cover image Marina


Carlos Ruiz Zafón, read by Daniel Weyman. Hachette Audio, , unabridged, six CDs, 7.5 hrs., $25 ISBN 978-1-4789-5368-5

Fifteen-year-old Oscar is leading a lonely life at his Barcelona boarding school in the late 1970s. While exploring an older part of the city, he meets Marina, a girl near his age who lives austerely with her father, who is a painter, in a rundown house. The teens get caught up in a mystery that began just after WWII. Inventors, aristocrats, opera singers, police inspectors, and millionaires were all involved in dark, sinister crimes, and the aftereffects of these events reverberate through the years and place Marina and Oscar in great danger. Ruiz Zafón tells his gothic tale with a great deal of exposition interspersed with sudden bursts of action. Weyman handles this expertly, narrating with great emotion, making the many minutes of description interesting to the listener when they could easily become tedious. He also plays around with a wide variety of accents: Spanish, Russian, German, and American characters are all subtly but distinctly portrayed, while narration is performed in dulcet English tones. Many characters are elderly and are given creaky voices that wobble in pitch, but it’s never cartoonish. This is a sophisticated performance of an atmospheric, complex mystery. A Little, Brown hardcover. (July)