- Paperback: 560 pages
- Publisher: W&N; New Ed edition (5 Oct. 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0753820250
- ISBN-13: 978-0753820254
- Product Dimensions: 20 x 3.7 x 16.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1,104 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Shadow of the Wind: The Cemetery of Forgotten Books 1 Paperback – 5 Oct 2005
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Part gothic mystery, past ribald comedy, part political thriller, part Borgesian parable, and all marvellous (Sunday Times)
A hymn of praise to all the joys of reading (Independent)
A magical tale (Cecilia Ahern)
One of those rare novels that combine brilliant plotting with sublime writing (Sunday Times)
A book lover's dream (The Times)
Irresistibly readable...Walk down any street in Zafon's Barcelona and you'll glimpse the shades of the past and the secrets of the present (Guardian)
Diabolically good (Elle)
This gripping novel has the feel of a gothic ghost story complete with crumbling, ivy-covered mansions, gargoyles and dank prison cells...this is just the sort of literary mystery that would have found favour with Wilkie Collins (Daily Mail)
A deeply satisfying, rich, full read (Sunday Telegraph)
A page-turning exploration of obsession in literature and love (Sunday Express)
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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‘I could tell you it’s his heart, but what is really killing him is loneliness. Memories are worse than bullets.’
The Shadow of the Wind written by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and translated by Lucia Graves, was an absolutely beautiful book to read and savour. I am in such awe of the flowing, vivid and rich details in this novel, and I must applaud Lucia Graves for her skill in her translation.
The Shadow of the Wind is hard to define to one specific genre; although it is classed as historical fiction I personally felt that it was more of a bildungsroman, with a crime thriller twist to it. The story follows Daniel Sempere from a young boy, as he first enters the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and chances upon a novel written by Julien Carax. He then embarks upon a journey throughout the years to uncover the truth about the author. Through this journey, we watch Daniel and those closest to him experience loneliness, forbidden love, prejudice, and lost friendships. Barcelona is shown to be a perfect gothic backdrop to this, and I loved visualising all the descriptions.
Whilst Daniel was my favourite character, it was Fermin Romero de Torres who I found the most entertaining, as his humour really cut through the more somber chapters. He was always so eccentric and crude but he surely had a heart of gold and was just loveable.
Fumero the main villain of the book, was one to really despise. He was an awful and malicious character, whom I loved to hate!
I did find that in the middle of the book the story did start to drag a bit, the pace slowed down a bit too much for my liking. However, I didn’t mind too much as I think my favourite aspect of this book was the rich writing that was full of similes and metaphors, which were incredibly perfect. I seriously could have included so many quotes in this review. There were so many descriptions about books and the readers enjoyment of them. This is definitely a book for all book lovers
Gothic, beautifully written, filled with mystery, intrigue and characters that you simply can't put down.
This is a detective story that you never know who is actually being hunted 'The Devil' or the author. A young boy who is obsessed with a book and therefore a story, a history that is unsolved and he must be the one to unravel it. Set on the streets of Barcelona against backdrop filled with corruption and dark alleys this book is one that every fan of Gothic literature must read and trust me, you'll go back for more and more.
What sets this book apart, and at the top, is the characterisation. Not just of the players but of the city itself. There are moments of poetic beauty and those moments sit comfortably beside the bawdy comedy of one particular character who often manages to be poetic and bawdy at the same time!
There is a sadness, a darkness and intrigue running through the story that keep it moving at a wonderful pace.
A fantastic book.
A great story but I won't seek more reads from this author.
Aptly, as the three books centre around a bookshop, they are written with real care and the style and vocabulary are really superb. There are references to magical events which is why they can be a little spine-tingling. By the time you have read these books you could just about find your way around Barcelona without a street map.
Really first class, I cannot think of a better book written in the last 20 years.
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