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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
25,51797496 (4.11)1298
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. Barcelona, 1945-just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his eleventh birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother's face. To console his only child, Daniel's widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona's guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again. Daniel's father coaxes him to choose a volume from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the novel he selects, The Shadow of the Wind by one Julian Carax, that he sets out to find the rest of Carax's work. To his shock, he discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written. In fact, he may have the last one in existence. Before Daniel knows it his seemingly innocent quest has opened a door into one of Barcelona's darkest secrets, an epic story of murder, magic, madness and doomed love. And before long he realizes that if he doesn't find out the truth about Julian Carax, he and those closest to him will suffer horribly. As with all astounding novels, The Shadow of the Wind sends the mind groping for comparisons- The Crimson Petal and the White? The novels of Arturo Peacute-Reverte? Of Victor Hugo? Love in the Time of Cholera ?-but in the end, as with all astounding novels, no comparison can suffice. As one leading Spanish reviewer wrote, ldquo. The originality of Ruiz Zafoacute's voice is bombproof and displays a diabolical talent. The Shadow of the Wind announces a phenomenon in Spanish literature. An uncannily absorbing historical mystery, a heart-piercing romance, and a moving homage to the mystical power of books, The Shadow of the Wind is a triumph of the storyteller's art.… (more)
  1. 287
    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: A Novel 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 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 Club Dumas by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (jhedlund, phoenix7g, Cecilturtle)
    phoenix7g: Mystery and books.
  9. 50
    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 Williams (vivas)
    vivas: Libro excepcional,escrito de forma sencilla,culta y facil de entender
  12. 64
    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. 20
    A Small Death in Lisbon by Robert Wilson (ehines)
  15. 31
    The Book on Fire by Keith Miller (infiniteletters)
  16. 10
    Night Film by Marisha Pessl (samalots)
  17. 10
    The City of Marvels by Eduardo Mendoza (caflores)
  18. 10
    The Calligrapher's Secret by Rafik Schami (spiphany)
  19. 10
    Soldiers of Salamis by Javier Cercas (caflores)
  20. 00
    The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern (Bitter_Grace)

(see all 37 recommendations)

To Read (80)
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» See also 1298 mentions

English (833)  Spanish (31)  Dutch (30)  French (19)  Italian (19)  German (13)  Catalan (10)  Swedish (4)  Portuguese (Portugal) (4)  Finnish (4)  Danish (3)  Portuguese (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Arabic (1)  Norwegian (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (976)
Showing 1-5 of 833 (next | show all)
Five stars are not enough! When I think of how great this book was and compare it to others I grudgingly gave 5 stars, I have to rethink some of those previous ratings.
The prose in the book is marvelous, reading at times like poetry, but always crisp, succinct and clear throughout. The characters are fully developed and most play very significant roles in the plot. The plot/story is innovative and fresh, seeming at times like a paranormal fantasy and at other times like an all too normal reality.
Main character, Daniel at age 10, is taken by his bookseller father to a mysterious “Cemetery for Forgotten Books,” where he is allowed to select one book to guard and treasure for the rest of his life.
When he has selected the book, he reads it again and again and decides to enter a quest to find the author.
Over the next few years he researches and digs into things like a true detective, encountering a blood-chilling and murderous villain along the way.
He also finds love, new friends and loads of unsolved mystery.
The author has used an innovative approach to the book, including quasi-chapters of backstory when and where needed and then following the main story with additional books or chapters, each starting with a page 1, to complete the story and deliver the climax.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Anyone who reads it will add themselves to my friends list!
It is the first of 3 books, but stands entirely on its own, and leaves me anxious to read the next 2.
Because it is a translated volume, I have found found the next two and ordered them, but am very disappointed not to be able to find more of Zafon’s work.
( )
  PaulLoesch | Apr 2, 2022 |
El Laberinto de los Espíritus es un relato electrizante de pasiones, intrigas y aventuras. A través de sus páginas llegaremos al gran final de la saga iniciada con La Sombra del Viento, que alcanza aquí toda su intensidad y calado, a la vez que dibuja un gran homenaje al mundo de los libros, al arte de narrar historias y al vínculo mágico entre la literatura y la vida.

En la Barcelona de finales de los años 50, Daniel Sempere ya no es aquel niño que descubrió un libro que habría de cambiarle la vida entre los pasadizos del Cementerio de los Libros Olvidados. El misterio de la muerte de su madre Isabella ha abierto un abismo en su alma del que su esposa Bea y su fiel amigo Fermín intentan salvarle.

Justo cuando Daniel cree que está a un paso de resolver el enigma, una conjura mucho más profunda y oscura de lo que nunca podría haber imaginado despliega su red desde las entrañas del Régimen. Es entonces cuando aparece Alicia Gris, un alma nacida de las sombras de la guerra, para conducirlos al corazón de las tinieblas y desvelar la historia secreta de la familia… aunque a un terrible precio.
  VargasTorres | Mar 14, 2022 |
The book deserves a two part review. I really struggled with this book in the beginning - it just wasn't going anywhere - but did it ever pick up pace at the end. What a wild ride of a story. ( )
  donhazelwood | Mar 12, 2022 |
Buen libro para iniciarse en el misterio. ( )
  JoseM29 | Mar 3, 2022 |
Just finished reading the book and my mind is all over places. I may just have to conclude this as my favorite book of all time??!! Will be back for another review when I am finally sane enough to compose a proper review. Ciao!

11.29.20 Update
Now that weeks have passed since I have read this book, well, my mind still haven’t changed. This is really a great great book. I love the dialogues, how each sentences were beautifully crafted, I love how it centers around books. I just simply love all of it! It makes me wonder the stories of the authors of the books that I have read before.

I am so happy I stumbled upon this book. It’s something I would like to read again sometime in the future. ( )
  jam01 | Feb 26, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 833 (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 (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ruiz Zafón, Carlosprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Belver, JordiPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davis, JonathanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geel, NellekeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Graves, LuciaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Härkönen, TarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwaar, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sezzi, LiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
In the shop we buy and sell them, but in truth books have no owner.
He would have liked to know that somebody wanted to keep him alive, that someone remembered him. He used to say that we exist as long as somebody remembers us.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Audio drama version; please don't combine with the book!
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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. Barcelona, 1945-just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his eleventh birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother's face. To console his only child, Daniel's widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona's guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again. Daniel's father coaxes him to choose a volume from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the novel he selects, The Shadow of the Wind by one Julian Carax, that he sets out to find the rest of Carax's work. To his shock, he discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written. In fact, he may have the last one in existence. Before Daniel knows it his seemingly innocent quest has opened a door into one of Barcelona's darkest secrets, an epic story of murder, magic, madness and doomed love. And before long he realizes that if he doesn't find out the truth about Julian Carax, he and those closest to him will suffer horribly. As with all astounding novels, The Shadow of the Wind sends the mind groping for comparisons- The Crimson Petal and the White? The novels of Arturo Peacute-Reverte? Of Victor Hugo? Love in the Time of Cholera ?-but in the end, as with all astounding novels, no comparison can suffice. As one leading Spanish reviewer wrote, ldquo. The originality of Ruiz Zafoacute's voice is bombproof and displays a diabolical talent. The Shadow of the Wind announces a phenomenon in Spanish literature. An uncannily absorbing historical mystery, a heart-piercing romance, and a moving homage to the mystical power of books, The Shadow of the Wind is a triumph of the storyteller's art.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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