Regular price: $15.88

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the "cemetery of lost books", a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out La Sombra del Viento by Julian Carax.

But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. Then, one night, as he is wandering the old streets once more, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from La Sombra del Viento, a character who turns out to be the devil. This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax's works in order to burn them. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind.

©2001 Carlos Ruiz Zafon (P)2005 Orion Publishing Group Ltd.

Critic Reviews

"One of the most engaging, funny, moving, lyrical books." (Irish Examiner)
"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 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    27
  • 4 Stars
    14
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    15
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    14
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not my usual read

I "read" it all the way through only because of the wonderful narrative by Mr Wilby. The story was not gripping and very average.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew
  • mORRINSVILLENew Zealand
  • 06-25-07

Not quite!

Daniel lives with his father in a flat above their second hand bookstore in central Barcelona. They are close and reasonably happy despite the shadow cast over them by the loss of their beloved wife and mother. One day the father takes the son to the “Cemetery of Lost Books”, a hidden and secret archive which contains at least one copy of every book ever printed. Daniel is instructed to select one book of which he will be the keeper, and in being so he will keep alive the book, the memory of the writer and a sense all who have ever handled and read it. After selecting his book a complex train of events, centered on the mysterious writer Julian Carax, is set in motion. There is the search for the writer, an unlikely friendship, unrequited love, forbidden teenage romance, brutal and corrupt authority, mystery and suspense. Set in Barcelona on the eve of the Spanish civil war, this novel is a snapshot of time that is about to be ground into the dust by the jackboot of totalitarianism. Through the writers well honed descriptive powers we get a clear sense of the city, the prevailing Spanish culture of the time and a taste of the civil war which is about to erupt. There are some wonderful moments in this novel, but at times it lacks a real authenticity, a certain hollowness pervades the narrative and this prevents it from becoming a great story. However, we need to weigh this reviewers opinion against the fact that this novel is highly regarded and was an international best seller. Judge for yourself.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Mystical and thrilling story And well read.

Story deacribes a classical misty scenery, and mixes several generes like love, obsession, crime and mystique. There aren't a lot of action, but still a thrilling story that is hard to put away. You will fall in love, and be left thinking for days about what actually happened and what part you player in it as the reader (because yes, you were a part of it)..

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

fantastic

everlasting enjoyment put down to words. a story who takes your breath away. simply perfect preformace

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • Cairns, Australia
  • 11-06-13

Gita Bayu Book Club

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This was the first audibook I have ever listened to and I only downloaded it as it was a book club book and I couldnt find a hard copy of it anywhere. It was so wonderful being read too whilst doing other things and I could really picture the different characters in the narrators voice so it was almost the same as reading it myself. This book was a wonderful book with a lot of twists and turns and somehow in the end they all inter-relate. Great book and I hope many other readers (or listeners!) will enjoy it as I have.

Have you listened to any of James Wilby’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No I havent but I really enjoyed listening to this book and would definitely listen to others he has read.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It took me two sittings but if I had have had the time to spare i could have sat and listened to it in one sitting!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Allan
  • TennysonAustralia
  • 10-17-08

The Shadow of the Wind

Carlos Zafon presents a top mystery that is annoyingly difficult to stop listening for meals work & sleep.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mirek
  • Lodz, Poland
  • 09-14-08

Power of imagination

Carlos Ruiz Zaf?n's The Shadow of the Wind is indeed a great and powerful novel. In addition to fantastic reading experience it offers a lot of philosophical and moral implications.
And all with a dose of good humor and in very imaginative way.
I also strongly advice to read/listen to Carlos' interviews. One of them (in English) is added to Audible.com audio version of the book.
What is interesting there is to discover how honest and humble to us, his readers is Carlos.

And, finally - all is about the Love ...

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lynne
  • Lynne
  • 07-14-06

Shadow of the Wind

A wonderful story of determination,love and dogged perseverance. A beautiful and intricately woven tale with many twists and turns. Carlos Ruiz Zafon gives us a wonderful insight into turbulent times in Barcelona. Thoroughly enjoyable

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lorraine
  • Lorraine
  • 07-20-08

Disappointing

This was my fourth download from Audible and I have to say that it's the first that has been disappointing. The narration is extremely irritating, with unnecessary melodramatic music slipped in here and there.
James Wilby's narration is plain awful. His 'Clara' reminds me of something from Monty Python. He imposes British rural accents on characters (a Cockney accent for Bernarda the maid, and an Irish accent for a drunken homeless man, for example.) This is supposed to be Barcelona, not the United Nations on a very bad day, James!
What's more, it's clear that James Wilby is uncomfortable with speaking Spanish and has to prepare himself to speak each Spanish name as he comes across it in the text as he indulges in a huge white-noise gap before he pronounces each one.
I haven't bothered to listen to the preview of an audible book since dowloading the first one and finding the quality excellent. However, I certainly will in future...
I hope the story itself picks up soon (I'm an hour in) and transports me beyond the nightmare of the audio.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Retrac
  • Retrac
  • 10-10-07

Engaging

I have to say that I very rarely read books but this book was recommended to me by a few people so when I joined Audible I made it first choice. What a great decision... I was captivated. Furthermore, I had just returned from Barcalona and knew of some of the places referred to. There are a lot of characters in the book and had I had known this sooner I would have made a few notes to keep track of who they were but in the end I still got there. It's quite lengthy of around 6 hours but the story is superb, twisting and turning, and by the time we got three quarters into the book, it was all begining to make sense and move towards a conclusion.

So from a person who is not really into books - give this a go and I am sure you will enjoy it if you stick with it.

Ian

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for disco
  • disco
  • 03-01-18

Beautiful read

What a beautiful
& powerful love story.
I have read two of his book and enjoyed both of them.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mrs. L. Lawson
  • Mrs. L. Lawson
  • 10-01-15

The shadow of the wind

The story was so gritting that I managed to loss the story line. The narrated was quite browsing

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Stephanie Albert
  • Stephanie Albert
  • 08-08-11

Fantastic story

This book has been on my "must read" list for a long time, and I decided to download it instead. I'm so glad I did as it is beautifully read, and includes music written by the author, which compliments the story perfectly. Best audiobook I have downloaded by far.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sandra
  • Sandra
  • 04-28-10

Excellent

This was a really good listen. I couldn't stop listening. I went on line straight away to see if his other book was available, sadly not at the moment, but as soon as it is available I will download it. I had already read the book and the sounds and music really put you there. Great listen.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for David G. Woodward
  • David G. Woodward
  • 10-21-09

Nice Story - But hold the music

This was a pleasant enough story that was VERY negatively affected by the inclusion of oppressive and totally unnecessary music overlaid on the reading. At points the actual words of the book become almost unintelligable behind the loud music, that, we find out at the end, is the creation of the author.

I came close to stopping halfway through. Th effect of the music was that bad.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sardinia01
  • Sardinia01
  • 10-08-09

"The Shadow of the Wind".

I was recommended this book by a friend, otherwise I probably would not have chosen it. I loved it. I found it haunting and found myself thinking about it long after finishing it. It was at the end of the tape that I also discovered that the music had been composed by the author. I felt it was a shame I did not know this at the beginning, because all blended so well.
All in all a great read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Darren
  • Darren
  • 07-03-09

thoroughly good story

The story jumps genres a few times which only adds to the intrigue and suspense, really enjoyed this listen

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alice Finnerty
  • Alice Finnerty
  • 02-22-18

English & Irish accents for the Spanish Protagonis

What did you like most about The Shadow of the Wind?

Fantastic story, have read the book also. I love the different way of thinking from the European Author and the story was captivating from start to finish. I was very disappinted by with the way it was Narrated. A story set in Barcelona and the Protagonists had English and Irish accents! ruined it.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of James Wilby?

Anyone with a Spanish Accent!!!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Elly
  • Elly
  • 07-25-17

Still my favourite..

They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but when I picked up this book before I boarded a 17 hour flight I didn't realize that I would choose my forever favourite book. I have read that book nearing 20 times and each time I enjoy it more and more. When I found the audio book, I was thrilled!

Carlos Ruiz Zafon is my Julian Carax. The way he tells the story is superb, I have never been so enthralled in a story. I laughed, I cried and I felt genuine fear.

Could not recommend this book enough!