Presents a complete collection of the author's short stories, some of which were not previously published, featuring such characters as a boy who decides to become a writer to impress the rich girl he has fallen in love with and an architect with plans for an impregnable library.
Ruiz Zafón’s many fans — his works have been translated into more than 50 languages and he’s believed to be the best-selling Spanish author since Cervantes — are sure to find his collection of short stories both familiarly satisfying and poignant ... It’s impossible to read those opening lines without wondering whether this sly and witty author is prompting us to reflect on how we might remember him — a bit of a tease since he surely knew his works would be impossible to forget ... Readers of Ruiz Zafón’s four-book Cemetery of Forgotten Books cycle (he wouldn’t call it a series because he engineered them so that people could start with any of the books, rather than reading them in order) will once again luxuriate in his florid descriptions of his hometown of Barcelona that bring to life that magical and mysterious city ... Readers will encounter new characters but also find familiar names, offering fresh perspectives on fictional lives we already know so well. He revisits many of his signature themes, such as desperate youthful love and its consequences, as well as class prejudice ... as he was wont to do, Ruiz Zafón playfully offers some mind-bending architecture to make us think.
Zafón was a brilliant writer, and as we awaken from the bad dream that has spoiled our collective consciousness, it is time to appreciate this book that shows just how talented he was at manipulating language and words ... Writing in the short form was obviously less confining for him as much of his work rings of poetic vision and imagery that could very well exist in a dream-like countenance or mist, as the book’s title suggests. His mastery of the written word is at full heights throughout, and some of the best moments as a reader are the streams of consciousness that permeate his descriptions ... There is much to savor in The City of Mist, and I am thankful that Carlos Ruiz Zafón provides us a literary beacon through the mist that has been the past two years.
... the tales in The City of Mist are filled with classic Ruiz Zafón elements: absorbing, old-fashioned storytelling, atmospheric settings and characters who exist in the margins between reality and imagination ... tap[s] into a sense of ethereal mystery and otherworldliness ... Because Ruiz Zafón was a writer known for burly, sprawling narratives in a style hearkening back a century or two, it is interesting to see him working in miniature. The shortest stories here are mere whimsical episodes, and one senses that The City of Mist, which has the feel of a writer's sketchbook, comprises nuggets the author intended for future exploration in novels. This fragmentary quality, however, in no way diminishes Ruiz Zafón's storytelling charms, which are on full display especially in a number of the longer pieces ... Ruiz Zafón luxuriated in an old-school narrative style and was an indisputable master of the form. If he had one blind spot as a writer, it may have been in his portrayal of female characters. The women in these stories, young or old, are likely to be either virginal or fallen (sometimes, oddly, both), serving as mysterious objects of veneration or temptation but rarely as multifaceted human beings. This omission or oversight often leaves the reader yearning for a little more depth. Nonetheless, for the legion of fans of this mesmerizing storyteller, The City of Mist will not disappoint.