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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

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • 3 Stars
    220
  • 2 Stars
    71
  • 1 Stars
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Overall

Wonderful Read! Captivating!

From the first chapter, I was captivated! The Cemetery of Forgotten Books was a lasting visual throughout the entire book. Great narration with Spanish accent in a setting in post-civil war Barcelona in the early 1940's. The adventure that follows will be remembered for a lifetime. A must read! *** Read Unabridged and capture all the authors thoughtful insights ***

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Angie
  • Kansas City, MO, United States
  • 07-18-06

Excellent

This is an excellent book. The story is very dramatic and keeps you guessing until the end. I was quickly engrossed in this enchanting and sometimes heartbreaking tale set to the backdrop of the turbulent years after the Spanish Civil War. It made me want to read more by this author and learn more about that period in history. The narration was excellent. I look forward to hearing more from this narrator. He really enhanced the story. I also liked the music that transitioned chapters, it added to the haunting loneliness that underscores the story of Julian Caraix and Daniel's search to discover more of the life of this forgotten author.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A rich, engrossing tale

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.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Malerie
  • Agoura Hills, CA, United States
  • 09-20-05

Outstanding

This book was recommended to me by a friend, and I must admit is not one that I would have picked for myself. However, it is now my favorite book. It is beautifully written, or at least the translation from Spanish to English was done flawlessly. The reader is outstanding, bringing each character to life.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sandra
  • Boise' Idaho United States
  • 05-26-05

Wonderful

I bought the book to read and had started it and liked it very much. The lyrical nature reminded me of Bel Canto. When I saw it come to Audible, I was interested in hearing it. The reader does such a fine job and the Spanish pronunciations are so interesting that I am glad that I finished the book on Audible. A great story told so well.

15 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Melodramatic and marvelous

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Matthew
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 10-26-10

Well written melodrama.

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Leslie
  • Greenwood, IN, United States
  • 05-21-10

Excellent example of a book best LISTENED to

I am so glad I experienced this novel as an audiobook! True, there is sometimes too much of a good thing in some of the lengthy descriptions the author uses, but the style fits with the fantasy world of the story. The narrator fits his emotions and pitch with each character and brings them to life, yet still allows the reader to imagine the rest. The icing on the cake is the piano music composed by the author. The notes add texture to what you experience. The flaws in this book are more than made up for by its strengths, earning it 5 stars.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Loved this Book!

I started reading this book, not remembering much of what it was about. I was immediately captivated by the story line, the wonderful descriptions, and characters. What an adventure. It was hard for me to stop listening!

The narrator, Jonathan Davis, was wonderful; and his depictions of the many characters were flawless. I will be looking for more books authored by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and more books narrated by Jonathan Davis.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Wonderful book

This is a truly wonderful book. Terrific storytelling and character development. It is one of those books that yo do not want to end because you enjoy the characters so much. The reader does a great job as well in bringing it to life. I look forward to reading the prequel.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful