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The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz…

The Shadow of the Wind (original 2001; edition 2005)

by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Lucia Graves (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
18,44570993 (4.13)983
Title:The Shadow of the Wind
Authors:Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Other authors:Lucia Graves (Translator)
Info:Penguin Books (2005), Paperback, 487 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (2001)

  1. 247
    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. 185
    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
    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (derelicious)
  5. 71
    People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (susiesharp, BookshelfMonstrosity)
  6. 60
    The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (guurtjesboekenkast)
  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
    The Little Book by Selden Edwards (Othemts)
  10. 20
    A Small Death in Lisbon by Robert Wilson (ehines)
  11. 31
    The Book on Fire by Keith Miller (infiniteletters)
  12. 10
    Stoner by John Williams (vivas)
    vivas: Libro excepcional,escrito de forma sencilla,culta y facil de entender
  13. 32
    The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell (sweetiegherkin)
    sweetiegherkin: The mystery contained in a book is at the heart of both these thrillers.
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  15. 10
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  16. 10
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  18. 00
    Ghostwritten by David Mitchell (derelicious)
  19. 99
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(see all 26 recommendations)


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» See also 983 mentions

English (592)  Dutch (26)  Spanish (23)  French (17)  Italian (14)  German (11)  Catalan (7)  Portuguese (Portugal) (4)  Swedish (4)  Finnish (4)  Portuguese (2)  Danish (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (708)
Showing 1-5 of 592 (next | show all)
1 vote humblewomble | Oct 19, 2014 |
After the first few pages, I already knew this was going to be one of my favorite books. I especially fell in love after the description of Barceló's eccentricities, and all the literary references. Safons narrative and descriptive writing is rightfully compared with Dickens, vivid and maybe, if I dare say, a tad more exciting than Dickens.

I disagree with some of the commenters that the mystery was easy to figure out from the middle, or maybe I'm just not as quick witted as others--it kept me questioning.

There was a point in the book where it went into the history of an old house, and explained a ghastly murder so...what's the word I'm looking for? Accurately? That I got this tingle up the back of my neck as I read the paragraph a few times over, and my eyes pricked with frightful tears. There was twice that I almost cried with sadness, once at the end after the discovery that Carax made in the basement about Penelope, and after a certain accident with a fire. I was gripping the book, fingers trembling, saying "Oh no..." in my head.

I became enamored with the characters, even the evil ones. They all had pasts that I felt for, but that certainly doesn't mean they were all justified in their actions. The many passages about choices and regrets and passed opportunities and loss gathered a lump in my throat, especially a many passages towards the end, including the fate of Penelope, the fate of her maid Jacinta after a visit from Carax, and the passages with Nuria's father...but to be honest, the part that nearly broke my heart was the fate of dear, dear Miquel...I did feel for him so.

Don't misunderstand, though. Many scenes are very very funny, especially with Fermin, who I've added to my list of favorite literary characters.

Truly a wonderful atmospheric book---be prepared to get lost in it, and watch the pages gather in your left hand as the hours fly. Expect laundry to pile up and for that cup of tea/coffee/cocoa to accidentally get cold on your bedside table. A novel of love, gothic mansions, and subplots, among other things. If any of this strikes your fancy, don't resist that bargain copy on abebooks. ( )
  ShyPageSniffer | Sep 29, 2014 |

What a wonderful story it was! How I enjoyed reading it. (I feel a little bit ashamed to confess that this particular book has been on my to read list for years and has even been on my bookshelf for almost a year). Why? I can’t remember what held me from reading it. I would recommend it to everyone, even if you – like me – don’t have any knowledge about Spain of Barcelona whatsoever. It was simply a wonderful story, told by a really good storyteller.
( )
  Floratina | Sep 25, 2014 |
Catching up on old reviews. I loved this and have given it to more people than almost any other single book. I need to reread it before I read the second one in the series. ( )
  lucypick | Sep 23, 2014 |
I closed this book quietly, to just sit still for a moment and let all of the words and story wash over me until it settles softly in my thoughts. This is a difficult book to review because I could have given this book five stars. Could have, being the key words.

But I can't. Because I have too many problems with it. But ah, this book with its dark plot in shadows and the air of the femme fatale in Barcelona and the heart of a writer's soul written in black, flowing ink from a pen that might have been Victor Hugo's very own... this book... I almost don't want to talk about its problems. I just want to let words drip from the very marrow of my bones to somehow capture the feeling of the book, the colors of the words, even though anyone can see that this book was written in black ink.

That is why I loved the book. Because moments spoke to a reader's heart. This book is meant for people who love words and understand the intimate feeling of when a book is able to reflect the shadows of your heart that you might not have even realized was lingering there.

But here is where I pause and just shake my head. Because it didn't last. And that is why I couldn't give this book five stars. Because I had too many problems with the structure of the book. I am not sure if it's because it is a translation and perhaps the original language would have embraced me to its full capacity, but I could not stand the unveiling of the story.

I really did not like how most of the story told by a character reciting their story and past. It made for rather strange and awkward jumps in first person to third person narrative. It was particularly annoying because I would be caught up in this magnificent and tortuous story and then I realize that the person telling the story should have no way of knowing how another character thought. They would tell the story in first person, but share something that seemed more third person omniscient. That might sound really nit-picky, but it bothered me to the extent that I couldn't fully immerse myself into the story.

Another problem with this format of story-telling was that it was dialogue. Or should have been, if the person was telling his or her story to Daniel. But the sentences never sounded like anything a person might say. It was very much so a written sentence, not dialogue. These two points completely threw me out of the head space of the book and made me too aware that I was reading instead of feeling like I was in the character's shoes waiting to know what would happen next.

And then once I was out of the feeling of the book, I started thinking about how annoyed I was of love in this book. See? I was perfectly fine when I was feeling the character's passion and blah blah blah. But not really. How can you expect me to believe that Daniel "loves" Bea? There is nothing to confirm it. He goes from "love" for Clara to lust for Nuria, and then straight into soulmate-forever-and-beyond-and-maybe-idiocy-too for Bea. I just don't get it. I'm all for love and passion, but I wanted to see it beyond obsession. That was my major problem with love in this entire book. You can probably exchange the word "love" with "obsession" and not change anything. Was Julius and Penelope's feelings anything but obsession? Or Nuria and Julius? I am just not convinced at all.
But see here? If I don't think about it too much, I could probably let this quibble on "what is love" slide because the characters's emotional reaction are all very realistic. (It's just I don't believe the basis for their emotion, if that makes sense.)

Ah, there are just so many too-coincidental parallels too, when I start nitpicking. Discovering Julius and Penelope's love as Daniel figures out there's something with him and Bea. The silly thing with the pen. Whatever. I don't feel like nitpicking right now.

This book made me fall in love with Barcelona. To dream of wanderlust and walk the streets until I find old bookstores. I might not believe the characters in love, but I fell in love, a little bit.

This was a lovely book and I can see why people loved it enough to give it five stars and wax poetic about it. But I just can't reconcile the structure of the book's format. So three stars it is. In some ways, it could have been five, and in others, it would have been a two. So it ends up about a three. ( )
1 vote NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 592 (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.
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 (42 possible)

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

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Important places
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For Joan Ramón Planas,
who deserves better
First words
I still remember the day my father took me to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books for the first time.
Sometimes what matters isn't what one gives but what one gives up.

Paris requires more than two days. It won't listen to reason.

Age -- the price we all must pay.

Army, Marriage, the Church, and Banking: the Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse.
"Every book, every volume you see here has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it."
His mouth was glued to a half-smoked cigar that seemed to grow out of his mustache. It was hard to tell whether he was asleep or awake, because he breathed like most people snore.
When a library disappears, or a book shop closes down, when a book is cosigned to oblivion, those of us who know this place, its guardians, make sure that it gets here. In this place, books no longer remembered by anyone, books that are lost in time, live forever, waiting for the day when they will reach a new reader's hands. In the shop we buy and sell them, but in truth books have no owner. Every book you see here has been someone's best friend. Now they have only us, Daniel.
"[W]e exist as long as somebody remembers us."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:39 -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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