9780767931113

The Angel's Game

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780767931113

  • ISBN10:

    0767931114

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 5/18/2010
  • Publisher: Anchor

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Summary

From the author of the international phenomenon The Shadow of the Wind, comes a riveting new masterpiece about love, literature, and betrayal. In this powerful, labyrinthian thriller, David Martín is a pulp fiction writer struggling to stay afloat. Holed up in a haunting abandoned mansion in the heart of Barcelona, he furiously taps out story after story, becoming increasingly desperate and frustrated. Thus, when he is approached by a mysterious publisher offering a book deal that seems almost too good to be real, David leaps at the chance. But as he begins the work, and after a visit to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, he realizes that there is a connection between his book and the shadows that surround his dilapidated home and that the publisher may be hiding a few troubling secrets of his own. Once again, Ruiz Zafón takes us into a dark, gothic Barcelona and creates a breathtaking tale of intrigue, romance, and tragedy.

Author Biography

CARLOS RUIZ ZAFÓN, author of The Shadow of the Wind and other novels, is one of the world’s most read and best-loved writers. His work has been translated into more than forty languages and published around the world, garnering numerous international prizes and reaching millions of readers. He divides his time between Barcelona and Los Angeles.

Excerpts

A writer never forgets the first time he accepted a few coins or a word of praise in exchange for a story. He will never forget the sweet poison of vanity in his blood and the belief that, if he succeeds in not letting any­one discover his lack of talent, the dream of literature will provide him with a roof over his head, a hot meal at the end of the day, and what he covets the most: his name printed on a miserable piece of paper that surely will outlive him. A writer is condemned to remember that mo­ment, because from then on he is doomed and his soul has a price.

My first time came one faraway day in December 1917. I was seventeen and worked atThe Voice of Industry,a newspaper that had seen bet­ter days and now languished in a barn of a building that had once housed a sulfuric acid factory. The walls still oozed the corrosive vapor that ate away at furniture and clothes, sapping the spirits, consuming even the soles of shoes. The newspaper’s headquarters rose behind the forest of an­gels and crosses of the Pueblo Nuevo cemetery; from afar, its outline merged with the mausoleums silhouetted against the horizon–a skyline stabbed by hundreds of chimneys and factories that wove a perpetual twilight of scarlet and black above Barcelona.

On the night that was about to change the course of my life, the newspaper’s deputy editor, Don Basilio Moragas, saw fit to summon me, just before closing time, to the dark cubicle at the far end of the editorial staff room that doubled as his office and cigar den. Don Basilio was a forbidding- looking man with a bushy moustache who did not suffer fools and who subscribed to the theory that the liberal use of adverbs and adjectives was the mark of a pervert or someone with a vitamin deficiency. Any journalist prone to florid prose would be sent off to write fu­neral notices for three weeks. If, after this penance, the culprit relapsed, Don Basilio would ship him off permanently to the "House and Home" pages. We were all terrified of him, and he knew it.

"Did you call me, Don Basilio?" I ventured timidly.

The deputy editor looked at me askance. I entered the office, which smelled of sweat and tobacco in that order. Ignoring my presence, Don Basilio continued to read through one of the articles lying on his table, a red pencil in hand. For a couple of minutes, he machine- gunned the text with corrections and amputations, muttering sharp comments as if I weren’t there. Not knowing what to do, and noticing a chair placed against the wall, I slid toward it.

"Who said you could sit down?" muttered Don Basilio without raising his eyes from the text.
I quickly stood up and held my breath. The deputy editor sighed, let his red pencil fall, and leaned back in his armchair, eyeing me as if I were some useless piece of junk.

"I’ve been told that you write, Martin."

I gulped. When I opened my mouth only a ridiculous, reedy voice emerged.

"A little, well, I don’t know, I mean, yes, I do write..."

"I hope you write better than you speak. And what do you write– if that’s not too much to ask?"

"Crime stories. I mean..."

"I get the idea."

The look Don Basilio gave me was priceless. If I’d said I devoted my time to sculpting figures for Nativity scenes out of fresh dung I would have drawn three times as much enthusiasm from him. He sighed again and shrugged his shoulders.

"Vidal says you’re not altogether bad. He says you stand out."

"Of course, with the sort of competition in this neck of the woods, one doesn’t have to run very fast. Still, if Vidal says so."

Pedro Vidal was the star writer atThe Voice of Industry.He penned a weekly column on crime and lurid events–the only thing worth read­ing in

Excerpted from The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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