The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, translated by Lucia Graves-I never know whether to give credit to an author or translator when I feel that a book is beautifully written--was it as lovely in its original language as it is in English or did the translator add her own flair to make it sound better? Either way, I thought it was beautiful--very atmospheric and disappearable (meaning it was easy for me to disappear completely into the story). I suppose "engrossing" or "consuming" would work, but what better reason to make up words than to describe a story? What words do you use to describe stories like this?
Well, David Martín had lots of words--he is a writer in 1920's Barcelona, wasting his talent writing serial novels for a less-than-reputable publishing house when a mysterious man comes to him with an offer--a hundred thousand francs for one year's work. The commission is something I won't give away, but the money's good and David accepts. I was fascinated by the job he was offered and was looking forward to how the project would take shape, but that's not really where this book goes; and while I'd still like to see that story played out, I'm not at all disappointed with where it went instead. I liked David and was rooting for him, but at one point we get a hint that David might not be an entirely reliable narrator and that there might be a much darker side than what we've been seeing. Throughout the book, things spiral downward into darker and darker revelations, and to the end we are left wondering what is really going on, but in a good, ooooh-was-he-or-wasn't-he? kind of way, not in a WTF?? kind of way.
Although it's been on my TBR list for a while now, I haven't read Zafón's The Shadow of the Wind, but I know that some of the characters carry over into The Angel's Game, and The Cemetary of Forgotton Books makes a reappearance. All in all, I'm quite happy that I discovered this book on my library's "New Arrivals" shelf!
**Random Extra Bits***
The Cemetary of Forgotton Books is "a colossal labyrinth of bridges, passages, and shelves full of hundreds of thousands of books, forming a gigantic library of seemingly impossible perspectives." The rules: "Article one: The first time somebody comes here he has the right to choose a book, whichever one he likes, from all the books there are in this place. Article two: upon adopting a book you undertake to protect it and do all you can to ensure it is never lost. For life." That in itself is cool, but what I thought was even cooler was that on the same day that I was reading about this place of forgotton books, I stumbled across a Care's Weekly Geeks post (prompted by this Weekly Geeks...prompt) that talks about forgotton words and how you can adopt one of your own...just like a forgotton book! I haven't committed to anything yet, but I kind of like snollygoster.