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Summary

The third in the cycle of novels that began with The Shadow of The Wind and The Angel’s Game, The Prisoner of Heaven returns to the world of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and the Sempere & Sons bookshop. It begins just before Christmas in Barcelona in 1957, one year after Daniel and Bea from The Shadow of the Wind have married. They now have a son, Julian, and are living with Daniel's father at Sempere & Sons.

Fermin still works with them and is busy preparing for his wedding to Bernarda in the New Year. However something appears to be bothering him. Daniel is alone in the shop one morning when a mysterious figure with a pronounced limp enters. He spots one of their most precious volumes, that is kept locked in a glass cabinet, a beautiful and unique illustrated edition of The Count of Monte Cristo. Despite the fact that the stranger seems to care little for books, he wants to buy this expensive edition. Then, to Daniel's surprise, the man inscribes the book with the words 'To Fermin Romero de Torres, who came back from the dead and who holds the key to the future'. This visit leads back to a story of imprisonment, betrayal, and the return of a deadly rival.

Read by Peter Kenny. As both actor and singer, Peter Kenny has worked widely in theatre and broadcasting, appearing with, amongst others, the Royal Shakespeare Company, A&BC, Coventry Belgrade, and the BBC Radio Repertory Company. He is a prolific audiobook reader. Titles include: The Wasp Factory and Look to Windward by Iain Banks.

©2011 Shadow Factory L.L (P)2012 Orion Publishing Group

What listeners say about The Prisoner of Heaven

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great story for young and old.

Ruiz Zafon has written 4 books in this series, or is it 5 so don't quote me on that. All I know is I read them all in paperback and now at almost 70 I tend to listen to audio books instead. When I saw this one come up on Audible I just had to see if it was as good as I remember. I can say most definitely it's as enjoyable in the spoken word as when I first read it a long time ago. I believe it was originally written for the younger audience but soon became a favorite to all ages. Personally I thoroughly enjoyed them all and truly wish hed written many more. I recommend you get book one and see if you don't buy them all. An excellent read or listen what ever your fancy. 5 stars for Ruiz Zafon.

2 people found this helpful

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Ties together the previous two books

I proffer it is best to have read The Shadow of the Wind and The Angels Game before this.

I loved the first book (thought it was a better story and I enjoyed that narrator more) but the second held its own.

This attempts to tie them both together, which it does, but for me fails to deliver the same atmosphere, mystery and suspense. That said, it is well written with returning characters etc.

Prisoner does leave the ongoing story open for a fourth instalment though which I have not been put off!

2 people found this helpful

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Love this book, but why does Fermin have a strange northern English accent.

I adore this trilogy. Have read and listened to them many times. I cannot bear to continue with this past chapter 7.
Fermin sounds like he might say "eh by gum" any second.
Bizarre! Ruined it for me. Why the ridiculous accent?
Waste of money.
Wouldn't recommend to anyone.
I'm sure C L Zafon would be horrified.
Pity, as it's a super story.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Narration let down.

I love these Carlos Ruiz Zafon books but the narration ruined it for me. Fermin lost all of his charm and charisma due to having a stupid northern English accent! Why o why did they think giving the characters these weird accents was a good idea. In the Shadow of the winds they all sounded totally different, so disappointed they couldn’t have the original narrator. Otherwise a good story.

1 person found this helpful

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Fascinating prequel

What did you like most about The Prisoner of Heaven?

It lived up to the high standards of The Shadow of the Wind which I had read rather then listened to and which is great favourite of mine and those to whom I've recommended it.

What did you like best about this story?

Glimpses of Barcelona which I visited recently and complex background to the character Fermin from The Shadow of the Wind. As ever there is a lot of suspense and intrigue from start to finish.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The references to the Spanish Civil War were a reminder of a more brutal and painful Spain than is portrayed today.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I was hooked but made it last for several days.

Any additional comments?

I like Zafon's work; it is impossible to tell it's translated from Spanish.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating!

Having read Zafon's other books it was great to be re-introduced to the same characters. The book beautifully develops the friendship between Daniel and Fermin leading ultimately to Fermin sharing about his past. The insight into human relationship and character under extreme difficult circumstances is so well written and Zafons ability to draw the reader into the lives of the character continues to enthrall. Brilliant!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Terrible narrator

The narration is awful and affected my enjoyment of the story. The narrator decided to affect a bizzare, camp, yorkshire accent for the character of Fermin?! Not in keeping with the tone or style of this novel at all. Having loved the first two books in the series, this third one was disappointing. The book is fine and connections to previous books are interesting but it is my least favourite in the trilogy.

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Got to listen to the next one!

As a number of reviews have said, Peter Kenny's Fermin is a far cry from Daniel Philpot's. And if you have just finished Dan Stevens rendition of The Angel's Game, anything less is a disappointment! I wish Stevens had read the lot, although I do think that the others did a brilliant job and, once you got used to it and put away your annoyance, you can get used to Fermin's new "persona".
I struggled a bit with the chronology through the first three books and also with the concept of Corelli and Martin. But this didn't spoil my enjoyment of any of them. Zafon's writing is so charismatic - no mention of a translator who must share in the credit for how the book reads. Got to go, I've got the last one to listen to and that promises, at 27+hours, to be mega! I have to tie up the loose ends.

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Highly enjoyable read.

A good old-fashioned tale with lots of mystery, adventure and surprise. Lots that is quite sinister and horrifying balanced with humout and humanity. An easy and engaging read.

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A great story that suffered from the telling

The narration did not capture or continue with the great work of the previous 2 entries. Fermin in particular was transformed from a suave with a troubled past to what sounded like a lecherous drag queen

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  • Abi
  • 02-06-18

So enjoyable

I have loved reading the stories of Carlos Ruiz Zafon books they are enjoyable to read and to listen too.