Carlos Ruiz Zafůn Ė The Angelís Game Book Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
THE ANGEL'S GAME
Carlos Ruiz Zafůn
 
 

Review Information

Reviewer: David Murcott
Review Date: October 2010

Book Information

Publisher: Text Publishing
RRP: $24.95

7.5

out of 10

 

 

The problem with being utterly lazy is that things donít get done when theyíre supposed to get done.  Take tonight, for instance.  At this moment I am supposed to be putting the finishing touches on a psychology assignment that was due today, and flicking through the final pages of Carlos Ruiz Zafůnís excellent new novel The Angelís Game.  Instead Iím on my second glass of red wine, the assignment has barely been started and Iíve read exactly thirteen pages of Zafůnís 450-page opus.  But what a thirteen pages! 

The action opens in 1917.  A young assistant at a Barcelona newspaper is finally given his big break when a planned article falls through, and one of his original crime fiction pieces is substituted.  These become a regular feature and prove immensely popular with the paperís readership, earning him a sense of satisfaction but the undying enmity of the rest of the paperís older, jaded staff members.   

And thatís as far as Iíve gotten.  Itís not that Iím not enjoying it; on the contrary Zafůn has an impressive command of the written word, the characterisation is excellent and Lucia Gravesí translation first class.  Itís that Iíve got lots of other things to do.  Iíve just received a review copy of Churchhillís German Army that isnít going to watch itself.  Iíll probably be drunk soon.  Plus Iím lazy.  Very, very lazy. 

So letís see what some other reviewers, who presumably have read the book in its entirety, had to say.  ĎA love letter to literatureí declared Who Weekly.  ĎA story so expansive that to describe it as an epic doesnít quite do it justiceí crowed someone from the Adelaide Advertiser.  People from slightly higher-end publications have been equally as kind.  ĎFucking dynamiteí cried the New York Times.  They didnít really.  Iím paraphrasing.  What they wrote was ĎGabriel Garcia Marquez meets Umberto Eco meets Jorge Luis Borges,í which when you think about it is kind of the same thing. 

In short, if the three percent of the novel Iíve read so far is anything to go on, The Angelís Game, despite its title, promises to be a corker and you should probably read it without further ado.   It certainly has hints of Marquez, without being a boring overrated piece of shit like Love in the Time of Cholera, and is possessed of an endearing, subtle humour that instantly resonates.  The first paragraph, for example, is fucking hilarious.   

But donít take my word for it.  Here it is in its entirety:  ĎA writer never forgets the first time he accepted a few coins or a word of praise in exchange for a story.  He will never forget the sweet poison of vanity in his blood, and the belief that, if he succeeds in not letting anyone discover his lack of talent, the dream of literature will provide him with a roof over his head, a hot meal at the end of the day, and what he covets most: his name printed on a miserable piece of paper that will surely outlive him.  A writer is condemned to remember that moment, because from then on he is doomed and his soul has a price.í 

See?  Dynamite.






 
 



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