Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Mini - Comments

Two books I've recently read in Portuguese and that I briefly comment on:

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 Fermín 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 Fermín and Daniel into a dangerous adventure that will take them back to the 1940's and the dark early days of Franco's dictatorship. The terrifying events of that time launch them on a journey fraught with jealousy, suspicion, vengeance, and lies, 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 of the mystery 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 Zafón's enchanting fictional world.

Comment: This is the third installment in the well received Cemetery of Forgotten Books series by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. It is said the books can be read in any order the reader might like because the stories are connected in different manners but to me, I like to read things in some kind of order. 
I was eagerly waiting for this book to be available at the library and I finally found it.
As expected, this was a very beautifully written story, the prose is as evocative and special as seen in the previous books. 
This time we have the plot more centered on Fermín, Daniel's friend and co worker and how his life was before he got to be friends with the Sempere family. The story has many intriguing details but to be honest, I don't think I felt as emotionally captivated with this one as I did with the others before. I liked the tale Fermín shares, I like how he progressed from there until he got to be the man we are familiar with but there are secondary things loosely linked to the Cemetery and to Daniel's personal life - probably to keep up in the next story - that also detracted more impact from the central plot.
Al in all, this was good but not passionate as I hoped for.
Grade: 6/10


Comment: This is a book only existing in Portuguese, it's a compilation of chronicles written for a
sports' newspaper and where the author points out several aspects pertaining to the period between 2007 and 2010 and always with a very partial opinion/defense of the soccer club he is a fan of.
I think this is only easy to be appreciated by fans of that same club since the author very often criticizes everything else. To be fair, he also criticizes his beloved club when they played poorly. Of course, this needs to be seen through a special eye: the author is known as a humorist, most of his career is on TV and newspapers always with a sarcastic, funny POV.
Personally, I liked reading the texts because they were fun, they were ironic and well written but only people familiar with the subject or interested in it would really appreciate the book.
Grade: 6/10

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