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The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The Shadow of the Wind (2001)

by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Cemetery of Forgotten Books (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
22,21086495 (4.12)1152
Recently added byrena75, James.Appleby, alroe, private library, ksueh, ccs3, Totcultura, quimcardus, franciscosalido
  1. 267
    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. 173
    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
  3. 206
    The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (robynlinden, GodOfTheAnthill)
    GodOfTheAnthill: Both mystery novels with a similar tone and atmosphere
  4. 91
    People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (susiesharp, BookshelfMonstrosity)
  5. 80
    The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (guurtjesboekenkast)
  6. 70
    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (derelicious)
  7. 50
    The Dumas Club by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (jhedlund, phoenix7g, Cecilturtle)
    phoenix7g: Mystery and books.
  8. 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
  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. 30
    Stoner by John Edward Williams (vivas)
    vivas: Libro excepcional,escrito de forma sencilla,culta y facil de entender
  12. 63
    Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (missmaddie)
  13. 42
    The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell (sweetiegherkin)
    sweetiegherkin: The mystery contained in a book is at the heart of both these thrillers.
  14. 31
    The Book on Fire by Keith Miller (infiniteletters)
  15. 20
    A Small Death in Lisbon by Robert Wilson (ehines)
  16. 10
    Night Film by Marisha Pessl (Sammiwithani)
  17. 10
    The City of Marvels by Eduardo Mendoza (caflores)
  18. 10
    Soldiers of Salamis by Javier Cercas (caflores)
  19. 10
    The Calligrapher's Secret by Rafik Schami (spiphany)
  20. 00
    The Magus by John Fowles (ainsleytewce)

(see all 31 recommendations)


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» See also 1152 mentions

English (736)  Dutch (29)  Spanish (26)  French (19)  Italian (18)  German (12)  Catalan (7)  Finnish (4)  Swedish (4)  Portuguese (Portugal) (4)  Danish (3)  Portuguese (2)  Norwegian (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (867)
Showing 1-5 of 736 (next | show all)
Loved by millions, but not by me. The main character felt dull to me and the mystery was developing too slowly.
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
I wanted to like "The Shadow of the Wind," I really did, and so despite my urge to abandon it at page 175 (and every couple of dozen pages thereafter), I kept going all the way to the end at page 487. We all love stories, and this is a hell of a story, whatever else I might say about it.

Of course, it's a story whose main mystery--the identity of the mysterious Laín Coubert, whose life mission it is to burn every copy of the works of Julián Carax--is easy to guess. It's a story whose first-person hero is mopey, weak, and passive. I'm not one of those who thinks a good book has to have characters that you like, much less "identify with," but it was wearying, when joining the protagonist in the midst of so many potentially life-changing events, to be stuck with a boy who prefers to let life pull him along, who never does anything too crazy. You're in a gothic novel, young friend. Go over the top, just once.

There was a problem of translation. The book reads like it was written by someone for whom English, specifically British English, is a second language. A character is described as having "a lot of cheek." Another character has a conversational tic of always saying "if you see what I mean," when a native English speaker would say "if you know what I mean." (The two have subtly different implications about the speaker's expectations of the listener.) The conversational tone is usually florid, the syntax complex. No doubt this matches the Spanish. But there are odd choices. At one point a waiter is encountered who speaks with an accent of rural Spain, and the translator handles this by having him speak is a sort of made-up Cockney which is more British than Spanish, and not very British at that.

The characters are well drawn, but the realistic relationships are all between men. The women are intense, mysterious types, usually victimized. The women in the book who are not servants are all slapped around, beaten, or worse. The brutality in the book is vivid, and sometimes juxtaposed with humor in ways that seem inappropriate.

More than once, the mysteries and subplots are piled high until they're just about to topple, and then the questions are resolved in a long passage in italic type that is supposed to represent the substance of an interview, or a letter as long as a novelette supposedly written in haste just before a character's death. This is a lazy way to resolve a problem that the writer himself created.

I have mild regret at having picked up this book. It is a good story, set in an interesting time, but for me its frustrations and flaws overcame its strengths, which are vividness and sense of place. ( )
  john.cooper | Mar 4, 2019 |
Oh, this book. It had the best parts of a telenovela (Fermín! How I love Fermín); the worst parts of a telenovela (oh look, everyone's making terrible decisions and is then surprised that things go badly); lovely, lyrical writing (really, the English translation was wonderfully done); and an atmosphere that wrapped you up and swept you away.

I haven't heard great things about the authors' other books and I've heard that the other books in the series aren't nearly as good, so I don't think I'll read more from the author in the future. Still, for the literary equivalent of a one-night stand with this author, it was a great one.

(Also, just an FYI for those of you interested in the audiobook: Though the book is set in Spain, the narrator has a Puerto Rican accent and the accompanying ceceo. I think he would've done a fine job, but the mismatch of the accents kept knocking me out of the story.) ( )
  mediumofballpoint | Mar 4, 2019 |
En la segunda leída de esta novela, quiero darle un 3.5. La primera vez que la leí me pareció una obra genial, pero creo que dista mucho de ser un libro perfecto.
A pesar de que muchas veces la prosa atiborrada de Zafón funciona desde la mentalidad de un narrador adolescente, muchas de sus metáforas y símiles no dan en el clavo, y algunas oraciones que construye harían llorar a cualquier editor. El homenaje a la literatura gótica y las referencias a libros y autores se agradece muchísimo, y el ambiente de la Barcelona franquista está preciosamente bien construido, pero a veces se siente que todos los personajes tienen la misma voz y todos los narradores cuentan las cosas igual.

La novela es entretenidísima, y por eso se le perdonan muchos errores que no se le podrían perdonar a un libro aburrido. Pero si el lector es objetivo, tendrá que cuestionarse seriamente si la calidad de la narrativa de Zafón compite con los grandes autores españoles vivos, como para ser puesto en la lista de las mejores novelas del XXI en nuestra lengua.

PD. Pase lo que pase, Fermín es el papá de los pollitos, y no hay objeción alguna. ( )
  LeoOrozco | Feb 26, 2019 |
I began reading this at our old house. It was Halloween. I sat outside and as few children lived in that neighborhood, I found mysel abreast on the waves of the opening chapters. There is something narcotic in those pages. All-too-quickly the buzz is gone and what remains are farces and clumsy plot devices.

Umberto Eco is nothing like this. The Shadow of the Wind is shit. This and that million selling Ninth Gate and Danny Brown: people looking for mystery to explain their undead experience. You're not talented: don't blame the Freemasons!

I finished it and left on the plane to Munich. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 736 (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 (34 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carlos Ruiz Zafónprimary authorall editionscalculated
Davis, JonathanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geel, NellekeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Graves, LuciaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Härkönen, TarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwaar, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sezzi, LiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
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Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For Joan Ramon 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.
In the shop we buy and sell them, but in truth books have no owner.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

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.

» see all 24 descriptions

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