Isaac took a lamp from the floor and raised it to my face.

“You don’t look well,” he pronounced.

“Indigestion,” I replied.

“From what?”

“Reality.”

“Join the queue.”

This is not a review — you can read hundreds of them in literature journals and blogs. I am writing about this book, because I am probably one of the very few persons out there that I liked the “Angel’s Game” more than the “Shadow of the Wind,” the most popular book of  Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

David Martin is a writer who lives in Barcelona (of course!). Writing is his passion and through books he develops his whole life. His friends, his relationships with other people are related and closely connected with books.

He lives a melancholy life in a big, old, full of mysteries house that  its turbulent history seems to transform him. His life changes completely when he decides to accept the proposal of a mysterious French publisher (the boss) to write a book in exchange of a huge amount of money. Soon he discovers that he committed himself to a life-threatening contract, he loses the woman he love; despite the money he has no purpose in life, he feels that gave up his dreams and desires of his youth.

He is frustrated, because as the boss says,

As life advances and we have to give up the hopes, dreams and desires of our youth, we acquire a growing sense of being a victim of the world and of other people. There is always someone else to blame for our misfortunes or failures, someone we wish to exclude. Embracing a doctrine that will turn this grudge and this victim mentality into something positive, provides comfort and strength. The adult then feels part of the group and sublimates his lost desires and hopes through the community.

David thinks that it is essential to solve the mysteries that surround the house and the previous owner. It is this chase of truth and justice that transforms him. The last 1/3 of the book is dark and confused. It is the part of the book that unlike many other readers, I liked most.

The story becomes an exciting thriller and you are not certain if this story is real or a fantasy that takes place only within the confused mind of David. Mercy will finally find him; the moment David thinks he lost the last person he ever loved him, a second chance is given to him years, to live again.

I loved the Angel’s Game because of how it ended. I believe that it was the intention of the author to present us with a perplexed and confused ending. I also loved that dark, gothic, atmospheric Barcelona. In general, the book is beautifully written, highly intelligent, ironic, and funny in times. You may like this book, you may not, but certainly you cannot ignore it.

Envy is the religion of the mediocre. It comforts them, it responds to the worries that gnaw at them and finally it rots their souls, allowing them to justify their meanness and their greed until they believe these to be virtues. Such people are convinced that the doors of heaven will be opened only to poor wretches like themselves who go through life without leaving any trace but their threadbare attempts to belittle others and to exclude – and destroy if possible – those who, by the simple fact of their existence, show up their own poorness of spirit, mind and guts. Blessed be the ones at whom the fools bark, because his soul will never belong to them. (p.12)