Return to the gothic universe of the Cemetery of the Forgotten Books and the winding streets of Barcelona’s old quarter.
In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man – David Martin – makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he has taken refuge in the world of books, and spends his nights spinning baroque tales about the city’s underworld. But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house, lie letters hinting at the mysterious death of the previous owner. Like a slow poison, the history of the place seeps into his bones as he struggles with an impossible love.
Then David receives the offer of a lifetime: he is to write a book with the power to change hearts and minds. In return, he will receive a fortune, perhaps more. But as David begins the work, he realises that there is a connection between this haunting book and the shadows that surround his home.
'Bold, serious and shocking. His treatment of Spain's tortured history in the 20th century is as significant as his literary skill. These are things that belong not just to one city, but to the world.' Margaret Reynolds, The Times
'The prose is intelligent but unpretentious, and the author is clear in his intentions to provide a rollicking, fun read... the novel's themes address the power of narrative, and many sharp lines pertain to storytelling... hugely enjoyable.' Lionel Shriver, Daily Telegraph
'In this book about books, Zafón writes about Spain's harrowing history with literary aplomb.' The Times
'Revisits some of Zafón's much loved urban landscapes in old Barcelona. Yet this novel stands alone, a complement or even an antagonist to its forerunner. If the previous book celebrated the ecstasies of reading then this one - no less in love with literature, and no less crammed with archetypal plots - explores the agonies of writing.' Boyd Tonkin, Independent
'The Cemetery of Forgotten Books - 'a colossal labyrinth of bridges, passages and shelves' - is a wonderful creation, and there are many thrilling set pieces.' Mark Sanderson, Sunday Telegraph
'Scintillating. A heady brew of detective thriller, supernatural horror tale, magical realist fable and heartbreaking love story. It explores life, death, religious belief and - more than anything - the lonely, bitter - sweet self - torture that it is to be a writer, and the central role of books, especially fiction, in our understanding of the human condition' Daily Mail
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Ruiz Zafón's writing has been associated with the Gothic novel, a genre that has had very few exponents in Spain. And Barcelona is considered a Gothic city by virtue of its architecture. Is there any relation between these two circumstances?