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The Shadow Of The Wind [Abridged, Audiobook, CD] [Audio CD]

Carlos Ruiz Zafon , James Wilby
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (726 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Jun 2009

Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the 'cemetery of lost books', a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles long 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 the book, a character who turns out to be the devil. This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax's works 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.


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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Orion; Abridged edition edition (4 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752869213
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752869216
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 13.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (726 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 387,033 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

Review

'Gothic twists lurk in the shadows of post-war Spain Zafon's atmospheric novel, read by actor James Wilby which will delight fans of Umberto Eco' -- WATERSTONE'S BOOKS QUARTERLY

Book Description

Read by James Wilby. BONUS TRACK on CD - Author interview. The discovery of a forgotten book leads to a hunt for an elusive author who may or may not still be alive...

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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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
77 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enduring Classic 30 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback
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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123 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best novel I have read in years 17 Jan 2005
Format:Paperback
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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123 of 142 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic fantasy of censorship 5 Jan 2005
Format:Paperback
This is an engrossing work; within the first chapter or two you understand why it has become such a popular novel. It's 1945, it's Barcelona, the Civil War has been lost and Franco's Fascists are firmly in control ... though feeling insecure, because Hitler's Fascism is crumbling and Mussolini's has already been dismantled. A bookseller takes his young son, Daniel, on an adventure ... a visit to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, there to choose one forgotten work and treasure it.
Thus begins the child's fascination with the author of "The Shadow of the Wind", one Julian Carax. The child grows, determined to discover who was this mysterious Carax, why did he flee Barcelona, and why is some mysterious stranger determined to destroy all copies of his books and all trace of his life.
The destruction of an artist's life and works is a potent exploration of censorship and the ability of Franco's followers to fictionalise history. Carlos Ruiz Zafon has life imitating art: Daniel's life seems to parallel Carax's! Is this a case of not learning from history? One of the characters remarks that true evil requires thought and reason, but that most people who do evil are too stupid to intellectualise their behaviour: they act simplistically out of corrupted emotions ... fear, anger, jealousy, guilt, greed.
Fascism, we see, took a hold because not enough people were prepared to act to stop it. Fascism will return if people are too lazy to think, to value, to question. History can repeat itself unless people learn.
But Fascism - which tries to impose a rigid structure on the State and its people - creates intense loneliness. People live in fear of exposure, of seizure by the secret police because they dare to think differently.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read, but fades 1 May 2006
Format:Paperback
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Grrreat Read
Lots of different genres dancing a long and pulling you with them! It made me experience many differing emotions and felt like I had been on a roller coaster.
Published 4 days ago by Jeremy Rees
5.0 out of 5 stars i loved this book
I loved this book, easy to read, gripping, I could read it twice ....
I would never give it away
Published 7 days ago by Giulia
5.0 out of 5 stars a book everyone should read
A must read. Whether you have been to barcelona or not its one to read before you die its that good.
Published 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Slow start , stunning middle and end
The beginning was tedious and hard work to keep going. But it is certainly worth persisting, as the storyline develops into a real masterpiece. An absolute gem of a storyline. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Sheila O
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly beautiful book. Fast paced intriguing plot, masterful...
We first meet 10 year old Daniel Sempere in 1940s Barcelona as his father is letting him in on a secret: a cemetery of forgotten books. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Hodgeheg
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
What an interesting plot, a bit spooky at times (I don't usually read anything dark) but so addictive. Nice insight into Spain around the time of war too.
Published 27 days ago by Razzaghipour
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant !
What a book. Spanish civil war background for a fantastic complex mystery. A pleasure and an education all in one.
Published 1 month ago by Darryl Walters
3.0 out of 5 stars A good plot with good characters
This was a well written, enjoyable book. Overall, it wasn't my cup of tea but I actually really quite liked the characters and think if I wasn't so busy when I had read it I would... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Victoria Jeffrey
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a tead
Another intriguing book by this writer. The plot carries you along and you can't guess the end. Very thoroughly recommended .
Published 1 month ago by Ms Janet L Griffiths
4.0 out of 5 stars Page Turner
In the opening pages, Daniel is taken by his father to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books in Barcelona, and told that he can choose just one book to take away. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sam
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Wanted...another great read like shadow of the wind... 6 10 Dec 2012
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