27 December 2015

Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafón - Book Review

It took me a long time to read Marina as I wasn't in the best reading mood. I still don't know if I enjoyed it, so I'm going to try and find out by reviewing it.
If Marina was a movie, it would be a noir. In Barcelona, 1979, Oscar Drai is an student leading a regular and slightly boring lifestyle, until he meets Marina, a girl who welcomes him in her house along with her fathern Germán and with whom he carries out a complex inquiry on the black past of Barcelona and some rather extravagant characters.

I quite liked the story even if I found it slightly too complex. I'm not a fan of thrillers, since I find it hard to follow the final explanation which is usually overcomplicated. In Marina, the unfolding of the story is explained in a long monologue, and even though it is definitely intriguing I found it endless. On the other hand, the showdown is very exciting and reminded me of the last pages in the Harry Potter books, when one stays awake to read it all and doesn't want it to end. The bit I liked best was the first part of the book, which was clear and very pleasant to read.

Zafón's style is definitely unique, even though I find some of his suspense attempts a bit awkward and dull. I mean, if one was given a shred of a book of his and had to guess its author, it would be clear that it was Zafón. However, there are many elements he could have improved that surely will change in his next books, considering this was one of his first ones.

I would recommend this book to lovers of the typical Spanish mysteriousness (which I am a great fan of), of noirs and thrillers.

My edition: Carlos Ruiz Zafón, 1999. Marina. Barcelona: Booklet. This is a paperback Spanish edition easy to read for its clear font and very light to carry around.

Goodreads: 3/5.

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