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Publisher's Summary

Barcelona, 1945: Just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his 11th 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 Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona's guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again.

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Story

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Beautiful book and narration

The Shadow of the Wind is an intriguing novel set in Barcelona, and beautifully narrated.

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  • Charity
  • Lawndale, CA United States
  • 09-27-16

I love, love, LOVE this book and reading!

This story had me excited, sad, hopeful... THE book about the wonder of books! I have listened to this many times and it never gets old!!! LOVE it!

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a must read

an all around great book. love, loss, suspense and deep reflection. wonderful narration, I couldn't stop listening

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fantastic book and the narration was the best

a classic mystery and love story with many wonderful characters. the narrators pronunciation of the streets and sights of Spain brought an added richness to the story.

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Might be better read instead of listened to.

First, I love the story, and the overall idea- a mystery within a mystery; a book within a book. Very intriguing! I also want to give props to the narrorator as he did a wonderful job in capturing the characters.

That said, the further on in the book the more sappy it gets. Allowing for the romance of the Spanish culture which is lovely, but I honestly couldn't tell you if it were the story line or the way it was portrayed that made it over the top.

Then there is the piano. At first I thought it played in significant parts of the story for dramatic flare, but it seems to just pop up in random places, often times distracting from the poignancy in the storyline and even sometimes almost drowning out the narrorator.

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Two Thumbs Up

I have loved this book since High School and now I love it as an adult.

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  • w
  • 08-13-16

Such a great story.

This story moves slowly at first, but I found myself getting caught in the descriptions.

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Suspenseful page turner

If you like melodrama, this book is for you. The author transports you to a tale of intrigue that will keep you listening.

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Slow to start it hang in there

It was pretty slow to start. I actually listened to couple of hours, went and finished three other books, and came back and finished it. And boy I'm glad I came back and finished it. It was such a beautiful story of love and loss. Narration was great and half way through the story I started enjoying taking the journey with the characters. Hang in there, you've found a gem.

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Don't add!

I will be reading the reviews for every single book by Penguin Audio in the future. If the author had wanted a backing track, he would have added it himself. I was angry every time the pathetic piano music started to play...LOUDLY!

Gah!