This book is the prequel to Zafón’s earlier The Shadow of the Wind. I read this book a few years ago now and very much enjoyed it (although I remember enjoying The Shadow of the Wind more). He is a hugely talented writer (however criticisms have been voiced at the plot) and what makes this novel all the more interesting is that it is a novel about books and the power of words. Upon reading it, this paragraph struck me as the most beautifully written passage about writing which stayed with me long after finishing the book. The haunting nature of it creeps up on you and i’m sure any writer can relate to the feeling conjured from the words. It has been in my notebooks ever since I finished reading the book. Enjoy.
‘He worked all night and collapsed from exhaustion at dawn, possessed by strange dreams in which the letters on the page trapped in the typewriter would come unstuck and, like spiders made of ink, would crawl up his hands and face, working their way through his skin and nesting in his veins until his heart was covered in black and his pupils were clouded in pools of darkness. I would barely leave the old rambling house for weeks on end, and would forget what day of the week it was, or what month of the year. I paid no attention to the recurring headaches that would sometimes plague me, arriving all of a sudden as if a metal awl were boring a hole through my skull, burning my eyes with a flash of white light. I had grown accustomed to living with a constant ringing in my ears that only the murmur of wind or rain could mask. Sometimes, when a cold sweat covered my face and I felt my hands shaking on the Underwood keyboard, I told myself that the following day I would go to the doctor. But on that day there was always another scene, and another story to tell. ‘
Carlos Ruiz Zafón- The Angel’s Game