Wednesday, August 22, 2012

THE PRISONER OF HEAVEN: A REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
The Prisoner of Heaven
BY CARLOS RUIZ ZAFóN

ABOUT THE BOOK:
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.

Barcelona, 1957. It is Christmas, and Daniel Sempere and his wife, Bea, have much to celebrate. They have a beautiful new baby son named Julian, and their close friend Fermin Romero de Torres is about to be wed. But their joy is eclipsed when a mysterious stranger visits the Sempere bookshop and threatens to divulge a terrible secret that has been buried for two decades in the city's dark past. His appearance plunges Fermin and Daniel into a dangerous adventure that will take them back to the 1940s and the early days of Franco's dictatorship. The terrifying events of that time launch them on a search for the truth that will put into peril everything they love and ultimately transform their lives.

Full of intrigue and emotion, The Prisoner of Heaven is a majestic novel in which the threads of The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game converge under the spell of literature and bring us toward the enigma hidden at the heart of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a collection of lost treasures known only to its few initiates, and the very core of Carlos Ruiz Zafon's enchanting fictional world.

PRAISE FOR THE PRISONER OF HEAVEN:
“[A novel] with the blissful narrative drive of a high-class mystery… Ruiz Zafón is a splendidly solicitous craftsman, careful to give the reader at least as much pleasure as he is evidently having.”
— The Guardian
“The story has heart, menace torture, kindness, cruelty, sacrifice, and a deep devotion to what makes humans tick.”--New York Journal of Books“Perhaps his wittiest [novel] and the darkest to date, a stylistic feat that Ruiz Zafon handles deftly…Savor this book.”--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel"Gripping…suspenseful…The magic of the novel is in the wonderfully constructed creepy and otherworldly setting, the likable characters, and the near-perfect dialogue.”

--Booklist
“Invoking the atmosphere of Dumas, Dickens, Poe and Garcia Marquez, Carlos Ruiz Zafon retains his originality and will hold his rightful place among the storytelling masters of literature.”
--Book Reporter
“Zafon’s storytelling is deft and well-paced, and his vivid prose brings the cultural riches and political strife of Franco-era Spain to life.”
--Publishers Weekly 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Carlos Ruiz Zafón, author of two critically acclaimed and internationally bestselling novels, The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game, is one of the world's most read and best-loved writers. His work, which also includes prizewinning young adult novels, has been translated into more than fifty languages and published around the world, garnering numerous international prizes and reaching millions of readers. He divides his time between Barcelona and Los Angeles. 

MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW:
THE PRISONER OF HEAVEN by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is the third in a four-part series in which the focal point is based on the Cemetery of Forgotten Books; a collection of lost treasures known only to the members of a very private group. Each of Zafon’s novels stands alone with THE PRISONER OF HEAVEN being more of a historical novel than the first two. It depicts a man who fought on the wrong side of a revolution.

The setting is a family-owned bookstore, Sempere and Sons, which is an established business in Barcelona. The shop has survived through the Spanish Revolution of 1936 and both World Wars, as well as the turmoil of much political and social mayhem. In THE PRISONER OF HEAVEN, we find main characters Daniel Sempere, and his wife, Bea, with Julian, their beautiful baby son. The other major character is their friend Fermin Romero de Torres who himself is about to be married. 

Working hard to keep his father’s shop open, Daniel waits on a mysterious customer while Fermin is out having papers filled out for his wedding. The customer is crippled by missing fingers and has come to buy a gift for Fermin’s wedding. He purchases an expensive edition of The Count of Monte Cristo and signs “Fermin Romero del Torres” as his name on the title page leaving it for Fermin. Daniel is shocked when he sees this and follows him, but loses him in a shady part of town.  Upon his return, Fermin is quite upset when he sees the signature and “gift”. This brings the story to the real twists and turns as Fermin confesses the truth about his past which even includes things about Daniel’s mother’s death. From here the narrative really sets off on a dangerous journey that will take Daniel and Fermin back in time and to the early days of Franco's dictatorship.

The characters are well developed and engaging while the story is fanciful and often quite graphic in nature. When the scenes that take place in the prison are described, use of Fermin’s sense of humor helps as these are pretty gruesome in nature.


I enjoyed THE PRISONER OF HEAVEN, which surprised me, but I think that is because it is a book that centers on people who love books, which helped sell it to me.  With the cliffhanger ending, I will be looking forward to the last installment now so I can find out where Daniel winds up. I think if you haven’t read any of the series, you can certainly read them in any order but if you have the means, start with the first book and work your way into this third one.  

GIVEAWAY 
THANKS TO DANIELLE AND THE FINE
FOLKS AT HARPER COLLINS, I HAVE
ONE HARDBACK COPY OF THE 
PRISONER OF HEAVEN TO GIVE 
AWAY TO ONE LUCKY FOLLOWER
 
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
 

COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!


HOW TO ENTER:


+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON WHAT WHAT YOU READ ABOVE ABOUT THE PRISONER OF HEAVEN THAT MADE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK, AND DON'T FORGET YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG AND/OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK HERE AND LEAVE ME YOUR LINK 


+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT  ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING BY LOOKING OVER CARLOSE RUIZ ZAFON'S WEBSITE HERE

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE WAY YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE WAY, YOU CAN COMMENT SEPARATELY AND EACH WILL COUNT AS AN ENTRY

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON A CURRENT GIVEAWAY THAT YOU HAVE ENTERED ON MY BLOG. IF YOU ENTERED MORE THAN ONE, YOU MAY COMMENT SEPARATELY FOR EACH TO RECEIVE MORE ENTRIES
 
GIVEAWAY ENDS AT 
6 PM, EST, AUGUST 31
GOOD LUCK!

72 comments:

debbie said...

This book does bring up an interesting point, what happens to the people who fight on the wrong side of a revolution. I think it sounds like a good book.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

Steve Capell said...

I love books and for that reason alone I will add my name into the hat. I found out that Ruiz Zafón's works have been published in 45 countries and translated into more than 40 different languages... that has success written all over it! I'm in for sure!

steven.capell@gmail.com

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lag123 said...

I liked the praise via book reporter.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Carol N Wong said...

I love books about people who love books like you were talking about in your review. I read a few pages of the beginning and it seems engrossing. I am not sure that I like the graphic nature of the prison scenes. I am torn!!!

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I tweeted:

http://t.co/BlxzQLo0

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

On his site, I loved the beautiful screen savers, especially the one with the dragon on it.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Tore said...

I would love to find out what the secret is. This sounds like a very good read. Please enter me in contest. I am a follower and email subscriber. Tore923@aol.com

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Thank you!
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I also founf the Shadow of the Wind Walk really interesting.

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