angry brown man, do not provoke!

You Should Be Reading Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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If you are looking for something enjoyable to read during lazy summer days, you should  read Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s brilliant novels. They are that good. Both his novels, The Shadow in the Wind and The Angel’s Tale, are what I like to call children stories for adults. They are books infused with mystery, adventure, magic, mysticism, faith, romance. Like classic 19th-century novels but written for the modern age.

What makes these novels  interesting is that they revolve around literature: the protagonists in the novels is either a bookseller or writer, and the core of their conflict is a single book. It is this one book that they and the reader chases to the end, leading to god knows where. You’ll have to read the novels yourself to find out what happenes. But I must tell you thing, it’s one hell of a ride!

Like all good stories, Zafon’s novels are vivid in their detail as in the intricacy of the plot. Zafon paints Barcelona, which he is both a native of and is the setting for his novels, with such detail it can be used as a travel guide. Both novels take place during the middle of the 20th century, a turbulent time for Spain, on the cusp of revolution, and the world at large. And the characters are rich as the city they reside in. Even the villains come off as sympathetic souls than the monster they are meant to be, which, of course, doesn’t make them any less evil but definitely more human.

Zafon novels also provide an intellectual bromide for the countless brainless thrillers that pass novels (you know who you are!). One thing about Zafon’s  novels are various philosophical dialogues that I found to be entertaining without being pedantic.  One of the key reasons is that Zafon’s prose flows smoothly from one sentence to the next, without getting bogged down.

These are novels of complexity, but not difficulty. Like I mentioned before it is one part mystery, adventure, ghost and romance. Don’t expect a conventional ending, it is not a police procedural where the criminal is finally caught; or a happy one. But it has a human ending.

I highly recommend these two novels, you will not be disappointed.

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Written by niraj

April 29th, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Posted in books

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