Book Review: The Shadow of the Wind

26 Nov

Synopsis: Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the ‘cemetery of lost books’, a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out ‘La Sombra del Viento’ by Julian Carax. But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. Then, one night, as he is wandering the old streets once more, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from La Sombra del Viento, a character who turns out to be the devil. This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax’s work in order to burn them. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind. A page-turning exploration of obsession in literature and love, and the places that obsession can lead.

It took me 10 hours spread in a 5-day period to finish this novel, and it was worth it. Between reviewing for my progress test mentioned in a previous blog entry, reading and eventually finishing this book was the better choice. From the moment I picked it up in the bookstore, I found the premise very enchanting, and as I read more and more, it gave me a glimpse of the Barcelona of old that I found to be very beautiful, the Barcelona I really wanted to see. The presence of too many characters has always been a turn off for me, especially when the author spends too much time to talk about who they are and what they play in the story but not in the case of this one, I actually thought that even the not so significant characters had their parts to play, it obviously worked for me in this book. When I found out who exactly Julian Carax was, the book has already lifted my spirits and has already carried me away. The book doesnt try to impress and overwhelm as opposed to recent novels that seem to have been written by their authors with the purpose of being made into a film, but having said that, I really think that this book will do with a film adaptation, but Zafon himself should take care of the screenplay.

This has been the best book I have read so far this year. If you can read Spanish, maybe it will be best to get the book in its original language.


2 Responses to “Book Review: The Shadow of the Wind”

  1. Pedro Vecino November 28, 2005 at 2:48 pm #

    I will get this book on Xmas, definitely. I like the ideas, and specially the ambientation, as exposed in the review.

  2. Monette November 28, 2005 at 3:04 pm #

    Oh, ignore my review! LOL

    Youre getting it in your language right?

    Oh, I envy you!

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