.

Envy is the religion of the mediocre. It comforts them, it soothes their worries, and finally it rots their souls, allowing them to justify their meanness and their greed until they believe these to be virtues. Such people are convinced that the doors of heaven will be opened only to poor wretches like themselves who go through life without leaving any trace but their threadbare attempts to belittle others and to exclude – and destroy if possible – those who, by the simple fact of their existence, show up their own poorness of spirit, mind, and guts. Blessed be the one at whom the fools bark, because his soul will never belong to them.

The most despicable humans are the ones who always feel virtuous and look down on the rest of the world.

Nothing is fair. The most one can hope is for things to be logical. Justice is a rare illness in a world that is otherwise a picture of health.

It seems that in the advanced stages of stupidity, a lack of ideas is compensated for by an excess of ideologies.

I think you judge yourself too severely, a quality that always distinguishes people of true worth.

Do you know the best thing about broken hearts? They can only really break once the rest is just scratches.

There was no more good or evil in this world than we imagine there to be, either out of greed or out of innocence. Or sometimes madness.

The incompetent always present themselves as experts, the cruel as pious, sinners as devout, usurers as benefactors, the small minded as patriots, the arrogant as humble, the vulgar as elegant, and the feeble-minded as intellectual.

One can convert only a sinner, never a saint.

Old age is the lubricant of belief. When death knocks at the door, skepticism flies out the window. A serious cardiovascular fright and a person will even believe in Little Red Riding Hood.

The Angel’s Game is a prequel to 2001’s The Shadow of the Wind, by Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

The novel marks a return to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books in Barcelona’s Raval district, and the Sempere & Sons bookshop. Like The Shadow of the Wind, it was translated into English by Lucia Graves and published in 2009.

USA Today praised The Angel’s Game as „a multi-layered confection that combines undying love, magical realism, meditations on religion, the importance of books and a love affair with the vibrant city of Barcelona.“