- Paperback: 487 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books (February 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143034901
- ISBN-13: 978-0143034902
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2,525 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Shadow of the Wind
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“ Anyone who enjoys novels that are scary, erotic, touching, tragic and thrilling should rush right out to the nearest bookstore and pick up The Shadow of the Wind. Really, you should.”
—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post
"Gabriel Garcia Marquez meets Umberto Eco meets Jorge Luis Borges for a sprawling magic show." --The New York Times Book Review
"Wonderous... masterful... The Shadow of the Wind is ultimately a love letter to literature, intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero." --Entertainment Weekly (Editor's Choice)
"One gorgeous read." --Stephen King
About the Author
CARLOS RUIZ ZAFÓN is one of the world’s most read and best-loved writers. His work has been translated into more than forty languages and published around the world, garnering numerous international prizes and reaching millions of readers. He divides his time between Barcelona and Los Angeles. He is the author of The Shadow of the Wind, The Angel's Game, The Prince of Mist, The Midnight Palace, and, most recently, The Prisoner of Heaven.
LUCIA GRAVES is the author and translator of many works and has overseen Spanish-language editions of the poetry of her father, Robert Graves.
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It is a gothic tale set in 1945, Barcelona. Daniel, the bookseller’s son, is introduced to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, and makes his selection of one book from the labyrinth to take home and care for. In doing so, he finds himself involved in a real-life mystery. You see, the book he selected was written by a man named Julian Carax, and very well may be the last book in existence by Carax. Someone has been finding the Carax works and destroying them.
I love that it is a book about a book! I love the story, but I also love the writing itself, and how Zafon has a style that makes me want to keep reading. The man is a beautiful writer. The “Angel of the Mist” story that begins on page 233 is a haunting touch, as is Maria Jacinta’s detailing of her encounters with Zacarias (begin on page 260), and the storyline of Daniel and Fermin visiting her in the asylum.
I loved this first book so much that I immediately started reading the second book in the series, and I am about 200 pages in to “The Angel’s Game,” right now! To think, I found this gorgeous read because of a visit to the Book Warehouse over the July 4 weekend, where I unwittingly purchased the third book in the series first!
Mr Zafon's book is engrossing, the characters are so rich you feel you know them, and can picture them in your mind, even the villains. His descriptions of post-war Barcelona is so deliciously evocative, you can feel yourself riding the trams through the neighbourhoods to follow the characters around in that place and time.
When you finish this book, you will feel torn away from friends when you close the cover. However, you can reunite with them again in Zafon's "The Prisoner Of Heaven" which picks up with the characters.
HIghly recommend this if you love mystery, adventure and well-drawn characters.
In 1945 following Spain’s civil war a man takes his ten-year old son Daniel to a library called the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. There Daniel must pick out one book. He chooses called The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax.
What follows is a lyrical journey of Daniel’s life and adventures throughout his lifelong search for more information about Julian Carax. On his journey through life, Daniel meets all kinds of interesting people including an individual named Lain Coubert (who happens to be the main character in The Shadow of the Wind),who is determined to burn all of Carax’ novels. Is this person the devil? A demon of some sort? He reeks of burning and essentially has no facial features. He threatens Daniel and all that he holds dear for not turning over the Carax book. He also meets an evil fascist police inspector named Fumero who has people tortured and killed in the basement of the police station. He also threatens Daniel and his family and friends.
He travels with Fermin, who works at the bookstore with Daniel and his father, to a school at which Julian attended. There they charm and trick one of the clerics who grew up with Julian to talk about him. They learn a great deal about him. Fermin does not miss the parallels between Julian and Daniel’s lives. They also learn that Julian went to school with Fumero.
They go to visit Penelope’s (Julian’s lost love), nanny in a run down and filthy care home. She tells them the story of Penelope and Julian’s aborted love affair. Fermin again notices the similarities between Julian and Daniel’s lives. On their way home, they are set upon by Fumero and his thugs. Fermin receives a terrible beating.
But this does not stop their search for answers. Daniel comes into the possession of a lengthy letter to him that was written by a woman before she died. And with this letter, the truth comes out; the whole sordid and awful truth.
This is my first Carlos Ruiz Zafon novel, but I can promise it won’t be my last. I truly enjoyed this novel. It is very well written and plotted, and totally without any wasted words. That’s a real achievement for a novel this long. The suspense and intrigue start immediately with this book, and the level of excitement continues throughout the novel. The use of language is beautiful and Mr. Zafon really knows how to turn a phrase, as it were.