Shadow of the Wind

by Carlos Ruiz Zafon | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0753820250 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Stoxasths on 3/30/2012
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Stoxasths on Friday, March 30, 2012
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.

Journal Entry 2 by Stoxasths at Greenwich, Greater London United Kingdom on Monday, April 2, 2012
Reading the “Shadow of the wind” was a beautiful experience from the beginning. The book was suggested to me by my best friend Luz de Luna at the Greenwich Market in London and when I started reading it, I got to “travel” to Barcelona every time I opened the book, but not in the typical tourist places. Zafón takes the reader to different places in Barcelona, in places most people don’t know and probably are some of his favourites. He makes the city sound full of mysteries, interesting and weird characters, buildings and places with stories to tell and all these during tragic times, right before the war. Even if someone doesn’t know much about the city or hasn’t been there, Zafón describes it beautifully, he made me think about the places Daniel walked and had his adventure. I found the last pages of the book simply fascinating, with all the references, pictures and maps of the city, I really really want to go and explore the city even if some of the places are not real or there.
The story of the book grasps you from the very first pages. The Cemetery of Forgotten Books is one of the most awesome places I’ve read, full of books, mysteries and stories, a place everyone that loves books would love too. Even Isaac, the guard, was a fascinating figure, like an ancient guard of a legendary treasure. The book is full of interesting characters with really interesting lives. I liked the fact that we get to learn all the stories, thus understanding why everyone is acting this way now. Reading the book one cannot but feel very warm for many of its character and almost hate some others, as a result of Zafón’s talent in portraying personalities. Daniel, the main character of the book is a great boy but also very “real”, with his weaknesses and fears, a boy that was charmed by many women, got his heart broken but had the courage and determination to go after Carax and the whole story, even though there were many reasons for him to stop. Daniel was a boy with obvious similarities to Julián, the dark hero of the book, a character tragic and fascinating. But the book is full of other great characters as well, like the reborn Fermin and his many talents, Daniel’s friend Tomás with his affection for inventions, Fumero who was the personification of evil, officer Palacios with his mixed feelings about his boss and Daniel and so many others. Women played a very important role in the book and they were all fascinating, from Clara, Daniel’s first love, to Penelope, Carax’s great love, Nuria with her tragic end and cursed love for Julian, Jacinta that treated Penelope like the daughter she never had, Bea that was meant to live a great adventure and fall in love with Daniel.
There were some lines in the book that made me stop for a minute and get lost in thoughts, especially towards the end of the book. For example, on page 324, Daniel speaks about the future, telling us that “in seven days’ time I would be dead”, preparing us for a tragic end. On page 368, we get a small piece of wisdom by Isaac, when he says that “sometimes we think that people are like lottery tickets, that they are there to make our most absurd dreams come true”. Also, I loved two descriptions by Zafón, one of them on page 410 when he describes Miquel’s smile as “the wise smile of an old child”, a bittersweet description of an unhappy man and the other one on page 432 where he describes the crypt that’s more than the tomb for Penelope and her dead son, it’s also a tomb of dreams.
I loved reading the Shadow of the Wind. I loved being in another world and time, amongst the lives of the characters in the book and living all that in Barcelona. Another great book, thank you Luz de Luna for the suggestion, I will definitely read more by Zafón

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