Those of you who have read this blog before know that book narration is one of the performance jobs I pursue (successfully – lol). “The Prisoner Of Heaven: A Novel” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and translated from the Spanish by Lucia Graves is the latest in my narration efforts.
I think it’s a very interesting book. I’m drawn to mysteries, and this one is definitely a mystery. At it’s core it tells the tale of a young man who becomes imprisoned during the reign of Generalissimo Franco in Spain – in Barcelona, in fact. Woven, tangled even, around that tale are several others involving people we meet via the protagonist. This book certainly gives us a full cast of characters – heroic, despicable, sympathetic and repulsive – to enjoy. I found the dialogue extremely honest and touching at times. On the other hand there are spots in which I felt the story was a bit sluggish. I think this may be in part due to Mr. Zafon’s time hopping. He skips back and forth in time to tell his story which requires setting the scene with each hop and can become a little confusing if you’re not on your toes. Or perhaps it’s an artifact of the translation. Then again, it could just be my TV-addled brain. Ha!
Here’s a brief synopsis from the book jacket:
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.