The Shadow of the Wind
1 journaler for this copy...
I'd been meaning to put this book on my must-read pile because a friend kept suggesting I read it. One time not long after one of his reminders about this title, I was in a Half-Price books and came across the title at a very low price. It was also in English. I'd been undecided on whether I wanted to read it in the original Spanish or not. I sort of wanted to, but every copy I saw in Spanish was rather pricey, especially in comparison to the english copies. So finding it in english and pretty cheap, I figured it was a sign and better buy it - despite there being a book-buying moratorium in our home. :D
So, to give you the plot tease, here it is:
Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals from its war wounds, 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.
A review of this book above the tease says, "Anyone who enjoys novels that are scary, erotic, touching, tragic, and thrilling should rush right out the nearest bookstore and pick up The Shadow of the Wind. Really, you should." I have to say that the style of the writer is beautiful. If you love words, you should run out and get this book. However, I have to disagree with most of the description of the plot itself. I didn't find it at all scary, not particularly erotic, and not particularly thrilling. I was at least a little bit disappointed in this book, probably because I expected it to be all those things and because it had been recommended to me a few times. I don't often read mystery novels, of which at least some of this book is, unless I want a really easy read. With mysteries sold to me as mysteries I pick up on clues pretty quickly and am usually able to figure out the ending long before it rolls around.
That's what mainly happened when I was reading this book. I figured out the "shocking" twist which was probably going to happen again early in the novel and that kind of ruined the rest of the book, making it seem to drag. But I think that's mainly my problem and you shouldn't judge this book by my experience with it. Like I said, the prose is rather beautifully written with vivid descriptions and without fear of using "Big Words." Two other reviews are completely fair and both with which I do agree: "Wondrous...masterful...The Shadow of the Wind is ultimately a love letter to literature, intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero." And about the author, Carlos Ruiz Zafón, "Gabriel García Márquez meets Umberto Eco meets Jorge Luis Borges..."
Read it if you have a love for words and don't figure out mysterious long before the author presents The Reveal!