The Shadow Of The Wind Paperback – 5 Oct 2005
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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)
a great thriller (CECELIA AHERN MARIE CLAIRE)
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)
A stunning literary thriller in the tradition of Umberto Eco. The discovery of a forgotten book leads to a hunt for an elusive author who may or may not still be alive...See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
The novel contains twist after twist as the story progresses, and the characters, especially Daniel's hilarious friend Fermin, are all likeable. Highly recommended.
At its heart the book is a gripping mystery in which the young protagonist, Daniel Sempere, struggles to unearth events in the past that have a critical bearing on his own future.
The author succeeds magnificently in weaving together the past and present to create an unfolding tapestry of drama and suspense, while the twisting and turning plot keeps the reader off balance, but eager to read just a little more.
The characterisation will have you laughing out loud, crying and slamming your fist into the wall (not recommended). Perhaps the novel's greatest strength is the depth of sympathy you feel for the characters - some of the life stories that unfold, apart from being eminently believable, range from tragically bitter sweet to heart-breaking.
If you want to be moved, taken on a mystery tour and enlightened by an evocative social history, then Shadow of the Wind is a must.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have been told by several people how good this book is, I'm 190 pages in and bored to tears! Incredibly boring, totally unrealistic character's and just crap.Published 10 days ago by ellenb
Just a fantastic book which weaves love, hate, mystery and intrigue against the fantastically described backdrop of post civil war Barcelona - a city I adore. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Justin Anderson
Boring, boring, boring. Can't engage with any of the characters or the story and 190 pages in I'm beginning to lose the plot, probably due to lack of interest. Read morePublished 29 days ago by JanieD
This an extraordinary book. The story has you gripped from start to finish. The imagery and way it is written are evocative and you have a sense of being in each scene.Published 1 month ago by Ms Suzanne E Pearce
A truly wonderful book. It will make you laugh, cry and feel fear. The story telling is so fluid I wish I could read it again for the first time! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Harriet Jones