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The Shadow of the Wind book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The international literary sensation, about a boy's ques. The Shadow of the Wind is a novel by the Spanish writer Carlos Ruiz Zafón and a worldwide bestseller. The book was translated into English in by. Details. Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the 'cemetery of lost books', a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that.

The Shadow Of The Wind Book

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The Shadow of the Wind is a coming-of-age tale of a young boy who, through the magic of a single book, finds a purpose greater than himself and a hero in a. "Gabriel García Márquez meets Umberto Eco meets Jorge Luis Borges for a sprawling magic show."—The New York Times Book Review A New York Times. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Ruiz Zafón's novel, a bestseller in his native Spain, takes the satanic touches from Angel Heart and stirs them into a.

Just after the war, Daniel's father takes him to the secret Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a huge library of old, forgotten titles lovingly preserved by a select few initiates. According to tradition, everyone initiated to this secret place is allowed to take one book from it and must protect it for life.

That morning he takes the book home and reads it, completely engrossed. Daniel then attempts to look for other books by this unknown author but can find none. The novel is actually a story within a story. His friend Fermin Romero de Torres, who was imprisoned and tortured in Montjuic Castle for having been involved in an espionage against the Anarchists during the war—himself being a government intelligence agent—helps Daniel in a number of ways, but their probing into the murky past of a number of people who have been either long dead or long forgotten unleashes the dark forces of the murderous Inspector Fumero.

He begins to burn all of his novels and calls himself Lain Coubert. After finishing reading the book, Daniel marries Beatriz "Bea" Aguilar, whom he has loved for a long time, in But back to order.

All that said, the most important detail to take from this multi-volume post is to read them all, in whatever order you can grasp your hands around.

Why know more before you need to? Not only is ignorance bliss, but delayed gratification will surely keep you swiftly turning the pages. The Cemetery and the Semperes — all ensconced in Barcelona, a darkly magical city with a terrible history — appear in every volume.

He falls in love with an elusive woman he loses, but is forever adored by a young girl Isabella who refuses to leave him. When the one and only title that bears his true name is ignominiously dismissed, he begins to write a new book in fulfillment of a shockingly lucrative contract for a mysterious foreign publisher.

The strange author died in poverty but now someone is seeking out all remaining copies of his unsuccessful novels to burn. Daniel embarks on a mission to solve the mystery of the author's story being watched by a revengeful cop and the book burner himself.

As the story twists and slowly unravels he doesn't know whose account to trust or how it will affect his life. Wrapped up in the mystery is a message of death: The Shadow of the Wind is an allegory for death in a fictitious novel by the same title. Shadow is a perfect symbol for death evoking images of how death can be metaphorical instead of literal—living shadows of lives, chasing shadows of dreams, being shadows of others, letting memories shadow life.

Every character had shadows which could engulf them or they could overcome.

In this sense death becomes a fate we chose ourselves. For death is not always the worst thing that can happen "words are not always the worst prison".

Every time the word shadow was used I considered its illusion of death. It was with much thought that the word was scattered throughout the book. Spoilers Just as the fictitious novel was an echo of the book and Julian's life, I loved watching Daniel's life parallel Julian's.

Both grew up poor without an ideal family life, fell in love with a rich girl who was the adoration of her father and whose brother was a best friend, evoked murderous anger from her father after impregnating her, and when they have a brush with death, extremes of hate and love anchored their fight to survive. As Julian's story unfolds, Daniel unwittingly finds himself in the exact same point of their duel destiny. Once Daniel is aware of the correlation, the comparison stops.

Is it because Daniel consciously chooses to chance his path or has fate dealt him a better hand? Julian wrote "There are no coincidences. We are the puppets of our subconscious desires. The sad thing is I believed Julian's love for Penelope as it grew in obsession more than Daniel's love for Beatriz which seemed a happy chance of lust. Themes of devils and angels are prevalent as characters save and ruin each others' lives.

Clara is a physical angel who is blind while Fumero an emotional devil blinded by hate. While women tended to be described as angel and men devil, most characters held both in different shades.

Take Julian the angel child bringing life love, novels who turned into the devil Lain Coubert bringing death destruction, fear. But the characters pick whether to accept the destiny allotted them. Fermin was living death in the shadows of the street who had to get over his demons to find life worth living.

The shadows for Nuria, Julian, Fortuny, even Fumero didn't have to give them a reason to quit living. They chose shadows. The book reminded me of The 13th Tale thematically, linguistically, and in delivery, although I loved this book so much more.

The way the mystery unfolds finding tidbits from different perspectives enhanced the mystery and aided the depth of characterization. When I can see the vicious wife beater, deceived husband, and regretful father all in Antonio Fortuny I get a more well rounded sense of his motives. I enjoyed how the characters played different roles for each other.

I love Barcelona as the setting. If you've been to the artistically enchanting city, you know it's the perfect backdrop to this eloquently enchanting tale with a gothic feel. The Spanish have a way of making all things metaphorically beautiful. The vivid romantic passages had me smiling and at times laughing out loud. I highly enjoyed the writing and it wasn't until two-thirds of the way into the book that the story finally stole my complete attention.

Julian was my initial guess and while the story kept me questioning, it was the best solution and I was happy with the conclusion. But no novel is perfect; my issues are these: The readymade quotes are extreme. Zafon salvages this by calling himself out on the commentary. He sets the comments up in dialogue and then uses another character to mock the snippets.

Perspective, particularly in Nuria's letter, is off. How could she know what Miquel looked at when dying?

The chapters of her letters change from direct commentary to Daniel to third-party narrative. Elsewhere in the novel Daniel summarizes conversations in italics but I wondered from whence the interruption of her narrative with Fumero's story came. I always hope historical fiction will showcase a more accurate moral setting, but it rarely happens. While I believed the sex about Zafon's characters, done in secret and with fathers chasing down the culprits, how could they find out they were pregnant the next day?

I was also disappointed that all marriages were displayed as wrong and wives disregarded. Oh well. I guess it added to the Spanish flavor of the book. American authors tend to impose unrealistic happy endings while Europeans favor poignant sad ones. At one point it seemed bad things happened to Julian for nothing else than this love of tragedies.

It seemed Zafon was going to ruin the characters lives to make a point. But he makes his point with Julian and leaves Daniel to gives us a satisfied ending. A story about the living dead cannot be all bliss but we still find redemption as the characters step out of the shadows and live their lives.

Few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart. I believed, with the innocence of those who can still count their age on their fingers, that if I closed my eyes and spoke to her, she would be able to hear me wherever I was.

A secret's worth depends on the people form whom it must be kept. Women have an infallible instinct for knowing when a man has fallen madly in love with them, especially when the male in question is both a complete dunce and a minor. Death was like a nameless and incomprehensible hand But I couldn't absorb the idea that death could actually walk by my side, with a human face and a heart that was poisoned with hatred.

The eternal stupidity of pursuing those who hurt us the most. Paris is the only city in the world where starving to death is still considered an art. Arrogant as only idiots can be. I felt myself surrounded by millions of abandoned pages, by worlds and souls without an owner sinking in an ocean of darkness, while the world that throbbed outside the library seemed to be losing its memory.

Presents are made for the pleasure of who gives them, not for the merits of who receives them. I realized how easily you can lose all animosity toward someone you've deemed your enemy as soon as that person stops behaving as such.

People talk too much. Humans aren't descended from monkeys. They come for parrots. God, in His infinite wisdom, and perhaps overwhelmed by the avalanche of requests from so many tormented souls, did not answer. Silencing their hearts and their souls to the point where People are evil. Not evil, moronic, which isn't quite the same thing. Evil presupposes a moral decision. The words with which a child's heart is poisoned, through malice or through ignorance, remain branded in his memory, and sooner or later they burn his soul.

Marriage and family are only what we make of them. Sometimes what matters isn't what one gives but what one gives up. Destiny is usually just around the corner. But what destiny does not do home visits. You have to go for it. Just an innocent boy who thought he had conquered the world in an hour but didn't yet realize that he could lose it again in an instant.

Keep your dreams. You never know when you might need them. Fools talk, cowards are silent, wise men listen. Waiting is the rust of the soul. Sometimes we think people are like lottery tickets, that they're there to make our most absurd dreams come true. While you're working you don't have to look life in the eye. Most of us have the good or bad fortune of seeing our livs fall apart so slowly we barely notice.

Time goes faster the more hollow it is. I learned to confuse routine with normality. The world war, which had polluted the entire globe with a stench of corpses that would never go away. The clear, unequivocal lucidity of madmen who have escaped the hypocrisy of having to abide by a reality that makes no sense. A story is a letter the author writes to himself to tell himself things he would be unable to discover otherwise.

The art of reading is slowly dying, that it's an intimate ritual, that a book is a mirror that offers us only what we carry inside us, that when we read, we do it with all our heart and mind, and great readers are becoming more scarce by the day.

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The Shadow of the Wind

Jan 17, Jamie rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: So good. Recommended to Jamie by: The girl at the Ferry Building Bookshop. There's probably nothing much I "learned" in the introspective sense, but this is a novel like a novel ought to be.

This is an epic film on paper, gloomy and engaging, smokey, noir with crumbling ruins, young love, disfigurment, lust, torture I woke up at five a. One Friday, after work, I took sanctuary in The Hotel Biron, those little tables in the dark, page There's probably nothing much I "learned" in the introspective sense, but this is a novel like a novel ought to be. One Friday, after work, I took sanctuary in The Hotel Biron, those little tables in the dark, pages flickering with candles and drank a glass of wine in solitude, completely enthralled in the world of 's Barcelona.

I walked home from the train at night and found myself saying the characters names beneath my umbrella, hoping no one would hear me talking to myself , but they were, quite simply, too beautiful to ignore: Julian Carax, Daniel Semepere, Beatriz Tomas, Penelope Aldaya and Nuria Monfort. In a movie this would be too many people, but for this novel they were perfectly seamed, each point of view more entralling and taxing than the one before.

Most refreshing, clearly the author wasn't poisoned with the desire to simply keep the reader in the dark: The mystery itself isn't supposed to shock you intensely into thinking a book is good, that's a dirty trick. You cared about the story and it was a tragity and mystery all the same, simply because you were invested in these people and what became of them. To know them so intimately from childhood to adulthood and old age, to know them through various degrees of point of view seperation--to hear there is no Penelope, and then to know she is a sister, a love, but to some non-existant With a book like this I am almost, ALMOST tempted to give up my most pedantic and pretentious thoughts, paralells and character development--this story is a story and it's just that good.

It is the Phantom of the Opera, those dark tunnels and pressure points, a lake with candles or drawing rooms with no fire in the grate and crazy wives being stored in attics over head. This is, quite literally a timeless tale, and yes, reading it will make you smarter, more interested, more cultured the back of the book includes a walking tour of Barcelona.

I missed Barcelona but I am quite determined to go now, with my copy of A Shadow of the Wind in hand, just like wanting desperately to visit Eastern Europe after I finished The Historian and see it all , but more importantly real life simply fades to black as you become completely, totally and fantastically helpless and wrapped up in the lives of others. While there are fun hybrids--Crash Topics in Calamity Physics, for one, which combine a courses, authors, quotes and plot lines from a thousand famous novels, this book really makes that unnecessary.

This is a classic without any help, no cheat cheats necessary.

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Read it. View all 50 comments. Oct 27, Tanja Tanychy St. Here is why: Only person who can is the author himself, but I think he already said everything he wanted. You know that moment, or better said that feeling, when you see someone who means a lot to you and you have that beautiful feeling inside of you.

Now try to describe it. I know. And last but not least Please allow me to quote the author: Those first images, the echo of words we think we have left behind, accompany us throughout our lives and sculpt a palace in our memory to which, sooner or later — no matter how many books we read, how many worlds we discover, or how much we learn or forget — we will return.

View all 46 comments. After reading The Shadow of the Wind, I was left with somewhat mixed feelings. On the one hand, this is such a beautifully written book, and is in essence an ode to literature.

On the other hand, there are some serious flaws which distracts from the whole experience. The best thing about the book, in my opinion, is Zafon's skill in artistic writing. It reminds me of why I love to read in the first place, and makes me wish I could write as beautiful as this. The book contains lots of memorable qu After reading The Shadow of the Wind, I was left with somewhat mixed feelings. The book contains lots of memorable quotes as well, definitely a good thing as far as I'm concerned.

So after about 50 pages in, I was ready to love this book as I seldom loved another book before. But as the story progressed, that resolution started to diminish slowly but surely. Ironically, one the more obvious flaws is Zafon's overuse of stylistic writing. It seems like everyone acts or talks in a very elaborate manner, even in the simplest of situations, and this can really become tiresome after a while. The plot also isn't as ingenious as the hype would make you believe.

Zafon does a good job creating a sense of mystery early on, and there are obvious parallels between the main character Daniel Sempere, and Julian Carax, the writer whose past he is trying to uncover.

But ultimately, the stories of Daniel and Julian are seperate ones, and they just happen to interconnect with one another more by chance than by design. By far the most troublesome flaw is the way the mysteries are "resolved". All too often, answers are given by having some side character or another tell his or her story for pages. Nowhere is this more evident than at the end of the book, where literally every single detail is revealed in the form of a very long letter, even details which the writer of the letter never could have known, since she wasn't even involved in those events.

It's as if Zafon did not have a clue or the motivation to write a logical conclusion, and decided to just dump all the information in one place. With a bit more attention to actual plot and character development, this could have been one of my favourite books. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed reading the Shadow of the Wind.

It's just a shame that it falls some way short of its potential. View all 42 comments. Jun 02, Nayra. The prisoner of heaven View all 87 comments. View all 21 comments. View all 7 comments. Sep 26, Jon Cox rated it did not like it Shelves: I can't believe someone actually published this book. How is this possible?

It must only mean that there are a lot of people out there that think very differently from me. Don't you be one of them. Don't be fooled by this book. It is insipid, lame, and poorly written. The prose is so overblown that the author uses three adjectives for every single noun.

Count them. He evidently was to I can't believe someone actually published this book. He evidently was told that to be a writer you have to make everything as descriptive as possible, and then he decided that meant that each noun had to be modified three, always three, and only three times. The author must have looked up every word he could in a thesaurus and chosen the one that was most obscure or had the most syllables.

Who is he trying to impress? Maybe it was the translator's fault? Maybe not. Either way, this style is used even when describing what the ten year old character sees and says.

Which brings me to my next point. Every character in this book speaks with exactly the same voice. All you hear is the authors voice, not any different characterizations. And that voice demonstrates the problems I described in my first and second points.

But that's not all. There is an even worse, and definitely fatal, problem with this book. This story was written as a mystery.

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Nine years lurch by as the character slowly tries to unravel the details of the main conflict. I actually don't have a problem with this in theory. Unfortunately, after three quarters of the book, and numerous new characters, the mystery is no clearer. So what does the author do about it?It was really the greatest thrill.

A story about the living dead cannot be all bliss but we still find redemption as the characters step out of the shadows and live their lives. Unpopular opinion to follow! All that said, the most important detail to take from this multi-volume post is to read them all, in whatever order you can grasp your hands around. They chose shadows. This is your sixth novel, and it has been sold in twenty countries and translated into several languages.

The story is set in Barcelona and stretches from the turn of the 19th century to the sixties, though focusing most heavily in post civil war Spain recovering in the 40s and 50s. In it all made finally sense to Daniel Sempere.