"We all have a secret buried under lock and key in the attic of our soul. This is mine."
When Fifteen-year-old Oscar Drai suddenly vanishes from his boarding school in Barcelona, no one knows his whereabouts for seven days and seven nights.
His story begins when he meets the strange Marina while he's exploring an old quarter of the city. She leads Oscar to a cemetery, where they watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the last Sunday of each month. At exactly ten o'clock in the morning, a woman shrouded in a black velvet cloak descends from her carriage to place a single rose on an unmarked grave.
When Oscar and Marina decide to follow her, they begin a journey that transports them to a forgotten postwar Barcelona--a world of aristocrats and actresses, inventors and tycoons--an reveals a dark secret that lies waiting in the mysterious labyrinth beneath the city streets.
Carlos Ruiz Zafon's haunting Marina has long been a cult classic in Spain and is now an international bestseller.
In a novel first published in Spain in 1999, Zaf n (The Midnight Palace) transports readers to 1979 Barcelona, where 15-year-old Oscar Drai lives a dreary boarding school life. That's until he meets a girl named Marina, who takes him to an old cemetery where a cloaked woman conducts an odd ritual over a nameless grave. Soon they uncover a twisted tale of hereditary disease, murder, and horrible experiments, all of which took place years ago and whose central figures are dead. Or are they? Zaf n is a master of both the subtle simile ("A strange sound throbbed in the darkness. A metallic murmur, like the sound of a venetian blind quivering") and the outrageous image: "The light filtering down from above revealed the face of a harlequin. Two diamond shapes covered its glassy eyes, and steel fangs protruded from its lips of polished wood." On a rational level, the tale, like many Gothic thrillers, is preposterous, but readers are never given time to think rationally. Unlikely discoveries in mysterious, half-ruined mansions alternate with spine-tingling action sequences to create a grotesquerie that will delight horror fans. Ages 12 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Another fabulous story
I have enjoyed all of Carlos's novels very much and is possibly my favorite writer. This story like all others is filled with such details that your mind creates vivid images which in turn enables you to imagine yourself as Oscar, living through story.
Barcelona noir which he does so well. As usual, the story is dripping with suspense, creepy sewer dwellers, and heartbreak. This is the 4th novel of his I've read and won't be the last.
Very touching book! A classic version of the fault in our stars.