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The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
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The Shadow of the Wind (original 2002; edition 2005)

by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
20,69180070 (4.12)1097
Member:parasolofdoom
Title:The Shadow of the Wind
Authors:Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Info:Penguin Books (2005), Paperback, 487 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (2002)

Recently added bypaul_g_k, Wufflums, private library, aethercowboy, Dunaganagain, rebmichi, Petersons, MikeBayer
  1. 257
    The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (phoenix7g, orange_epsilon)
    orange_epsilon: Prequel to The Shadow of the Wind set in Barcelona in the 1920s and 1930s. If you enjoyed the first one, you should give this one a try.
  2. 196
    The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (robynlinden, GodOfTheAnthill)
    GodOfTheAnthill: Both mystery novels with a similar tone and atmosphere
  3. 163
    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (rmjp518, starfishian, elizabeth.a.coates)
    elizabeth.a.coates: Both centre around books/literature, both are eloquently written, both have an element of mystery
  4. 70
    The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (guurtjesboekenkast)
  5. 70
    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (derelicious)
  6. 81
    People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (susiesharp, BookshelfMonstrosity)
  7. 50
    The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers (bookmomo)
    bookmomo: If you want to read more (and better!) about the love of books and reading
  8. 50
    The Dumas Club by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (jhedlund, phoenix7g, Cecilturtle)
    phoenix7g: Mystery and books.
  9. 40
    Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Although they have very different settings (1950s Spain in Shadow of the Wind and modern San Francisco in Mr. Penumbra's), these adventure stories, with underpinnings of romance, offer unique perspectives on the role of books and reading in our lives.… (more)
  10. 40
    The Little Book by Selden Edwards (Othemts)
  11. 63
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  12. 31
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  13. 42
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    sweetiegherkin: The mystery contained in a book is at the heart of both these thrillers.
  14. 20
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    vivas: Libro excepcional,escrito de forma sencilla,culta y facil de entender
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  16. 10
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  19. 10
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  20. 00
    Barcelona Amor Final by Joan Margarit (CitizenMarc)
    CitizenMarc: If you love the city, both these books bring alive aspects of its character that will evoke fond memories, or intrigue you.

(see all 30 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 680 (next | show all)
Review forthcoming... wew, great bit of story telling there! ( )
  kephradyx | Jun 20, 2017 |
Sometimes I really was bored and disliked this book, and sometimes it improved to kind of tolerable. I wonder if the translator was responsible.
20,524 members; 4.12 average rating; 4/13/2017 ( )
  mainrun | Jun 19, 2017 |
[From the book]:

The man called Isaac nodded and invited us in. A blue-tinted gloom obscured the sinuous contours of a marble staircase and a gallery of frescoes peopled with angels and fabulous creatures. We followed our host through a palatial corridor and arrived at a sprawling round hall, a virtual basilica of shadows spiraling up under a high glass dome, its dimness pierced by shafts of light that stabbed from above. A labyrinth of passageways and crammed bookshelves rose from base to pinnacle like a beehive woven with tunnels, steps, platforms, and bridges that presaged an immense library of seemingly impossible geometry. I looked at my father, stunned. He smiled at me and winked.

“Welcome to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, Daniel.”

[End quote]

What a beautiful, beautiful book. If you love a good mystery with a bit of espionage and some romance riding along and with all of it set in and around the world of books, then you owe it to yourself to get your hands on this one. The characters are interesting and imperfect and immensely likable. The narrative is superb. The Barcelona setting is one that hasn't been overkilled in fiction, and it is described well here, to the point where the reader can be easily drawn into the place and time. And perhaps as importantly, the translation is terrific and almost lyrical on its own. The one negative that keeps it from that rare five-star rating: the explanation for the biggest mystery in the thread of mysteries is...well, it is kind of lame and anticlimactic. I can't really say more without spoiling things, so I'll just say that I wish that the Big Reveal had had a bit more meat to it.

In any case, when I started to read the book, I found myself making annotation after annotation after annotation of all of the great lines and paragraphs and quotes within, to the point where I knew that I had to stop since the immensely quotable material itself was clearly not going to stop. I'll offer just one more example of it, and this one comes soon after the one that I used to lead off this review, placing both at the beginning of the story as the table is being set. Consider it a complement for a story that I could go on raving about for quite some time:

[From the book]:

“According to tradition, the first time someone visits this place, he must choose a book, whichever he wants, and adopt it, making sure that it will never disappear, that it will always stay alive. It’s a very important promise. For life,” explained my father. “Today it’s your turn.”

For almost half an hour, I wandered within the winding labyrinth, breathing in the smell of old paper and dust. I let my hand brush across the avenues of exposed spines, musing over what my choice would be. Among the titles faded by age, I distinguished words in familiar languages and others I couldn’t identify. I roamed through galleries filled with hundreds, thousands of volumes. After a while it occurred to me that between the covers of each of those books lay a boundless universe waiting to be discovered.

[End quote]
( )
  jimgysin | Jun 19, 2017 |
The setting is Barcelona, in the summer of 1945. A young boy, Daniel Sempere, is introduced by his father, a bookseller, to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a sanctuary for books "consigned to oblivion", "lost in time", no longer remembered by anyone but waiting for the day when they will reach a new reader's hands. Daniel is instructed to pick one book to preserve forever, and sworn to absolute secrecy about the existence of this amazing library. He chooses, completely at random (or so it seems) a novel entitled The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax, an author even his father has never heard of. The book grips Daniel's 10-year-old imagination, and once he finishes reading it he is determined to find all the other books Carax has written and read them immediately. This turns out to be an impossible quest, as no other books by this author can be found in any of the libraries or shops in the City. It is suggested that someone has been systematically collecting and destroying Carax's work for years. As Daniel pursues the mystery of what has become of books and author, he is drawn into a gothic tale that unfolds in an eerily familiar way...The Shadow of the Wind appears to have told the story of Carax's life, but the final chapters have not yet been written, and Daniel himself may be instrumental in bringing it to a close. As the years pass, Daniel meets a number of people who knew Julian Carax, and from their reminiscences he puts together the tale of the "ghostly odyssey in which the protagonist struggled to recover his lost youth, and in which the shadow of a cursed love slowly surfaced to haunt him until his last breath." Although this was Daniel's description of the novel's action, it perfectly describes Carax's life as well. Daniel also meets the demonic Inspector Fumero, one of the companions of Carax's youth, whose recurring presence in his own life never brings good fortune with it. The structure of this novel is challenging; the narrator changes frequently, as one after another of Carax's former friends and acquaintances fill in the bits of the tragedy they know. To quote Daniel again "As it unfolded, the structure of the story began to remind me of one of those Russian dolls that contain innumerable ever-smaller dolls within. Step by step the narrative split into a thousand stories, as if it had entered a gallery of mirrors, its identity fragmented into endless reflections." Yes...well...he warned me early on. But still, occasionally I lost track of who was "speaking", and I had some issues with the pacing of the novel. There were times when I felt I was pushing myself on, but I never lost interest in the Story. Most likely, I would enjoy a second reading more fully, and I might then give the book 4 stars, but for now, I'll settle on 3 1/2. ( )
1 vote laytonwoman3rd | May 15, 2017 |
I really liked this book, and if I were a mystery lover I'd have given it 5 stars. I loved the characters, the wonderful dialogue and descriptions, the sense of getting to know Barcelona a certain point in time, and the originality of the plot. The thing is, I find reading mysteries frustrating. I'm constantly having to go back to re-read section when I realize their importance to the story. I don't know. They just feel like too much work. I know Zafon has another book out. I'll definitely check it out as he is definitely a master writer. ( )
  Eye_Gee | May 8, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 680 (next | show all)
It's lowdown and lazy, but here goes: ''Gabriel García Márquez meets Umberto Eco meets Jorge Luis Borges'' for a sprawling magic show, exasperatingly tricky and mostly wonderful, by the Spanish novelist Carlos Ruiz Zafón. The three illustrious meeters must surely have been drinking and they weave about a little, but steady remarkably as the pages go by.
 
Als een boekverkoper zijn tienjarige zoon meeneemt naar het paleisachtige, geheimzinnige Kerkhof der Vergeten Boeken, raakt Daniel betoverd door De schaduw van de wind. Hij neemt zich voor achter de identiteit van de schrijver Julian Carax te komen. Sterker nog: hij lijkt het leven van deze mysterieuze man te gaan leven. Tegen de achtergrond van het Barcelona van de Burgeroorlog en Franco ontrolt zich een fascinerend verhaal, of feitelijk vele verhalen over figuren die zich in de nabijheid van Carax ophielden én mensen rondom Daniel. De structuur van het verhaal is als een Russische pop, die eindeloos veel kleinere poppen in zich heeft verstopt. Carlos Ruiz Zafon (1964) heeft een fantasierijke, knappe roman geschreven vol avontuur, spanning, en liefde, die je in één adem uitleest. Zijn taalgebruik is prachtig, zijn belezenheid groot en de vertaling is vloeiend. Velen zullen van deze onderhoudende, intelligente roman genieten.
added by Liyanna | editBiblion, Fieke Nugteren
 
The Shadow of the Wind is a dream date for those who love books.... For fans of Jorge Luis Borges, Umberto Eco and other writers who craft twisting and turning plots with complex characterization, The Shadow of the Wind is not to be missed.
 

» Add other authors (36 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ruiz Zafón, Carlosprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Geel, NellekeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Graves, LuciaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Härkönen, TarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwaar, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sezzi, LiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Has the (non-series) sequel

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Book description
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143034901, Paperback)

"Gabriel García Márquez meets Umberto Eco meets Jorge Luis Borges for a sprawling magic show." --The New York Times Book Review

A New York Times Bestseller

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets--an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

“ Anyone who enjoys novels that are scary, erotic, touching, tragic and thrilling should rush right out to the nearest bookstore and pick up The Shadow of the Wind. Really, you should.” --Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

"Wonderous... masterful... The Shadow of the Wind is ultimately a love letter to literature, intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero." --Entertainment Weekly (Editor's Choice)

"One gorgeous read." --Stephen King


(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:43 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A boy named Daniel selects a novel from a library of rare books, enjoying it so much that he searches for the rest of the author's works, only to discover that someone is destroying every book the author has ever written.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 19 descriptions

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