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)
I hate schlock, and this book is wonderful. Some of the other reviewers have said it quite well, consider this a resounding "yes" to their praise. I can imagine listening to this again some day.
This is a well written book, yet it seems to imply that it will be more of an intriguing mystery than the love story it really is. It uses the world of books, novelists, and fictional characters as a background for the convoluted lives the characters lead. There are many vivid passages, and amusing characters. Yet I found the plot lacking the consistent surprise that might make me love it more. The reader is talented, yet I feel this book is best read, not listened to. Try this one if you like romances, and if you enjoy a hint of mystery to them.
Sometimes, if a devoted reader is lucky, he or she finds a book of such greatness that the effect is overwhelming. This is one of those rare finds. Other listeners have commented on the skill of the author and the talent of the narrator but I think it is imperative to also honor the gifted translator who did an outstanding job maintaining the integrity and poetry of the original work. I heartily recommend this book to all lovers of great literature.
The story was engaging and the narrator did a good job, although he fell into certain modern American speech patterns more often than I would have preferred, given that it is a historical novel set in Barcelona.
Piano music appears behind key scenes. The music itself is lovely (and apparently composed by the author of the book himself -- quite a multi-talented person, I guess). But I find it very unpleasant to try to listen to music and words at the same time, so I really didn't like the musical interludes and wished they'd been left out of the audiobook. Your mileage may vary.
this was one of the most beautifully written books I have read in a long time. the writing is almost poetic in places and the story is intruiging and mysterious. there are things to learn all through the book with many turns and twists along the way. did not want this book to end and the narrator was absolutely fantastic. loved this book. enjoy
The intricacies of the story
The narration was exquisite for this audiobook. It allowed fuller appreciation of the many varied characters and the changes in time sequences.
The narrator was great, and I really enjoyed the story but the weird music that will start up randomly during the story became very distracting. It wasn't even at the beginning and ending of chapters but at any point that, I'm assuming, the director wanted to build an emotional response though it? I don't know but it was annoying.
I read too much, like most genre, & am picky about narrators. I like strong characters, great dialogue, & quirky bits!
As an avid reader, I lost myself to this enchanting tale from the first paragraph. The reader was excellent. (I have enjoyed listening to him read for another author, I believe.) There is nothing of this book not to like--the characters are richly drawn, the world they enhabit pulses with life, and the storyline enchanting. I loved this book and will certainly re-listen many times.
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