Having become far too consumed by television, I was determined to find a novel that would pull me back into voracious reading. After browsing the aisles at my local Barnes and Noble (I can't wait for Amazon. I'm an instant gratification gal), I found my recent favorite page-turner: The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Set in early twentieth-century Barcelona, the book chronicles David Martin as he weaves together sensationalist tales of his seedy city. Having gotten his start writing disposable crime pulp for the local newspaper, he is discovered by a mysterious publisher and wrangled into writing a haunting, life-altering book. As he writes the book from his decrepit mansion, eerie events unfold, malicious characters enter into his world, and impossible love triangles develop.
Having fallen for Barcelona on my own travels there, I was thrilled to traipse through its alleys and wander its street with David Martin as my fictional guide. However, some of the most fantastic sites Zafon transports us to are wholly imagined. Notably, the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a labyrinthine library of abandoned literature, is a strangely wonderful place that exists only in our mind's-eye.
I tend to stick to light fictional romps. So, this other-worldly book was a major literary diversion for me. Stephen King praised the book as "one gorgeous read," if that gives you a better idea of Zafon's peer group. Though, I must concur with King on Zafon's writing. At times, the supernatural plot becomes cumbersome and convoluted; but, the author's engaging descriptive vocabulary lead to a hypnotic compulsion to keep reading, to stick with David through his struggles.
Perhaps because it was so distinct from my usual reads, this novel absorbed me. At times Gothic and spooky and at others romantically sorrowful, this book proved to be exactly what I had been searching for. I was finally back into books.
What's your favorite page-turner?