'This is one gorgeous read.' Stephen King
It is 1945 and Barcelona is enduring the long aftermath of civil war when Daniel Sempere’s bookseller father decides his son is old enough to visit the secret Cemetery of Forgotten Books. There Daniel must ‘adopt’ a single book, promising to care for it and keep it alive always. His choice falls on The Shadow of the Wind.
Bewitched, he embarks on an epic quest to find the truth about Julian Carax, the book’s mysterious author. Soon Daniel is consumed by strange discoveries about love and obsession, art and life, and how they become entangled within the shadow world of books.
The Shadow of the Wind is a mesmerising love story and literary thriller, which twists and turns and enthralls with its cast of vengeful souls, threatening spectres and innocent hearts.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón was born in Barcelona in 1964 and attended university there. He worked as a screenwriter in Los Angeles for ten years before the publication of his fifth book, The Shadow of the Wind, in 2001. It has been translated into over 40 languages and was a finalist for the Premio Fernando Lara. Ruiz Zafón is now a full-time novelist and regular contributor to the newspapers El Pais, La Vanguardia and El Mundo. He lives in Barcelona.
‘Atmospheric, beguiling and thoroughly readable.’ Observer
‘A popular masterpiece, an instant classic.’ Daily Telegraph
‘Utterly unputdownable.’ Australian
‘Wondrous…intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero.’ Who Weekly
‘An intoxicating and thoroughly irresistible mix of romance, mystery, gothic horror and melodrama.’ Vogue
‘I’d like to say more about this superbly entertaining book but don’t dare to hint any more about its plot twists. Suffice it to say…anyone who enjoys novels that are scary, erotic, touching, tragic and thrilling should rush right out to the nearest bookstore and pick up The Shadow of the Wind. Really, you should.’ Washington Post
Ruiz Zaf n's novel, a bestseller in his native Spain, takes the satanic touches from Angel Heart and stirs them into a bookish intrigue la Foucault's Pendulum. The time is the 1950s; the place, Barcelona. Daniel Sempere, the son of a widowed bookstore owner, is 10 when he discovers a novel, The Shadow of the Wind, by Juli n Carax. The novel is rare, the author obscure, and rumors tell of a horribly disfigured man who has been burning every copy he can find of Carax's novels. The man calls himself La n Coubert the name of the devil in one of Carax's novels. As he grows up, Daniel's fascination with the mysterious Carax links him to a blind femme fatale with a "porcelain gaze," Clara Barcel ; another fan, a leftist jack-of-all-trades, Ferm n Romero de Torres; his best friend's sister, the delectable Beatriz Aguilar; and, as he begins investigating the life and death of Carax, a cast of characters with secrets to hide. Officially, Carax's dead body was dumped in an alley in 1936. But discrepancies in this story surface. Meanwhile, Daniel and Ferm n are being harried by a sadistic policeman, Carax's childhood friend. As Daniel's quest continues, frightening parallels between his own life and Carax's begin to emerge. Ruiz Zaf n strives for a literary tone, and no scene goes by without its complement of florid, cute and inexact similes and metaphors (snow is "God's dandruff"; servants obey orders with "the efficiency and submissiveness of a body of well-trained insects"). Yet the colorful cast of characters, the gothic turns and the straining for effect only give the book the feel of para-literature or the Hollywood version of a great 19th-century novel.
Amazing.. I was hooked!
After the first two chapters it becomes a book you cannot put down. The intensity building and your investment into the story, both present and the one being uncovered, creeping up on you slowly but surely. By the time you realise, you're in too deep and there is no going back, much likes what happens to Daniel in the book.
A perfect mix of humour, thriller and mystery. Barcelona really hosts this story well.
Having been there many times myself it was familiar and friendly to recognise streets and landmarks in the book with great accuracy. A bit of history dusted over was the 'icing on the cake'.
My husband read this book whilst on holiday a few years ago ( in a day ) and said " read this " I asked him what it was about and he said he didn't really know, but insisted I read it .... I did and it didn't take me long, this is a beautifully written book, a meandering story, taking the reader to Barcelona, and into a little boys world.
Read it, it's beautiful.
The Shadow of the wind
What an enjoyable story. Beautifully and poetically written, it takes you along for the ride from romance to murder and all the way it keeps you on the edge of your seat. I will definitely read more of his books.