Monday, October 5, 2009

The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

When I was nineteen and the whole world spread out before me like a banquet for the starving, I lived in Spain for a couple of years. Spain always seemed old to me, and I absolutely adored that. I was a little punk at the time and wandering the antique streets made me feel old and new synchronously. Each street seemed like a secret passageway to me and I was extremely curious. I liked stumbling into an old theatre, for example, and finding a dance party going on. Or opening the crumbling doors of an abandoned department store and finding Spandau Ballet doing a couple of sets.
Spain, and most of Europe, was a magical place to me, and my memories go far beyond mere fondness. So, I was excited to read The Angel’s game because it takes place in Barcelona’s old quarter and, physically, it is a lovely book. I liked returning to Spain, albeit briefly, and I really liked the look of the book! I liked carrying it around! And, for the first two thirds of the book, I liked reading it.
The author, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, writes well. My copy of the book is dog-eared over and over again with pages filled with clever sentences or descriptions. And I found myself enjoying the twisting turns in plot like those old twisting streets of Spain that I loved so many years ago.
I was giddy with all the literature, poetry, and passion of this story and was absolutely thrilled at the prospect of meeting Lucifer Himself.
Eventually, however, I realized that I was loving the bits and pieces of The Angel’s Game much more than I loved the whole story.
The author describes the hell out of a room or a street, but skims over important events and characters. I found that a little irritating, in all honesty.
I didn’t hate The Angel’s Game, but I really was disappointed with the final third of the book. Sometimes I am sad when I finish a book because I don’t want it to be over. I want to know more .... I’ve become attached. But I was sad when I finished this book because I just didn’t love it as much as I had hoped I would.

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