Angel´s Game" ya ha sido elegido entre los libros favoritos de los próximos lanzamientos por las principales librerías del país, según informó Planeta, la editora de Carlos Ruiz Zafón en España.
Noticia publicada en www.elconfidencial.com