Daniel's father coaxes him to choose a volume from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the novel he selects, The Shadow of the Wind by one Julian Carax, that he sets out to find the rest of Carax's work. To his shock, he discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written. In fact, he may have the last one in existence. Before Daniel knows it, his seemingly innocent quest has opened a door into one of Barcelona's darkest secrets, an epic story of murder, magic, madness, and doomed love.
An uncannily absorbing historical mystery, a heart-piercing romance, and a moving homage to the mystical power of books, The Shadow of the Wind is a triumph of the storyteller's art.
Translated by Lucia Graves.
©2001 Carlos Ruiz Zafon; Translation ©2004 Lucia Graves; (P)2004 Penguin Audio
"If you thought the true gothic novel died with the 19th century, this will change your mind. Shadow is the real deal, a novel full of cheesy splendor and creaking trapdoors, a novel where even the subplots have subplots; this is one gorgeous read." (Stephen King)
"Superbly entertaining." (Washington Post Book World)
"Carlos Ruiz Zafon has written a masterful novel of hope, mystery, and love, made more superb on audio." (AudioFile)
"Part detective story, part boy's adventure, part romance, fantasy, and gothic horror, the intricate plot is urged on by extravagant foreshadowing and nail-nibbling tension. This is rich, lavish storytelling." (Booklist)
An interesting combination of history, intriguing mystery and multiple love stories surrounding a boys curiosity about a book he discovers. Lots of characters and events to remember. Enjoyable, but I haven't decided if I want to read any more of the series - Cemetery of Forgotten Books.
Heartbreaking, soul-catching, stomach-dropping.
When you are a hopeless romantic deprived of the company of other hopeless romantics, a book that makes you fall to the bottom of yourself is a welcome friend. This book has a soul. And, not only does it call you into itself, unwinding and undressing itself for you, it looks boldly into your own soul, and pulls it out.
Zafón has a way of writing to people who love books. He makes you feel as if you've stumbled upon some secret underground society that you were born to enter. It is not "as if" his characters come alive. His characters are alive and well, living quietly in the small corners of coffee shops and used book stores half hidden behind their precious paper backs. He creates the characters that we, the-corner-of-quiet-reading-places-society, become in all our many delusions of granduer.
The cemetery of forgotten books is a sacred place like no other. The people who inhabit it, Daniel, Carax, Sempere, Fermín, and Bea, crawl inside of you and stay there long past the last page. I won't begin to describe the many twists and turns, the love stories, the horrors, and the delights of this novel because I won't do them justice, and in the process, I'll spoil them. All I can say is if you are the kind of person who carries a book's soul in your own, read it, and add to your collection.
Johnathan Davis does a great job!
Do multiple almost heart attacks count?
Hyperbole is the Best Thing EVER!!!!
I like Jonathan Davis and will listen to more books with him as narrator. But I don't know what he was doing here. This book is about Catalonia. And it specifically about a Catalan society that suffered under the oppression of Franco. Catalans do not, to a very distinct point, refer to Barcelona with a "th" sound. It is Bar-sa-lona, not Bar-tha-lona. That is the Castilian pronunciation and while it's use isn't as as extreme as it once was (although you could still get pummeled for using it in some places), back when this book was happening, it would have been up there with some of the most offensive racial epithets we refuse to use today. It is seriously that bad. And he does it 100's of times.
In fact, he will mention FC Barcelona, who quite literally abbreviate their name as Barça, with the French cedilla, to emphasize how much they detest the "th" sound when referring to them.
And it's important, because the Catalan language was brutally oppressed during the Franco regime and the Camp Nou, where Barça play, was the only place where people could speak it in a large group.
So how he could take a book about Catalonia, the Spanish Civil War, it's far-reaching effects on all of Spain, but specifically Catalonia in this book and not figure out this is beyond me. I'm not Catalan and have never been (although it's on my bucket list) and yet I know enough about these things to cringe every time he said it.
Despite his ignorance (or the production teams), he does a good job with the book outside of this. And I still thought it was quite enjoyable as a story.
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
Thank God this book is over, because it just didn't do it for me. And to see that it is a first of a series...wow...I am definitely not exploring this series anymore. It was hard to follow the story and characters, nothing drew me in, and whose first person the book was written in seemed to change and on the audio version, this was not clear. Possibly in a paper version sections are titled with who is the speaker. So glad this is over. Hopefully my next book will be better.
It is at the very top of my list. I read the book all the way through, but had trouble with a lot of the spanish words. I hadn't read it in awhile so I decided to listen to the audio book. It was so much better the second time.
I love the scary scene when the two young lovers first enter the scary old house and find that it maybe hunted. I also liked when you first meet the faceless man in the trenchcoat.
I just really liked the time period and the location it took place in. Also, the charactors seemed to fly off the page... they were so great.
I wouldn't. I love the name.
The music within the story was really nice.
You should read this audio book version to feel the music melt with the story.
Characters are well developed and the ending didn't disappoint me.
I loved the story and even though I had figured out the reason behind why Penelope and Julian's love was tragic long before the story revealed it, I still loved the story and wanted to know what happened in the lives of all the characters. The narration was good, but I agree that the piano was distracting. I am hard of hearing and there were times that I could not hear the words over the piano and had to rewind. But don't let that stop you as the story line is worth it.
I wasn't expecting it but this book gave me chills. I actually listened to it a number of times and may go back again. I have been retelling the story to anyone who will listen to me.
Yes, this book was a wonderful blend of intrigue, nostalgia and humanity. It's an ageless coming of age story.
The revelation of how all the seemingly unconnected characters connected.
Penelope because she represents the tragedy of betrayal and loss we all suffer at some point in our lives.
This a well written book with exquisitely crafted characters. A must read.
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