Monday, June 1, 2009

Review: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

I knew after the first hundred pages, that I was reading my next favorite book.

My local independent bookshop guy, Rob, recommended The Shadow of the Wind and told me I would love it. He was right again.

The author transported me to 1940'sBarcelona, and into the lives of some of the most memorable characters I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Ten year old, Daniel Sempere, is brought to the Cemetary of Lost Books (how badly did I want to go to this place myself?) and is told by his father that he is to choose one book. Daniel chooses The Shadow of the Wind by Julián Carax and becomes guardian to this special tome. Intrigued by the book, and especially the author, Daniel brings us on his decade long journey in search of any information he can find. What he finds is mystery, murder, betrayal, and corruption. Daniel quickly learns that he may have the only copy of Carax's work in existence, because someone is systematically burning them all, leaving a trail of death and destruction in his wake. Can Daniel keep the book, and himself, safe yet satisfy his growing need to learn more about a man whose life parallels his own?

The Shadow of the Wind centers around Daniel in his father's bookshop - one of my favorite places to be in the whole world. But first, Zafon brings us to the Cemetary of Forgotten Books -- a secret place only for people who love books like they are living, breathing beings. With these two facts securely in place, I couldn't wait to dive into the rest of the story. I felt like Zafon wrote this book for a secret club of book lovers, and his readers are exclusive members. Where do I sign up?

I found myself trying to solve the big mysteries of the story, but there was no way I was going to stay a step ahead of Zafon, so I eventually gave myself over to the twists and turns and thoroughly enjoyed the ride. This book will stay with me for a long time. I already can not wait to read it again, so I can absorb even more of the details I may have missed the first time.

About the Book:
Paperback: 487 pages
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics); Later Printing edition (January 25, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0143034901
ISBN-13: 978-0143034902

1 comment:

Karen Holden, Producer, World Book Club said...

Hi there - I can see you're great fan of The Shadow of the Wind! Would you like to put a question to Carlos Ruiz Zafon himself about The Shadow of the Wind? BBC World Book Club is interviewing him on Thursday 3rd June and would love to hear from you. If you could email me at as soon as you can with your question about the book (anything - doesn't have to be particularly clever!), we can either arrange for you to talk to the man himself, or have our presenter put your question to Mr Zafon for you. Then you get to hear your question on BBC World Service Radio. The programme will air on 3rd July 20.00hrs on the BBC World Service. Please get in touch soonest! All best Karen Holden, Producer, BBC World Book Club

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