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)
This is a book that will take some time to capture you. But, like all great novels, at one point it will, and when it does it will not let you go.
The book is much too long and complex to describe to you, but it is one book which I will never forget. Do yourself a favor and download the audio and...if at all possible...download the highest quality sound. This is important for full enjoyment.
I should say that there are some musical interludes, which adds some nice touches to the audio. It would be nice if other audio book producers would be a little less clueless and understand the importance of music to an audio book, as it is with TV and movies. I was pleasantly surprised to find that, as the credits "rolled" at the end, the composer of the music was the author himself.
I highly endorse this audio and encourage you to download it and let it take you over.
Cleverly written thriller/love story that was great fun to listen to.
Lots of atmosphere, rich characters, & mysterious events, laced with supernatural undertones.
Engaging & entertaining!
This is my first time to read one of Zafon's books, but I will look for more. Even though the book was long I listened to it in only a matter of a couple of days, I couldn't stop. The author pulled you in and did not let go until the very end! I was able to imagine all of his colorful characters as if they were right there with me. The story had villans, mystery, romance, and all of the rest of the ingredients for a great read.
I'm giving this four stars, but would probably like to give three and a half, if that were possible. If I had read this book I think I would have enjoyed it that little bit more than in audio format. It's a kind of gothic / semi-romantic / mystery / bit of historical background all thrown together into an interesting narrative.
As audio books go however, I tend to like the story to move just at a slightly faster clip than this one did. I was also a little irked by the music that was sometimes played over the narration. It was naff music and it seemed to sentimentalize the narrative (which maybe had it's moments where it tended a little to the slushy anyway) and I just found that kind of irritating.
Overall I got an evocative portrait of post-war Barcelona and there were moments where I found it hard to switch off.
A long, and multi-dimensional story - but the author did a wonderful job relaying the base of the story from different perspectives and character memories. I thought the readers were very good and was interested until the end. Great finale.
Finally.... This was such a struggle to get through (the narrator was FINE) and it seemed never ending. The melodramatic music was a bit too much for me at times. If I had been reading this, I would have skimmed through just to get to the end. The best part was the historical manuscript left to Daniel, but getting to that wonderful story was just agony.
I wanted to like this book but it never captured my interest,although I stuck it out to the end. I kept listening hoping I would want to know what happens next but it didn't happened.
This book is one of the best I have ever read. You immediately care about the characters, you get a real sense of place and you can never guess what will happen next.
Absolutely worthwhile. The story unfolds through the eyes of the main character, beginning as a boy and as he grows into young manhood. The author so richly gives the sense of time and place - Barcelona, Civil War. History and place give the context for a magical coming of age story, interweaving in mystery. Lovely language, highly suitable for listening.
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