32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
"Welcome to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books",
This review is from: The Shadow Of The Wind (Paperback)
Ten year Daniel Sempere is brought by his father to a mystery book depository underneath the streets of Barcelona. Here all books are protected from being forgotten or destroyed. His father asks him to choose one book, and swear to protect it for the rest of his life. He picks up a copy of an unknown book by an unknown writer. He loves the book, and his curiosity leads him to investigate the mysterious life of the author. As he does so, he is drawn into a story of murder, betrayal, passion and revenge.
The Shadow of the Wind is an exciting and imaginative gothic thriller, set immediately after the Spanish Civil War, and written in the style of a children's adventure story. The narrative is fast and physical. The characters are colourful or grotesque. The intricate plot spans three generations. Some well defined themes run through the book: the power of literature, secret worlds, repression and injustice, and the conflict between duty to a family versus passionate impulses. However, the characters are a bit too baroque to be emotionally engaging. Some of the writing is very good, but I thought it fell short of its potential. In particular, I felt Zafon pulled away from giving the book the dark ending it deserves, and the final twists rely upon a rather dishonest deception on the part of the author. A fun adventure with some memorable moments, but which may leave you feeling a little flat.