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The Shadow of the Wind

Narrated by: Daniel Philpott
Series: Cemetery of Forgotten Books, Book 1
Length: 17 hrs and 33 mins
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary
4.5 out of 5 stars (215 ratings)

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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 work 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. A page-turning exploration of obsession in literature and love, and the places that obsession can lead.

©2011 Carlos Ruiz Zafon (P)2011 Orion Publishing Group Limited

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A book with depth and a story well told<br />

loved it - well written and in good taste. I am truly glad that this is the first of three

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Best book ever!!!

If you haven't read or listened The Shadow of Wind, you are missing what is one of the best novels of modern time. Zafon does an spectacular job. Melancholy, Joy, sadness, happiness everything in one place.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved every bit

Wonderful story, very intense but rewarding. And closure at the end which is always good. Lots of sad moments but it was worth it.

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  • Susannah
  • Papakura, New Zealand
  • 05-24-19

This Was Worth Reviewing

I seldom review books, but this one deserved it. Excellent story! Fascinating twists and great character development. I didn't want it to end!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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My favourite book of all times!

I read it many years ago and loved it. It was great listening to it again. The interpretation is great 👍

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

For gothic horror and literature fans

This book is for fans of gothic horror with a fixation on poètes maudits. I was glad of the great historical backdrop. The language is brilliant and the English translation is amazing, as well as the performance, which is particularly respectful of accents.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Happy and sad

Amazing book that leads us to love, despair and hope. Sad to finish it. The narrator is so colorful with his voice and interpretation that I will hunt down other books performed by him.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enchanting story - one of the best

I read this in hardback form years ago and was dubious about this medium but it did not disappoint. Incredibly beautiful story and one I'll go back to again in a few years.

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Amazing!

If you could sum up The Shadow of the Wind in three words, what would they be?

Amazing incredible story

What other book might you compare The Shadow of the Wind to and why?

Maybe The Count of Montecristo

Which scene was your favorite?

When Julian Carax faces Fumero at the mansion

Who was the most memorable character of The Shadow of the Wind and why?

Fermin of course!!

Any additional comments?

What i liked about is that gives me the final stories for all the characters

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  • JLM
  • Switzerland
  • 07-16-16

Hard to beat

This is an old favorite that I thoroughly enjoyed listening to. Beautifully read, there were times I wanted to rewind just to listen to the wonderful composition of words. Loved it.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MRS LESLEY J E MACLEAN
  • 12-23-12

Awesome

I came upon this book by chance - I liked the look of the cover - it was that simple. That was where the simplicity ended. What an astonishing read. I have never come across an author like Zafon - beautifully crafted story which takes you on an amazing literary journey. A book about books - sounds like a dull read but it is so far removed from dull. Do books have souls? This book could go a long way to convincing you that they do ..... I've gone on to read more of Zafon's books, but this is the one which grabbed me and is head and shoulders above the rest.

29 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Margaret M Hawkes
  • 08-11-12

Excellent listening

I had already read this as an ebook, but I enjoeyed the book even more listening to it. The narration is fantastic. There were moments when I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I also found it very illuminating on the conditions in Barcelona after the Civil War.There was so much to this book that I may well read it again.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • gerrard
  • 04-13-13

Riveting story

This is a whodunit with a difference. Excellently narrated by Daniel Philpott it is set in Barcelona and spans 50 years.The leading character, who has his own problems to deal with during the course of the book, tries to unravel the mystery surrounding the writer of a book which has entranced him.. The plot is like a tapestry where the different colours are woven in to give an eminantly pleasing whole.Add to that the author's "european" style of writing and I was intrigued to the very end.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • jo
  • 12-02-13

A great listen

Would you consider the audio edition of The Shadow of the Wind to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version but the audio was well read and engaging. I would recommend it.

What about Daniel Philpott’s performance did you like?

The book can be a little slow paced but Philpott kept things moving and there was good continuity.

Any additional comments?

A friend recommended this book years ago and I've only just got round to listening. Why did I wait? I listened from start to finish in one weekend and resented every minute I had to unplug my earphones.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Claire
  • 04-22-12

An excellent mystery.

I read this book some years ago, but wanted to re visit it as I felt I had not fully appreciated it. I found that having it “read to me” made all the difference as the whole story came alive. The plot is complex and skilfully developed, in the setting of Barcelona at its most beautiful and at its most sinister. There are dark and murderous and incidents throughout the narrative, but so deftly handled that they never become horrific. The characters are superbly drawn and developed and the narrator is excellent.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan
  • 08-10-14

Captivating and Mysterious

Would you listen to The Shadow of the Wind again? Why?

Maybe now that I know the ending, it would be interesting to hear it again

What other book might you compare The Shadow of the Wind to, and why?

This book is not like any I have read.

What about Daniel Philpott’s performance did you like?

It was fantastic, he gave every character a personality without resorting to silly voices

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Some parts were exceedingly sad. It did make me gasp out loud couple of times, in shock.

Any additional comments?

Really paints a picture of the dusty, mysterious old world of the main character

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anna
  • 12-14-15

Not for me

I was ready to give up several times during this story but I persisted thinking it must get better. It just never gripped me. Ok the language was quite beautiful in places, and the narration was good.
But I didn't find either the characters or the story very interesting. And I found Daniel's love story, which I'm sure was supposed to mirror the historical love story, contrived. It felt like an afterthought by the author, or a sudden idea. It didn't link in with the story up until that time.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Joanna
  • 04-22-12

dark but good

About 3/4 of my way through this book I couldn't imagine ever recommending it to anybody, as the bleakness of the situation of the main characters seemed unreversible, but here I am! A word of warning - not all the "goodies" have happy endings... It is a good book though. The characters are rich, engaging and entertaining and the plot twists I didn't see coming, even though I was trying to figure them out. The narration was more of a straight reading than other audiobooks I have listened to, not much putting on of voices. This is perhaps preferable to overacting, as voices can distract, but the narrator does sound a bit too English for a story set is Barcelona, for me.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Adam
  • 07-03-14

Beautiful Story

I read this book some year's ago and immediately fell in love with it. The atmosphere that the writer evokes is reminiscent of the best 19th Century Gothic novels replete with lost loves and ghostly supernatural occurrences. This story is great to lose yourself in and the narrator does a great job of bringing the characters to life. Highly recommended!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-24-12

With out a shadow of a doubt, brilliant.

A wonderfully evocative book. I have never been to Barcelona but after reading this I feel like I know it very well. The story transports and is one of the few books I have ever read in one day. Part romance part thriller all brilliant.

I wrote to Audible asking for them to make this available on their UK site and within a few days they had. I have never come across better customer service than this. Thank you Audible

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Liz
  • 06-19-19

fantastic immersive reading

I loved listening to this audio. I found myself caught up in the story, and completely enjoyed the audiobook experience. I loved the description of Barcelona and look forward to visiting the city after this experience.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chiel Groeneveld
  • 06-13-19

Excellent on all accounts

The moment this book was one chapter in, I knew I would be bookmarking all the amazing lines in this book.
Absolutely great story, superb translation and amazing narration.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jean
  • 01-12-19

Fabulous story

this is one of the best books I have ever read excellent characters excellent story fabulous descriptions of Barcelona an absolute treat from start to finish

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • kurra
  • 07-16-18

An enjoyable read

I would happily recommend this book to a friend. Many enjoyable hours of listening. Narrated well, good story.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Lynlee
  • 06-23-18

I just couldn’t get into it

It was a constant struggle to stay engaged for me. I gave up 70% through the book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-22-17

Captivating

Fantastic story and well told. It made my 14 hour drive pass like it barely happened. I got out of the car wondering where I was.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Clark
  • 06-29-16

Fabulous story

A fabulous novel. I have read this twice. A love story intertwined with a murder mystery. I hope one day to see this book in film.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • wesley
  • 03-04-16

enjoyable unfolding mystery that keeps you guessin

great story and very well read. a little bit glitchy about half way but it may have been the ap not the book.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jacqui
  • 01-29-16

Very enjoyable

Very interesting story, with a couple of surprising twists in amongst some more predictable plot points. After the initial setting up, the story seems to slow down a bit and it took a little perseverance to get through some of the sometimes overly descriptive detail. Beyond this however, the story is quite captivating and we'll resolved

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • trish
  • 07-30-15

an excellent story

i loved this story
i would definitely recommend it to other readers
thanks so much
look forward to reading more by the same author