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The Shadow Of The Wind (Orion 20th Anniversary Edition) [Paperback]

Carlos Ruiz Zafon
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (774 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

20 Feb 2012 Orion 20th Anniversary Edition

Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the 'cemetery of lost books', a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out 'La Sombra del Viento' by Julian Carax.

But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. Then, one night, as he is wandering the old streets once more, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from La Sombra del Viento, a character who turns out to be the devil. This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax's work in order to burn them. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind. A page-turning exploration of obsession in literature and love, and the places that obsession can lead.

Frequently Bought Together

The Shadow Of The Wind (Orion 20th Anniversary Edition) + The Angel's Game + The Prisoner of Heaven
Price For All Three: 20.63

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix (20 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780221886
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780221885
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (774 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 209,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carlos Ruiz Zafón is the author of six novels, including the international phenomenon The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game, the first two books in a series of novels set in literary universe of The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. His work has been published in more than forty different languages, and honored with numerous international awards. He divides his time between Barcelona, Spain, and Los Angeles, California.

Product Description


A sensation across Europe... a page-turning mystery.... a coming of age tale.... And it's a hymn of praise to all the joys of reading, stylishly caught in Lucia Graves's entrancing translation. (Boyd Tonkin INDEPENDENT)

crowd-pleaser in the mode of The Da Vinci Code... Intertwining playful detective caper, compelling political thriller and sweeping historical romance, the narrative coils back beyond the savagery of the civil war to the world of the tainted Spanish aristocracy, before slowly unravelling the dark secrets born of Franco's tyranny. Zafon's novel... leave the reader with a palpable sense of enchantment. (SUNDAY TIMES)

This week's book barely needs an introduction. Almost every book group I know about had read The Shadow of the Wind... the book is about a boy who becomes obsessed with an author. It is set in Barcelona during a bloody time in Spain's history and there is, as you would expect from a bestseller, plenty of death, murder, love and heroism. (THE TIMES BOOK CLUB)

It was only The Da Vinci Code that stopped The Shadow of the Wind from hogging the top of the bestseller charts last year... an astounding critical success. There's an intricate plot, a gothic atmosphere and an elusive quest, as well as murders, intrigue and star-crossed lovers. (THE GUARDIAN)

a wonderful portrait of Barcelona - not the sunny, culture rich and fun loving city break destination that most visitors know - but a shadowy, at times dark and atmospheric picture of the city centre streets in the years following the Spanish Civil War. (LIVING SPAIN)

This bewitching novel has all the hallmarks of a classic Holy Grail story complete with mystery, mayhem, romance and labyrinthine plotting. What elevates it above all others in the genre is its emotional energy, making it a richly rewarding read. (DAILY MAIL)

one of the most engaging, funny, moving, lyrical books (IRISH EXAMINER)

The best book I've ever read (AMANDA LAMB WOMAN AND HOME)

a magical tale of romance (CECELIA AHERN SUNDAY EXPRESS)

I couldn't put it down but didn't want to rush is as every sentence is beautifully crafted and every character unique. (SANTA MONTEFIORE EVENING STANDARD)

A page turning exploration of obsession in literature and love (SUNDAY EXPRESS)


the main character's deep love for books and their respective, secret libraries (CECELIA AHERN IRISH TIMES)

A real page-turner of a mystery that will have you hooked from beginning to end (SPAINSH MAGAZINE) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

A Special Edition of the phenomenal word-of-mouth bestseller.

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First Sentence
I still remember the day my father took me to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books for the first time. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enduring Classic 30 Sep 2011
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is literary fiction in the truest sense. It is a novel about books - about one book in particular - and about the power of words to inspire, inflame and ultimately destroy.
10-year-old Daniel Sempere discovers `The Shadow of the Wind' in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and from that moment his life becomes entwined with and begins to follow a similar path to that of the book's author Julian Carax.
The drama is played out amid the horrors and uncertainties of Revolutionary and Post-revolutionary Barcelona, where class is everything and yet where power rests not only with rich families but with anyone sufficiently ambitious and unscrupulous to take full advantage of the vacuums that war has left. Daniel, the novel's narrator, is none of these things. He is just a normal boy caught up in events beyond his understanding and control, and which threaten to overwhelm him.
Amid the realities of time and place, however, Zafon's sense of humour shines through. He is able to see comedy in the grimmest settings and situations. Indeed, there are passages where the line between grim drama, comedy and even farce is finely drawn, as in many scenes featuring the novel's most endearing character, Fermin Romero de Torres, spy turned tramp turned bookshop guru. It is Fermin who shines a light on life's tragedy and shows us the real meaning of loyalty and friendship.
The Shadow of the Wind has its malevolent villain too, one who evokes shades of Hugo's Javert, though without Javert's morality or redeemability. Fumero is corruption and decadence personified, almost to the point of melodrama.
The novel is literary, for sure, but it is also an historical romance with gothic overtones.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read, but fades 1 May 2006
I enjoyed this, and read it in great gulps several nights stopping only because my eyes wouldn't stay open. It's a labyrinth story, the main character having to dive into the stories of many people to come to the bottom and so escape. It uses the old conceit of a book that becomes so important to the character that it is the springboard of the action. Here there is a further twist. The book is itself called The Shadow of the Wind, and the only hint of its contents we get makes it sound suspiciously like the one we are reading. For the narrator, Daniel Sampere, the search for the book's author, Julián Carax, is both a mystery that must be resolved and a replay of the book's love plot, which is in itself inspired by Carax's affair with Penelope.

So we have a mystery, a love story (actually, several), and quite a few other genre elements as well. It is an historical novel whose chronological setting runs from early in the 20th Century to 1955. It is also a gothic novel: the dark, disfigured Laín Coubert obsessively seeking out all of Carax's books to burn them; rich families with dreaded secrets destroyed by them; love that rules lives and mutilates its victims; resentment grown to driving hatred running through the whole.

There is also one very memorable character, Fermín Romero de Torres, who is the one that gives the key to the tone of the novel. He is a filthy, almost skeletal beggar, with horrendous scars all over his back, taken up by the narrator and his father to work in their bookshop. He is a great success, hunting down books in hours. He's also read everything, has the experience of 10 men, and is witty, to boot.
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124 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best novel I have read in years 17 Jan 2005
I have never before said this about a new novel, but I have little doubt that Zafon's 'The Shadow of the Wind' will in time attain classic status. The novel tells about the experiences of a young boy named Daniel living in Barcelona, who one day innocently comes across a book called 'The Shadow of the Wind'. After enjoying the book, he is puzzled as to why nobody, even those knowlegable in literature, seem to know anything about the novel's mysterious author - Julian Carax. It is his curiosity to discover more about the life of Julian that sets him on the path to a thrilling but equally dangerous adventure.
The novel contains twist after twist as the story progresses, and the characters, especially Daniel's hilarious friend Fermin, are all likeable. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lost in translation? 10 Jan 2013
I found this book disappointing. Though the evocation of the city, and the insights into Spanish politics were interesting, on the whole it seemed sloppily and speedily written and the translation equally so. There were several instances of characters using slang from the 1980s and 90s when they were talking in a post-war time period, and this sounded really odd. There was also one instance when someone had been beaten up he was recommended to go to hospital 'for a scan' - I don't think scanning technology was invented at that time. Perhaps it was a mistranslation from the Spanish for X-Ray, though I wouldn't have thought X-Rays were easily come by in post war Barcelona hospitals either.

On page 1 the hero's father gives him the dire warning that he must never ever tell anyone about what he is about to see - which is the Cemetery of Forgotten Books - not even to his closest friend. Yet several chapters further on our hero decides to take his girlfriend along on a visit to the Cemetery, without any reference whatsoever to his father's warning, and without any inner should-I-shouldn't I turmoiling. What's more the doorkeeper admits Hero and Current Squeeze without so much as a 'This Place is Supposed to Be a Secret and That's What Your Father Told You' admonishing. Had the author forgotten what he had written on Page 1 or have I missed something vital? If you want magical realism try Isabel Allende's The House of Spirits.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible book
I have not read a book so powerful, beautiful and haunting in decades. This is real writing. Real passion. I feel honoured to have read this.
Published 1 day ago by Polly
3.0 out of 5 stars Only a shadow of the novel I was expecting
From the number of positive reviews my expectations were quite high.
I liked a lot about it. Some of the writing and observations made me smile. Read more
Published 1 day ago by CHuBBie Founder
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Pretty good service.
Published 6 days ago by Willem Nel
4.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent read if you fancy something a bit diferent
This is an excellent read if you fancy something a bit diferent. It's a novel about books, ancient tomes, one in particular with a setting in mysterious Barcelona. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Wendy McFarlane
5.0 out of 5 stars A booktrail through the twisty dark streets of gothic Barcelona
Barcelona, 1945: One day Daniel’s father takes him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and tells him to find a book - but only one. Read more
Published 8 days ago by thebooktrailer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing book. Won't be able to put it down!
Published 10 days ago by Sarah D.
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read especially if you have been to Barcelona
I read this book a few years ago and after a recent visit to Barcelona, I wanted to read it again. I gave my original copt to a charity shop so I have bought it again.
Published 13 days ago by Teddy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 19 days ago by Mrs Eileen Machon
4.0 out of 5 stars unusual plot
Very unusual plot based in Spain. A bit frightening at times but really enjoyed this book Will try others by the same author
Published 20 days ago by Mrs. Denise S. Elliott
5.0 out of 5 stars acted out in the beautiful city of Barcelona
Fabulous book, a real rights of passage, acted out in the beautiful city of Barcelona
Published 22 days ago by Mr. Michael J. White
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