Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Zafon's Prequel to "Shadow of the Wind"

I had been reading "Shadow of the Wind" about a year ago and it was great, captivating reading.
This year I have chosen "The Angel's Game" - designed as a prequel to the first novel. The reading experience was just great. Literally, you devour page by page and you just can not stop until you reach to the end.

"The Angel's Game" is set in Barcelona in the beginning of XX century. The protagonist of the novel is a writer who, at some moment in his life is commissioned to write about (or rather create) a new religion.

But the fantastic Zafon's narration is not the only value of the book.

As it was in "Shadow of the wind", in the background, the novel is about books and their value and importance. In the Act I we meet the problem of an author who, while writing under his own name fails, while he is highly acclaimed when doing it under other names.
In Act II we are exposed to the dilemmas of the author whose writing power greatly exceeds the notion of literature. Together with the hero, we ponder upon the role of religion...

The entire novel is full of relations to the books and their specific existence. It describes the world in which book's physicality is so important. The plot takes us to the "Cemetery of forgotten books" (direct connection to SOTW)- where we literally feel how important this physicality of books was.

Good for reflections today, when with all these electronic books we no longer have such "physical" bonds between the words and the book as an object.

However, I have some reservation and small issues to the book. At some moment in the narration, we loose this fantastic Zafon's soul-searching tone about books, religion, love and we are overwhelmed by the action, action, action. As in good thriller. In particular, I missed that thread about the very content of the book commissioned in Act II. It was extremely interesting, yet it disappears from the book under the heavy matter of plots.

Also, the very end of the story was not satisfactory and a bit exaggerated.

But - I do not want to spoil it for you !!! All-in-all - it was a very good reading !!!

No comments:

Post a Comment