Shadow of the Wind Synopsis
Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets — an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love. (Amazon)
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is not just about books and their power to capture the imagination and inspire people; it is about the power and passion of the people who love books. What more could a booklover want?
A coming of age story.
Deceit, corruption and murder.
Love, in all its forms – hot-blooded, doomed and unrequited.
A thrilling battle for survival.
This Russian doll of novels, a book about a books and the stories within them, The Shadow of the Wind has it all.
I roamed through galleries filled with hundreds, thousands of volumes. After a while it occurred to me that between the covers of each of those books lay a boundless universe waiting to be discovered, while beyond those walls, in the outside world, people allowed life to pass by in afternoons of football and radio soaps, content to do little more than gaze at their navels. It might have been that notion, or just chance, or its more flamboyant relative, destiny, but at that precise moment, I knew I had already chosen the book I was going to adopt, or that was going to adopt me.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon has that special something that transforms a best selling title into a modern classic.
Zafon presents the reader with a setting, Barcelona, and eclectic cast of characters that are so lovingly rendered with such attention to detail and spirit that they seem to transcend the page. His prose (and that of English translator Lucia Graves) is often sublime.
The Ateneo was — and remains — one of the many places in Barcelona where the nineteenth century has not yet been served its eviction notice. A grand stone staircase led up from a palatial courtyard to a ghostly network of passageways and reading rooms. There, inventions such as the telephone, the wristwatch, and haste, seemed futuristic anachronisms. The porter, or perhaps it was a statue in uniform, barely noticed my arrival. I glided up to the first floor, blessing the blades of a fan that swirled above the sleepy readers melting like ice cubes over their books.
The only weakness in The Shadow of the Wind worth noting is a slight lull in atmospheric tension in the middle of the novel where the plot required time to pass for the many story elements to coalesce.
The Shadow of the Wind is an enchanting novel – exuding old world European mystery and intrigue and a literary sensibility. I was swiftly drawn into young hero Daniel’s dangerous quest for the truth and am sure you will be too.
BOOK RATING: The Story 4.5 / 5 ; The Writing 5 / 5
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Genre: Action-Adventure, Drama, Historical, Literature, Mystery, Romance, Thriller, Translation
About the Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón is the author of six novels. His work has been published in more than forty different languages, and honoured with numerous international awards. He divides his time between Barcelona, Spain, and Los Angeles, California.
Other titles by Carlos Ruiz Zafon: