Publisher & release date: Weidenfeld & Nicolson & Orion Books (UK) (2001)
Brilliant is all this review needs to say, it could be just that one word.
The Shadow of the Wind surpasses its own hype, and must be the only book to have been shared through word of mouth more than a secret recipe to actually do so. I quickly want to thank Melinda at The Book Musings for suggesting it to me as I had completely forgotten about it after a friend’s previous suggestion. Shadow of the Wind has been reviewed many times, and it isn’t in need of another, but when you find something this entertaining it’s hard not to share your opinion.
The tale takes place in 20th century Barcelona and is a love story within a mystery story. It all begins when Daniel Sempere’s father takes him to the cemetery of forgotten books and he comes across a book by the ghost of an author, Julián Carax. Daniel reads it with delight then relentlessly tries to find out all about the writer of The Shadow of the Wind, who has escaped from the eyes of everyone for more than a couple years. The events that occur afterwards are wonderfully told by Zafón and his way of putting words together had me re-reading lines in admiration, in other words, Shadow of the Wind contains some truly immaculate writing and is deserving of its critical praise.
Daniel’s quest to uncover Carax’s life takes him years and is thwarted constantly by psycho/sicko Francisco Javier Fumero. Eventually we discover the reasons behind the burning of Carax’s book, and it’s distressing, as is the secret relationship between him and Beatriz “Bea” Aguilar which is a tragedy that’s hard not to be affected by. Daniel and Penelope’s love story although tries to intimate the one between Julian and Beatriz too much, but it’s definitely a delight to read and possesses the sort of chemistry that brings a smile to your face without you noticing.
It takes a while for the entire story to reveal itself and it’s a good journey all the way there, but I found the overall revelation slightly disappointing. I couldn’t help thinking that a lot of the horrible situations the characters ended up getting into, could have been avoided if they had pursued the girl/boy next door rather than the best friend’s sister or off limits cutie. Nonetheless, The Shadow of the Wind is a masterpiece, and is a very, very good book.
- Reasons to read: The suspense in this book is insane. Good for those sweet lovey dubby bits. Inspiring for any aspiring writer . . . on the other hand, those metaphors had me doubting my own abilities at some points.
- Reading lvl: Dictionary required.
- Length: A couple hours or a day.
- Where to get: Physical & electronic retailers, any good library should have this.
- Favourite quote: “There are worse prison than words.”
As this is the first review on inkposts, I’d like to say that the idea for favourite quotes was inspired by something similar to what Melinda does at The Book Musings.
Have you read The Shadow of the Wind? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below