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The Prisoner of Heaven: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, July 10, 2012
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“The story has heart, menace torture, kindness, cruelty, sacrifice, and a deep devotion to what makes humans tick.” (New York Journal of Books)
“Perhaps his wittiest [novel] and the darkest to date, a stylistic feat that Ruiz Zafon handles deftly…Savor this book.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
“Gripping…suspenseful…The magic of the novel is in the wonderfully constructed creepy and otherworldly setting, the likable characters, and the near-perfect dialogue.” (Booklist)
“Invoking the atmosphere of Dumas, Dickens, Poe and Garcia Marquez, Carlos Ruiz Zafon retains his originality and will hold his rightful place among the storytelling masters of literature.” (Book Reporter)
“Zafon’s storytelling is deft and well-paced, and his vivid prose brings the cultural riches and political strife of Franco-era Spain to life.” (Publishers Weekly)
“There is an air of magical realism to Zafón’s tales. The prose is robust and the dialogue rich with smart irony. But mostly, reading Zafón is great fun.” (Miami Herald)
“A deep and mysterious novel full of people that feel real…This is an enthralling read and a must-have for your library. Zafón focusses on the emotion of the reader and doesn’t let go.” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
From the Back Cover
The internationally acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Carlos Ruiz Zafon takes us into a dark, gothic Barcelona and creates a rich, labyrinthine tale of love, literature, passion, and revenge in which the heroes of The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game must contend with a nemesis that threatens to destroy them.
Barcelona, 1957. It is Christmas, and Daniel Sempere and his wife, Bea, have much to celebrate. They have a beautiful new baby son named Julian, and their close friend Fermin Romero de Torres is about to be wed. But their joy is eclipsed when a mysterious stranger visits the Sempere bookshop and threatens to divulge a terrible secret that has been buried for two decades in the city's dark past. His appearance plunges Fermin and Daniel into a dangerous adventure that will take them back to the 1940s and the early days of Franco's dictatorship. The terrifying events of that time launch them on a search for the truth that will put into peril everything they love and ultimately transform their lives.
Full of intrigue and emotion, The Prisoner of Heaven is a majestic novel in which the threads of The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game converge under the spell of literature and bring us toward the enigma hidden at the heart of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a collection of lost treasures known only to its few initiates, and the very core of Carlos Ruiz Zafon's enchanting fictional world.
Read an excerpt from Prisoner of Heaven.
Top Customer Reviews
Zafon always stated that he intended the novels commencing with The Shadow of the Wind to be stand-alone works, interconnected by various characters and, most importantly, the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Thus, a reader could start with any one of the novels and jump into an intriguing mystery story -- chronology is not important. Zafon previously stated the following:
"I never meant to write a sequential saga, or a series of sequels of sorts. The idea is to write stories around this literary universe centered around the cemetery of forgotten books, exploring this gothic, mysterious universe through different characters and storylines. As you say, perhaps it would have been more commercialy advisable to do that, to write a straight sequel and pick up the story where we left it, but it was never my idea to do so and I think it is more interesting to play around with the narrative spaces and lines to pull the reader into a fictional universe that plays by its own rules."
Zafon has, apparently, now scrapped this idea. Where the first two novels are marvelous mysteries in their own right (who is Julian Carax; who is the "boss"?) -- The Prisoner of Heaven is merely filler, nothing more than an explanation of elements of the first two novels and a set-up for the final novel.Read more ›
Bookseller and bibliophile Daniel Sempere was at the heart of The Shadow of the Wind. And while there was plenty of intriguing overlap, The Angel's Game told the story of writer David Martín in an earlier timeline. The Prisoner of Heaven is the perfect bridge between these two books. It's told in two different times, and it picks up on the stories of both Daniel and David after the ends of their prior novels. And while there are many, many connections between these two men, the one at the heart of this novel is Daniel's best friend and bookstore employee, Fermín Romero de Torres.
In the present day of the novel (1958), a visit to Sempere & Sons by a disquieting stranger who leaves a gift for Fermín is the catalyst for the older man to at last come clean about his past. Flashing back to 1939, Fermín tells Daniel about his imprisonment during the war. That was where Fermín met David Martín, and the man had a significant impact on his life. There's more to the tale, of course, but that's all I'm telling you.
If this novel has a flaw, it's that it's a super-quick read. And it's just so completely enjoyable that it will leave you aching for book four. As for this book, aside from its shortness, it is notably less complex than the prior offerings.Read more ›
In The Shadow of the Wind, Fermín's role as sidekick often fell into the role of comedic relief, allowing Zafón to break the tension with a well-timed joke about flatulence or an off-beat observation about the world, or those who people it. His place in the novel is important for helping to maintain tone, and showcasing Zafón's sly humour, but the reader always had the sense the Fermím's past held secrets as dark and interesting as anyone else in the novel. The Prisoner of Heaven explores some of those secrets, but not all. In response to Fermín's upcoming nuptiuals, Daniel sets out to ensure that his friend can be legally wed under his nom de plume, Fermín Romero de Torres, and in doing so discovers secrets about his own past and his connection with David Martín, lightly touched upon in The Angel's Game. It's a thrilling ride for anyone who has closely followed the labyrinth of relationships that Zafón has woven through his novels.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This sequel to The Shadow of the Wind has the same intrigue and mystery. It's the compelling story of Furmin's years of imprisonment and his remarkable escape told to Daniel after... Read morePublished 4 days ago by mysunny
Set on Barcelona from the time of the Franco regime until thec present it is an exciting read with unexpected twists and turns. A great read by the pool at the beach in Juky!Published 5 days ago by Southern Reader
Carlos Ruiz Zafron continues to impress me with his writing style and character development. Another page turner. Reading the last line in the book gives me hope for another one.Published 12 days ago by pahlstrom
A good read until the epilogue pops up in front of you. It's like reading the first half of a book and discovering that the second half is missing.Published 12 days ago by Gillotine
This is Book Three of the trilogy. Someone please tell me there will be a fourth! Book was actually a faster read than the previous two (read it in an evening) and while vividly... Read morePublished 1 month ago by SaraOnTheGo