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The Shadow of the Wind
The Shadow of the Wind
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Lucia Graves (Translator)
Barcelona, 1945 -- just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his eleventh birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother's face. To console his only child, Daniel's widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of For...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780143034902
ISBN-10: 0143034901
Publication Date: 2/1/2005
Pages: 496
Rating:
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 779

4.1 stars, based on 779 ratings
Publisher: Penguin
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Shadow of the Wind on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 35
Have you ever, after putting down a book, been reluctant to read anything else because you feel like nothng else would be as good? "Shadow of the Wind" was like that for me. It did move a little slowly at first, but once it hooked me ... oh, my!
It begins in 1945, when Daniel (the narrator), at age 10, gets a special visit to a secret library in Barcelona, where he and his bookseller father live. Daniel is allowed to pick one book to cherish and protect; he chooses "The Shadow of the Wind" by Julian Carax. Daniel is so captivated that he tries to find more books by Carax - but discovers that someone is trying to destroy every copy. What follows is a rich, convoluted, fascinating tale full of mystery, tragedy, true love, a bit of magical realism, and outrageous, sometimes crude humor.

I read most of it in one sitting.
reviewed The Shadow of the Wind on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 25
A wonderful book for any of those true bibliophiles out there who have a true love for books themselves. Beautiful, flowing language and a story that keeps you turning pages. This book has a bit of everything: murder, romance, intrigue, and a glimpse into the world of book collecting. There is a magical quality in this book reminiscent of other books with fantasy elements written for adults, though not with the pop-fiction appeal of Alice Hoffman, but more like the work of Gabrial Garcia Marquez, or "The Neverending Story" by Michael Ende. This book is on my Top 10 Favorite All-time books - I highly recommend it. I just wish they would get more of Zafon's books translated, as he write in Spanish!
reviewed The Shadow of the Wind on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 21
Honestly one of the finest books I've read. The language is absolutely beautiful - even more astonishing considering it's a translation from Spanish. Nothing is lost in the translation.

Highly recommended.
reviewed The Shadow of the Wind on + 132 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
A very different book. Had a hard time getting started then it grabbed me. I actually read it twice.
reviewed The Shadow of the Wind on + 423 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
While some of this book was long winded, I found it very compelling. Every once in a while I had to pull out my dictionary for words I had never heard of, but otherwise the translation was great. I believed all the characters and loved the intrigue. After the first 75 pages I was hooked. The ending was definitely worth it!!! I highly recommend this book.
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reviewed The Shadow of the Wind on + 80 more book reviews
Complex & compelling. Had a little trouble getting started -- lots of characters, Spanish history I wasn't familiar with, and some intense background -- but once I did, couldn't put it down. Very well done!
reviewed The Shadow of the Wind on + 12 more book reviews
I wasn't familiar with the Spanish Civil War, but this was still a good read.
reviewed The Shadow of the Wind on + 10 more book reviews
The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, is one of the most immensely rewarding novels I have ever read. The tale takes place in Barcelona. We begin with Daniel Sempere, who as a child is taken to a secret library known as the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. The Cemetery serves as a haven for books that are endangered or have become lost in time, waiting to be rediscovered by each new initiate, who is tasked with selecting one book and protecting it with his or her life. Daniel chooses a novel, The Shadow of the Wind, by Julian Carax. When he finishes the novel and loves it, he hopes to read the rest of Carax's work. He soon discovers that Carax's novels are being destroyed one by one, and an epic mystery begins to unfold...

The Shadow of the Wind envelops the reader in its intricately-designed story, which not only delves into the complex history of the fictional Julian Carax, but also how his story and Daniel's are interconnected. Zafon draws his readers in with a deceptively simple premise, but soon piles on layers upon layers of subplots. His writing is glorious, shows much more than it tells, and reads like the finest literature. It gives me renewed faith in the skill of contemporary writers at their craft. It is part mystery, part period romance, and part atmospheric, gothic-styled melodrama. There is also plenty of humor.

The pacing can be slow in places and the subplots on all sides may overwhelm some readers, leaving some (including myself) wondering where Zafon is taking me with all this. However, the final third of the novel, when things begin coming together, satisfied me completely and did not disappoint. The Shadow of the Wind is not a novel you can down in one gulp. It is a banquet of a book which rewards the patient reader, and satisfies even more the second time around. Highly recommended!

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People/Characters
Daniel (Primary Character)
Julian Carax (Major Character)
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