The Prisoner of Heaven

Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Prisoner of Heaven is the second volume in The Cemetery of Forgotten Books’ trilogy. Written after the first book: The Shadow of the Wind, it is less exciting, thrilling, entertaining, yet profound, and full of insights.


Similar to the first book, the plot of TPoH slide on the historical skeleton of the Barcelona War, painting a barbarity picture of the war, exploring the morality of men’s action, and beautiful altruistic sacrifices for others. This second book, however, brings us a much deeper look at the hardship of prison life and human-human relationships under the political chaos. There were deception, avariciousness, and madness; the same event generated myriads of levels of emotion at different corners of the prison. To describe an emotional state of Martin exploited in the prison, Carlos says: “Might it not be that you’ve seen so much misery and so much evil among men that you want to do something good, even if it is madness.”


The suffering was in many ways hidden away after the war in the hope of peacefulness. This was shown in Fermin, Senor Sempere and those loving through those years of war, rotted away with the pain inside so that the younger generations could live on. In short, the book is deep-lying, slow-going and very educating though it is like a side-story of the first book, narrating about the life of supposed supportive character, Fermin.


Of course, to properly understand the story and its meaning, you have to go through the first book.

Fall 2019

September 22, 2019, 3:00:00 PM

4.5

novel, spain

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The Prisoner of Heaven