Tuesday, October 31, 2017

One from my TBR shelf...


Title:  The Prisoner of Heaven
Author:  Carlos Ruiz Zafon
First line:  This year at Christmas time, every morning dawned laced with frost under leaden skies ... Very few stopped to gaze at the shop windows of Sempere & Sons; fewer still ventured inside to ask for that lost book that had been waiting for them all their lives...
Setting:  Barcelona in the 1940s and 1950s.

Why I purchased this book in the first place:  Because I loved The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game, Zafon's two previous novels.

Why I've put off reading it for four long years:  I think part of me was afraid it wouldn't live up to expectations, but mostly I didn't read it because I really wanted to reread his other books in this "trilogy" first. Only I never managed to, even though I do own both. But, thanks to Lark at The Bookwyrm's Hoard and her awesome Backlist Reader Challenge, I finally managed to read The Prisoner of Heaven and check it off my TBR list.

Thoughts:  Zafon's writing is amazing. He always manages to craft memorable and unique characters that you can't help but care about as he takes you on a journey back in time to a more dangerous and uncertain Barcelona under Franco's dictatorship. I wish I could give you a succinct and thoughtful summary of this novel, but I tried...and failed. Nothing I wrote did it justice. So all I'm going to say is that The Prisoner of Heaven did not disappoint and I'm very glad I finally read it. Though I do kind of wish I'd reread his other two books first. But maybe I'll reread them next. Because all of Zafon's books are worth revisiting. This one included...even though of the three I think it's the weakest.

Happy Reading!

22 comments:

  1. I haven’t read any of his books yet though I own several. I think my expectations are too high but it sounds like maybe they aren’t.

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    1. I know what you mean about having too high of expectations. I think his books are good, and they surprise you, too. :)

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  2. Hello, Lark! The first line of this novel is lovely. Adding this author to my list! I haven't read anything about this period in Spain and this looks like a good trilogy.

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    1. Hi, Monica! These books are so unique and interesting; Zafon is a great writer.

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  3. I'm glad this one didn't disappoint! An interesting and frightening time period.

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    1. I'm glad it didn't disappoint, too! ;D

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  4. I still need to read this trilogy! Sounds amazing!!

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  5. I haven't read the first two books yet, but I do own them. I am glad this one ended up being so good for you. It sounds like a great trilogy.

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    1. I like all three, especially The Shadow of the Wind because that's where you get introduced to the Cemetery of Lost Books. :)

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  6. Hi Lark, I have never read this author but the first sentence of his novel you quoted drew me in and I want to give him a chance. I like the way you structured your review, quoting first line of book and then why you waited to read the book and then your thoughts after finishing the novel.

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    1. Thanks!! If you get a chance to read any of Zafon's books let me know what you think. :)

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  7. I haven't read any of the books in this series though I've seen several good reviews on them. The Barcelona setting sounds interesting and I don't think I've ever read anything with that setting before.

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  8. Did you know there is a fourth book in the series? It will come out in Dutch in the coming weeks, not sure about the English translation though.
    I love his beautiful writing and I am glad you enjoyed this one.

    Kind regards,

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    1. No, I didn't know there was a fourth book! I'll have to check online and see if the English translation is out. Thanks! :)

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  9. I've been meaning to read something by Zafon for forever. One of these days ...

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    1. I think the next book by him that I'm going to try is The Watcher in the Shadows. That one sounds good, too.

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  10. This is a new author to me, but I am always up for good writing. Will check it out, especially as Barcelona is forefront in the news these days

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    1. Start with The Shadow in the Wind! :)

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  11. I loved The Shadow of the Wind but haven't gotten around to the other books - yet! So glad that you enjoyed it even if it wasn't your favorite of the three.

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    1. It's good, and I liked it, it just doesn't reach the level of great that his other two books did. At least not for me. :)

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