The Shadow Of The Wind

Paperback | January 25, 2005

byCarlos Ruiz ZafonTranslated byLucia Graves

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"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 Bestseller

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets--an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

“ 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.” --Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

"Wonderous... masterful... The Shadow of the Wind is ultimately a love letter to literature, intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero." --Entertainment Weekly (Editor's Choice)

"One gorgeous read." --Stephen King

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From the Publisher

"Gabriel García Márquez meets Umberto Eco meets Jorge Luis Borges for a sprawling magic show." --The New York Times Book ReviewA New York Times BestsellerBarcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a myste...

CARLOS RUIZ ZAFÓN is one of the world’s most read and best-loved writers. His work has been translated into more than forty languages and published around the world, garnering numerous international prizes and reaching millions of readers. He divides his time between Barcelona and Los Angeles. He is the author of The Shadow of the Wind...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:512 pages, 8.4 × 5.5 × 1.1 inPublished:January 25, 2005Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143034901

ISBN - 13:9780143034902

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Customer Reviews of The Shadow Of The Wind

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best book i've ever read I love this intriguing series #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Best mystery I read this for my french class in hightschool and I loved it! It's so rare for me to like a book I am forced to read for school, but this was really refreshing
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hand Down. My Favourite Book This book opened a whole genre I didn't even know existed: Gothic. I've read a lot of gothic novels since then, and The Shadow of the Wind remains my favourite. I don't think any book will be taking its slot anytime soon.
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book reminded me why I love reading I stayed up until 4:30am reading this book, and i regret nothing. This novel is lovely, especially for those who have a love for books.
Date published: 2016-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Favourite new author! I bought this off a recommendation from a friend and could not have been happier with the result. I couldn't put the book down, all I wanted to do was solve the mystery! After finishing I immediately purchased the other two books in the series and then a few days later bought every other book by Carlos Ruiz Zafon expecting great things.
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the finest books I've had the pleasure to read! The Shadow Of The Wind By Carlos Ruiz Zafon Trade Paperback Penguin Books Shadows of the Wind is based in 1945 Barcelona and earlier. This book was originally written in spanish and translated beauifully into english. It is a poetic, lyrical and eloquent story, so beautifully written. It is a Historical Fiction full of Mystery, Suspense and a Love Story. This book will move you like no other book has ever affected you. The book is about a young man, Daniel Sempere who is taken to a Labyrinth of Forgotten Books, where he is told to pick a book. He picks the book Shadows of the Wind written by an obscure author know as Julian CARAX. Daniel becomes intrigued with the author, the author's mysterious past and with uncovering the mystery surrounding the works of this Author (who someone is trying to destroy). There are plots within plots in this story and many memorable and meaningful quotes in this book such as: "Few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart." This might not be the first book that has made its way to my heart, but it certainly has left a deep mark! I read this book a few years ago and have never forgotton the impact it had on me.
Date published: 2016-06-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Book I've Read All Year! I purchased this book about a month ago and it is my favourite novel thus far this year... It had mystery, suspense, and a love all wrapped together. It is beautifully written and the characters captured my heart. It takes place in Spain, so it also gave me a bit of the travel bug! Would recommend to a friend in a heartbeat.
Date published: 2016-04-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Novel I bought this book off of the recommendation of a friend. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much. This book, though, has captured my heart entirely. It's a little slow to get into, but it's worth it. It's snuck its way into being one of my favourite books of all time.
Date published: 2016-04-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read Beautiful story and looking forward to reading his other books!
Date published: 2015-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just Amazing This has to be one of the best books I have ever read. From the first page I couldn't put the book down. I couldn't wait to join Daniel on his quest to know what happened to Carax and all his books. It is a tragically beautiful story.
Date published: 2015-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent! Like a slow burn, but once you get into it, it catches fire and I couldn't put it down!!! best I have read in a long time!!
Date published: 2015-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Made me fall in love with reading again I'd give the story a 4/5 stars as the story itself starts off a bit slow, but it does pick up about half way through the novel and becomes very engaging and exciting. However, why I gave this book 5 stars is the way the story is written -- amazing! Everything is described in such intricate detail but leaving just enough for your imagination. The metaphors and language were absolutely beautiful.
Date published: 2015-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Surprised! I was recommended this by a friend, and am so glad i read it! Never before have i been so entraced with a book!!
Date published: 2015-04-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Story, Beautifully Told The Shadow of the Wind is art in its purest sense. The words are carefully chosen and wonderfully juxtaposed to make prose that sings, creating word pictures, tension, and empathy that draw the reader into the heart of the novel. Written by Carlos Ruiz Zaf?n and translated from the original Spanish by Lucia Graves, it is a story within a story, carefully constructed to follow the lives of two different men who could have been father in son in an alternate reality. The younger man, Daniel Sempere, is the son of a bookstore proprietor; the older man, Juli?n Carax, the son of a hatter, is a novelist. Just days before his 11th birthday, Daniel is taken at dawn by his father to an old building in Barcelona called The Cemetery of Forgotten Books where he finds and claims The Shadow of the Wind by Juli?n Carax as his own book to cherish and be responsible for forever. The Cemetery is a special and secret place for Daniel and his father. The door keeper, Isaac, will be a further connection in the story of the mysterious Juli?n Carax. The book is an inspiration for Daniel; he reads it in one night and it lingers, having cast a spell that reminds Daniel of a comment he overheard in his father?s book shop: "Few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart. 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 may read, how many worlds we discover, or how much we learn or forget ? we will return. For me those enchanted pages will always be the ones I found among the passageways of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. ' You can see what an amazing writer Zaf?n is. His descriptions of Barcelona are breathtakingly mysterious. Especially the ones just before dawn at the docks with mist rolling in from the sea or the ones of Daniel stealthily approaching the decaying mansion of the wealthy industrialist Don Ricardo Aldaya. Or here, where he describes the soul of a book. Daniel?s voice is the narrator through the first sections of the story which begins just after the Spanish civil war. His mother is dead and his father terribly lonely, living on lost emotions with a sadness settled over him, his son and his bookstore his only interests. With the discovery of the book, the Semperes seek out Don Gustavo Barcel?, an authority on antiquarian books to learn more of the author and what other novels he wrote. This is where Daniel loses his heart and gains his purpose. Barcel? examines the book while his niece, Clara entertains Daniel who becomes totally besotted with the well-educated, beautiful blind lady who is twice his age. His purpose becomes the tracing of the life and times of Juli?n Carax, whose books, which never sold well, have been systematically tracked down and burned to ashes by one, Lain Coubert, a fictional character representing the devil from Carax?s Shadow of the Wind. As Daniel pieces together the life of Carax, he discovers a tissue of lies, a spiderweb of mad revenge and terror, love betrayed, and devotion that transcends all trials. The more he learns about Carax, the more confused he becomes and the more he seems to be repeating the author?s history: wanting to write, falling into a love doomed from the start, becoming a fugitive from a deranged detective, and almost losing his identity. The narration switches to the handwritten story from Carax?s one remaining true friend, Nuria, after she has been killed by the detective, the incredibly evil Fumero, who is determined to destroy all evidence of the existence of Carax. The description of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books reminds me of the librarium in Umberto Eco?s Name of the Rose, a maze full of twists and turns, levels of stacks, and the necessity of marking a trail to find your way back almost like this story itself. It was a complete shock, when, just before the beginning of Nuria?s narration, Daniel announces that in 7 days he will be dead. But Nuria?s story is compelling and the reader doggedly follows its line to where Daniel picks the thread up again. Just as Carax concludes his book with a ?brief coda in which he gathers up the threads of his characters? fates?, Ruiz Zaf?n has Daniel do the same, revealing still more surprises. Then, with history still repeating itself, Daniel returns to the Cemetery with his small son with some of the same script from the book?s beginning: "A young man, already showing a few gray hairs, walks through the streets of a Barcelona trapped beneath ashen skies as dawn pours over Rambla de Santa Monica in a wreath of liquid copper. He holds the hand of a ten-year-old boy whose eyes are intoxicated with the mystery of the promise his father made him at dawn, the promise of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books." An amazing story from start to finish. * * * * *
Date published: 2014-10-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Hidden Gem I'm going to keep this short and say that the most magical part of this book, to me, is the way that depicts the dynamics of interpersonal relationships. You'll fall in love with almost everyone of the characters. You might even feel an attachment to the "bad guys". I also love the depiction of the power of books and the power they had and can still have on some of us. This was a beautiful read, especially on stormy nights.
Date published: 2014-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent read! So many twists and turns! A real page turner.
Date published: 2014-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellentisimo! A must-read!!! A story within a story. This is a book of inspiration, desperation, mystery, love, life, and what really matters. A reflection of life itself! A must-read, again and again. I have found a contemporary author with a foot in the Temple of The Greats. My review is based on the Spanish version, but I cannot imagine it being any less gripping in English, which i will read as well.
Date published: 2014-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellentisimo! A must-read!!! This book was one of my all time favorites. It is beautifully written and transports the reader to another world. If you like reading, and love books and mystery, this book has everything. It will touch your heart.
Date published: 2014-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellentisimo! A must-read!!! It's great! But I've only skimmed it! Now give me my 50% off my next purchase, Kobo!!!! Duh! Thanks Kobo - but wake up, please!!
Date published: 2014-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellentisimo! A must-read!!! Zafon writes a wonderful suspenseful adventure that takes one racing along the narrow wet, dark, cobblestone streets and alleyways of Barcelona. This is a City of secrets, mysteries, shadows and unpredictable occurrences that confront our young protagonist on his journey of discovery. From the moment Daniel steps into The Cemetery of Forgotten Books his commitment to find answers commences with unrelenting gathering pace. A great read.
Date published: 2014-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellentisimo! A must-read!!! This is a great read! It has everything, starting in the magical Cemetary of Forgotten Books, where a young boy discovers his first inspiring read. Young Daniel is so intrigued by his book that he wants to learn more about the author and other books he has written. On this journey Daniel encounters mysterious figures, and intriguing story of romance all while He encounters his own young love.
Date published: 2014-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellentisimo! A must-read!!! I was hooked from the first page to the last and will forever be a fan of Carlos Ruiz Zafron. A story of mystery and suspense that takes place in 1945 Barcelona . It's impossible to forget Daniel and the unforgetable Cemetery of Forgotten Books.
Date published: 2014-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellentisimo! A must-read!!! Absolutely loved this book so much that I am going to Barcelona this year. It kept me captivated from beginning to the end and couldn't wait to read the sequel.
Date published: 2014-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellentisimo! A must-read!!! This is my favourite book! It is full of all the right things, mystery, love, passions, villains and the importance a book can have on a life. It all unfolds in the romantically dark streets and is so well crafted you feel you are there with them, wondering where it will all lead.
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellentisimo! A must-read!!! Fantastic book. Zafon does such an amazing job connecting the threads of the characters. Very compelling and intriguing story. I couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellentisimo! A must-read!!! This book is deliciously.translated from Spanish into English. the language is beautiful and the tale very good. It follows the life of a young motherless lad who receives a book from a library of lost and forgotten books. It is the only copy and sinister plot unfolds about this book and a tale of very entertaining proportions unravels
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from <3 <3 <3 LOVED IT!!!! A beautiful read!!! I highly recommend!
Date published: 2014-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Close to my heart. I can never get enough of this book. I return to it every year without fail.
Date published: 2013-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Close to my heart. Carlos Ruiz Zafon is a tremendously gifted writer. This book has all the elements of a great story: humor, mystery, romance and endearing characters. The Shadow of the Wind is one of those books that draws you in, makes you want to read nonstop, satisfies you when you've finished but also makes you sad you've reached the end. The good news is that Zafon moves his characters forward in his next book, The Angels Game.
Date published: 2013-10-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Slow start but a great finish While this novel started off slow, it certainly picked up about a hundred pages in. It became a thoughtful, provoking and tragic tale about two young lovers who found themselves confronted by obstacle after obstacle only to tragically be torn apart by yet another unexpected twist. The narrator, and main protagonist, is a young man who is trying to solve the mystery of why the books of his favorite author are being destroyed by a mysterious, almost demonic character out of one of his preferred writer's novels. The clues lead him to discover the story of the two lovers and that is when the novel hits its stride. I don't want to say much more other than this novel captured post war Spain in all its confusing governmental upheaval and a people, in particular our hero, looking for a ray of sunshine in what was otherwise an endless, cloudy, grey sky.
Date published: 2013-06-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Shadow of the wind Beautifully written, very funny, very sad. I'm not a reader of mysteries and kept thinking that yes the book was a mystery but I loved it. Mr. Zanfon is so good, giving us all those wonderful characters and plot twists, what talent. I read this one so fast.
Date published: 2013-01-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A bit slow but enjoyable all the same Loved the story, the intricate plot and even the characters, but it moved too slowly in places. There were times when it seemed there were just too many words! I started the book enjoying the descriptive language used by the author, but quickly grew tired of it when the plot slowed down. That said, I will read more by this author but I'll be prepared to take my time.
Date published: 2012-09-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from From the shadows comes a light I’m finally working through the books I’ve read but neglected to review, and this one comes in 15 months after. What Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s "The Shadow of the Wind" excels in is creating a gothic atmosphere that transports the readers to Barcelona in the early 20th century and immerse themselves in its sights and sounds. Zafon does a great job in not convoluting the plot with excessive characters, focusing on some multi-faceted ones instead. The issue I take with "The Shadow of the Wind" is that the narrative dragged at parts, seeming to go back and forth between taking or not taking the plunge in arriving at its climax, which was ultimately quite meek in its presentation. Plus, an insider’s story involving the author has let me quite disappointed. Even still, the novel is a gripping read of mystery, thriller, and romance, and definitely deserves the acclaim and readership it has garnered, including yours.
Date published: 2012-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it I really loved this book. I don't find it much like most current fiction, it was a lot of character development and not constant excitement - but I loved that. I found it easy to connect with the characters, and easy to love them. It has the feel of a classic which some may find ponderous - but the core story resonates with you months after reading it. I have already recommended this book to family and friends. Have a little patience, it is worth it!
Date published: 2012-08-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Average I was excited by the description of this story but disappointed by the book itself. I'm an avid reader and had to push myself to keep reading it. It just did not hold my interest and the story seemed to waffle around. I would not recommend it.
Date published: 2012-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully Haunting From the first paragraph, you can tell that Carlos Ruiz Zafron has a created a world so chilling and gripping that it will always leave you wanting more. The entire time I read, I was torn between continuing on into the wee hours of the morning, and pacing myself so as to hold on to the characters a little longer. My favourite of his novels so far, Shadow of the Wind was timeless for me, and something that I know I'll enjoy just as much the second time.
Date published: 2011-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED IT First few pages I wasn't sure, but then became completely engrossed in the lives of the characters. Intrigue, suspense, romance, some violence, all in this novel. Worth a read.
Date published: 2011-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING! A real page-turner. I'm an avid book lover, and I can say, this one is definitely in my top 3. Unforgettable characters and a gripping plot. I will surely check out Carlos Ruiz Zafon's other books. Read it, you will not be disappointed.
Date published: 2011-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Brilliant Story When I first read the summary on the back of this book I honestly wasn’t too sure I wanted to read it. I’m glad that I was convinced otherwise. This book grabbed me from the beginning and took me on a journey that I won’t soon forget and introduced me to characters that I will remember for quite awhile I’m sure. Carlos Ruiz Zafon has spun a story that completely takes you in, you can see the city in your mind and the writing throughout is beautiful and left me wanting more. If you’re looking for a great story, something you can really sink your teeth into, something that will carry you away, this is a book you should definitely consider reading.
Date published: 2011-06-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Shadow of The Wind I felt that I was REALLY READING a book - not just scanning - fully immersed. Beautiful words and phrases, meaningful personalities, a joy to read. I enjoyed it so much and felt it so worthwhile that I saved it and gave it to my daughter who is a delightful, mature woman and very choosy in her reading material. I hope/wish there will be more stories like this.
Date published: 2011-05-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Drew me in This book was recommended for a holiday read. The person who suggested I read it said she couldn't put it down. It is a well crafted story.
Date published: 2011-04-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful Storytelling Carlos Ruiz Zafon has an amazing gift for telling a story. His words are well chosen and his sentences beautifully constructed to form an amazing world of imagery. (I am lacking in that talent obviously). Though it will not be for everybody, those who like a well told tale with mystery, adventure, romance and suspense should enjoy this book. I did find some of the outcomes predictable, and others a little odd, but as a whole this book was gorgeous and I am glad that I read it.
Date published: 2010-08-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fantastic Read, Not Much of a Mystery..? The Shadow of the Wind is truly a beautiful, poetic read. Zafon creates a haunting story that I'm sure I'll never forget. The characters are so believable that I felt I was loosing an old friend when I reached the last pages. My only pet peeve was that Daniel's reaction to the mystery didn't seem realistic to me. I mean, if you found an amazing book and someone tells you that the author died mysteriously in a duel and legend is that someone is burning the books you'd say, "Wow! That's so cool." And be done with it. You wouldn't really devote your whole life to digging up every last detail leading up to the author's death, would you? I was also a little confused to find this in the mystery section at the library and fiction at indigo. To me, the "mystery" was obvious from the first few chapters. Nevertheless, this story will stay with me for years to come, and I'm sure to reread it.
Date published: 2010-07-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from not what I was expecting... This novel has been on my tbr list for a long time so I was thrilled when it was chosen as our book club pick. Zafon’s novel has been universally praised by famous writers (Stephen King called it “one gorgeous read”) critics (Booklist said the book was “rich, lavish storytelling”) and everyone in my book club loved it. Except me. I didn’t hate the book; I enjoyed reading it. Let me explain. Ten-year-old Daniel, son of an antiquarian bookseller, is still suffering from the death of his mother – whose face he can no longer remember. His father decides to take him to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a labyrinth of passages and shelves – almost impossible to navigate. "This is a place of mystery, Daniel, a sanctuary. Every book, every volume you see here has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens." Traditionally, when someone visits the Cemetery, he or she is allowed to choose one book and then they must promise to safeguard that book for all time. Daniel chooses The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax. Daniel falls in love with the novel, a story about a man searching for his real father. He is so enchanted by the novel that he decides he must read everything by Carax and it is this quest that kick starts the novel. Carax is something of a mystery himself and Daniel’s quest to learn more spans several years, introduces him a cast of broken and sinister characters and leads the reader on an adventure. I think that’s what my problem was with this book. "I heard a regular customer say that few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart." I think my expectations for the book and what the book was actually about didn’t actually jibe. I had no trouble turning the pages, but ultimately The Shadow of the Wind was more of a stuffed-to-the-brim melodrama than a meditation on first books or even books in general. As Daniel begins his quest to track down further Carax novels, a strange and somewhat threatening man offers to buy The Shadow of the Wind. Of course, this just redoubles Daniel’s efforts - a quest that yields some surprises. I guess, ultimately, my reservations about this book come from the hype. If I hadn’t heard so much, I might have been swept along. The writing is great (despite the fact that it’s a translation), the characters are sympathetic…but for me…the book was too long, and sometimes I felt that all the pieces just locked into place just a little too neatly. Daniel explained it best when he said: "the structure of the story began to remind me of one of those Russian dolls that contain innumerable ever-smaller dolls within." Despite my own personal feelings, however, I would certainly encourage other readers to check this book out. It’s a lot of fun – the kind of book you can truly lose yourself in.
Date published: 2010-05-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Trite, convoluted and contrived. I had such high hopes for this very highly recommended book. It turned out to be noting more than a poor rendition of a soap-opera masquerading as a mystery. The premise was so promising; a young boy stumbles onto a forgotten book. He is then determined to find out about the author and why the book in his possession is the only one still in existence by the mysterious author; all others have been inexplicably burned. Sounds good doesn’t it? That’s about all it does. This book has so many flaws I’m not sure where to start. First off it is way too long for no reason, or maybe the author was paid by page count. At least a third of the story could be edited out. The “mystery” is so random and could have been resolved with a conversation, not to mention completely obvious. Why it wasn’t makes no sense. There are parts in the story that are so over the top melodramatic it’s hard to continue to read. You can see the effort of the author in trying to make this into a literary read. Well, I’m sad to say he didn’t succeed. Finally, female characters in this book are sad one dimensional ghosts. The coincidences contrived. I know I’m in the minority and it baffles my mind how so many people could have loved this book so much. I don’t recommend it and will not read this author again. My reading time is too precious.
Date published: 2010-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A sweeping epic to get lost in The Shadow of the Wind is a world of its own. Truly this work deserves to stand amongst the greatest of literature. An epic adventure and a twisted journey to the heart of darkness, and back again. Daniel truly becomes your friend as you continue in this labyrinth and Fermin is one of the best characters I have ever come across. The central figure of mystery Julian is an intriguing and sad vision of madness and genius. This is one of my all times I definitely recommend it.
Date published: 2010-01-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good, not great I hate to be the only one who doesn't give this book 5/5, but I actually didn't think it was that GREAT. It was a nice read, parts were too wordy and dragged on, and surprises were predictable. I have read better books and if I were to give this book 5/5, then the other books deserve 8/5. It is worth reading and the story line is interesting.
Date published: 2010-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! A great story. Very well written. I loved the supporting character "Fermin"!
Date published: 2010-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Great!!! This is one of the best books I have ever read! Carlos Ruiz Zafon is an amazing writer. This book kept me in suspense literally from the first page all the way to the last page. This is definately a good read. If you like this book you will also like The Angel's Game --- also by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Enjoy!
Date published: 2009-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An amazing read! This book is one of the best books I have ever read! Be prepared to be in suspense throughout the entire book. Each page will surprise you as this story takes so many turns, you just never know what to expect to happen next. I would recommend this book to anyone. Its a wonderful story about love and tradegy.
Date published: 2009-07-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow I've never written a review before but felt compelled to do so immediately after reading this amazing novel. I had heard good things about it and picked it up on a whim. It was such an amazing read - with tons of twisting layers, compelling mysteries and fantastic characters. I didn't want to stop reading the book and am seriously considering picking it up again to re-read it a mere 30 minutes after completing it the first time. PLEASE pick up this book and read it - you won't be disappointed
Date published: 2009-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a surprise! I must say, I half expected to be disappointed when I bought this book thinking it might just be slightly more than a thriller. I was definitely wrong! The book is well written and perfectly peppered with the right amount of suspense and mystery and even more wonderfully, it is written well enough to surprise the reader. That specific quality, I think, is enough to make this a wonderful book. But of course there is so much more there in rich descriptions, human nuances captured perfectly and a simple and classic theme and ending that could have been predictable but instead are sweet and satisfying.
Date published: 2009-02-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very well written and entertaining to the last page! It suprised me to find out this book was translated from another language - I felt it was incredibly well written and I would have expected something to be lost in translation. Not so in this case. Like most books (for me anyways), it took some time to get into the characters and story, but once I did, I couldn't put it down. I really enjoyed this book and will be sure to keep this author in mind for future purchases!!!
Date published: 2009-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Never loooked up! This book had it all. Mystery, adventure and just the right touch of the fantastic. I plan on passing it on to friends right away, even though it means they will dissapear for a few days until they've finished it!
Date published: 2008-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Beautiful Read I did not read this book recently, actually I read it nearly a year ago as an accidental find in a library. What a wonderful accident! This is truly one of my favourites and is a benchmark for me now when reading other books! To be truthful, finding another book to read right away after this one was tough. Kind of like the day after Christmas. The story is truly beautifully written, characters are mesmerizing and there is lots ot mystery to keep you reading. This book will keep you up quite willingly into the wee hours of the morning. This is my first review and I chose to write it in the hopes that more people hear about and buy this book. Highly Recommend it!
Date published: 2008-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My Favorite Novel - Period! We all have our little favorites, don't we? I had this novel by the Spanish writer Carlos Ruiz Zafon forced on me by an extremely enthusiastic and aggressive bookstore employee about a year ago. While my first instinct was to turn and run, a quick glance at the book jacket gave me some reason to feel hope. The novel was about books. Best described as a Gothic novel, with its rich visual imagery and textures (lots of dark shadows and creaking staircases and the like), the story is set in Barcelona, just a few years after the Spanish Civil War. The City is still very much shrouded in secrets and a lingering shame. This setting is very important. The Spanish Civil War was unique because it was almost entirely based on political ideologies, turning brother against brother, as opposed to being a territorial dispute between regions or countries. The effect it had on the people of Spain was profound - you can still see that terrible angst and fragmentation in the paintings of Dali and Picasso from that period. It tore families and friendships apart. The story is written from the point of view of a boy still mourning the recent loss of his mother. His father is a bookseller and in an effort to console his son, he takes him to a very mysterious place - the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. The boy, Daniel, is allowed to choose one book to take home, or rather, it chooses him. It's called "Shadow of the Wind" and is by an unknown author named Julian Carax. He loves the book, and searches for other titles by the same author. However, he realizes someone else is systematically destroying every book that Carax has ever written and that he might possess the last remaining copy! Soon he is pulled into a dark world of mystery and murder. Aside from the great myriad of twists and turns of plot throughout this novel, it is also full of great characters, including one of my favorites, Fermin Romero De Torres, a sidekick who is every bit as loyal and humorous as his great literary predecessor, Sancho Panza. Definitely one of the most satisfying and sumptuous reads I have had in some time.
Date published: 2008-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A book to re-read I didin't want to read the book at first because of several things: the title (how can wind have a shadow really?What a stupid title I still don't understand it) and the reviews ( they just didn't mean anything, they didn't describe the book and just said it was really good which isn't helpful at all). But know I know none of these reviews does justice to the book (including mine), it's impossible to describe so my advice is just read it.
Date published: 2008-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A story wrought with mystery This book is the closest thing to a movie thriller. You are at the edge of your seat from the first word you read until the absolute last one. Shadow of the wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón is a really good read. Some might be intimidated by the 500 + pages but it is really a page turner. Is it life imitating fiction or fiction imitating life? It’s the story of a book and it’s author. Follow the journey of Daniel ,who was 10 years old when he started, while he uncovers the mysteries behind the book “Shadow of the wind” and the always elusive Julian Carax the Author. A story wrought with mystery and people and love and hate and sacrifice in it’s most beautiful form. I give it 5/5 .
Date published: 2008-02-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from absolutely fabulous! Best book ive read in a looooong time. A little bit of everything...adventure, romance, mystery. Beautifully woven tale full of the innocence and magic of childhood colliding with the realities of growing up. Pick it up and you wont be able to put it down.
Date published: 2008-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unique and intriguing This is by far one of the best books I have read in a very long time. Similar style to Gabriel Garcia Marquez. A very intriguing story and exciting all the way through. I could not put this book down and was sorry to finish it! A little hidden gem and won't disappoint!
Date published: 2008-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Blustery Bus Buster! An amazing book both engaging and magical. The descriptions are lyrical, the plot is tragic and entrancing. Daniel is a likeable coward, whilest the other characters emerge from the shadows fully formed and alive. I read this book on the bus, and for the duration of the book I barely noticed anything that went on around me. This is the best impulse book I've read all year, and I can't wait for his other works to be translated!
Date published: 2008-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Must Read. As I was making my weekly purchase at chapters, one of the cashiers insisted that I had to read Shadow of the Wind. Thankfully I took her advice and got to read an absolutely amazing book. The author creates such strong links between the reader and the characters that it is impossible to stop reading. The suspense that surrounds the characters and the elaboration of their personalitites makes this book truly worth the time and the money.
Date published: 2007-12-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful story! A beautiful and engaging story that made me laugh, cry and fall in love with its main character.
Date published: 2007-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gothic & Dark - Exquisite Beautifully written. Surprisingly Gothic and dark. This book manages to pick you up and take you to Barcelona during the Civil war (1945) wherein the city has taken on it's own character and tells its own story. The main character Daniel, obsessed with uncovering the details of a mysterious book and it's author, finds that he is learning more about himself than he bargained for. Zafron is an exquisite story-teller - the language (although translated) is rich in detail and beauty. A page turner!
Date published: 2007-11-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inexplicably Amazing This is another of maybe six novels I have read that I would rate as being the best I've ever devoured. I found this little gem at the bottom of a book shelf--ironically, I felt I found this novel the same way the character in the book found his. I read it over a week in the summer one year, and I'm quite certain at times I simply sat, trying to digest the AMAZINGNESS I had just read. It was desperate, and it was delightfully sprinkled with humour, it was tragic and so deeply moving that I cannot do it justice through my own words. PLEASE go and read this, you will not regret it. You fall in love with it.
Date published: 2007-10-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Engaging, humourous, full of life Absolutely the best book I've read this year so far. The characters are delightful - funny, touching, loving, full of despair. You'll find yourself wandering the streets of Barcelona on an adventure with best friends.
Date published: 2007-09-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best novel I have read... I was reluctant at first to buy this novel...but when I started I was hooked from page one!! There is romance, mystery, and twists and turns that kept me up into the wee hours of the morning! I couldn't bear to put it down. The sub-plots have sub-plots, easy to read and leaves you wanting to know more! If you buy only one book this year, make it this one!!
Date published: 2007-05-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from couldn't put it down This book had all my favorite qualities - love, suspense, murder. Just when I thought the details were starting to get overwhelming, the author found a clever way to review and refresh your memory. I could not put it down until I reached the end. Thanks Heather - I loved it too!
Date published: 2007-05-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unforgettable read My 22 year old daughter gave me this book for Christmas, she in her turn got it from her Spanish boyfriend. We are both wonderfully taken by this story. Never have I experienced a story that stays with you to such an extent as this one. It is beautifully written as well as translated. You can feel and almost smell the sense of the atmosphere in Barcelona, everything seems so real. How clever to put a map of the whereabouts of the characters at the back of the book. The storyline is amazing, the characters are so interesting, this is a book you look forward to come home to and read.
Date published: 2007-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just Perfect! I fell completely in love with this book. I got so cought up in the story that sometimes I would lose track of time! The book just kept getting better and better! Full of surprises! And with characters that bring out so many different emotions! I did not want the story to end! Amazing book...
Date published: 2007-03-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating! This book was fantastic.
Date published: 2007-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Read! This is by far one of the most well written books I’ve read. The author’s diction and style is so compelling and original that it adds to the mystery and suspense of the novels plot. There are parts of this book in which I found myself highlighting sentences and phrases not only because of their importance to the story, but their value to our knowledge of life as we know it. The main character, Daniel, is a terrific narrator and his curiosity, sensibility, and wisdom causes him to become a hero to the readers of this novel. This book holds every aspect of literary interest: love, mystery, horror, and humor- A beautiful read.
Date published: 2006-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better than AMAZING! At first when my friend told me about the novel I wasn't interested in reading it. But I read it because she kept raving about it. After the first chapter I saw why she liked it. After the first three chapters, I was hooked. By the middle of the book, I became obsessed. The mystery will keep you guessing right until the end. And I guarantee that with almost every guess, you will learn that you were wrong. The twists and turns make the book unique. My only complaint is that this book should have been made into a saga...because I could have kept reading it for another few thousand pages.
Date published: 2006-10-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Mystery, suspense I really enjoyed the characters in this novel. They are very highly developed and you feel along with them. The development of the main character and his relationship with his father is endearing. I really enjoyed Fermin he's a character for the ages....like a modern day Falstaff. I usually don't read mysteries but I found this book hard to put down. I will definitely read more from this author.
Date published: 2006-08-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Gripping and Well Developed Read This book is well worth the money to buy! I'm a avid reader, who has read every type of book, but mystery...this was my first. This novel has a selection of interesting characters that provide a backdrop to an even more interesting story line. It's well written and complex enough to be gripping, but certainly not overwhelming. It's one of those books that when your done your sad you ever started because you wish it could go on forever.....buy it and love it! A fantastic mystery to read over and over.
Date published: 2006-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful This book has it all. I was swept away by the story and by the writing style. Mystery, suspense, and what a love story. One of the best I've read in a long while.
Date published: 2006-07-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from SUPERB This book was incredible...it literally kept me up at night. This was a story I will keep with me always. Definitely one of my favourites. The story, the characters, the location...everything about this book is engrossing. I just loved it.
Date published: 2006-03-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a fantastic mystery I was referred this book by a salesperson in Indigo who said she couldn't keep it on the shelves. This mystery starts off with a thread and by the end of the book, there is a host of characters, places and stories that meld into one. The writing is superb and artful. A fantastic mystery to read over and over.
Date published: 2005-07-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Breathtaking This book opens a world with vivid characters and beautiful prose. You are torn by not wanting to put it down and not wanting it to end. It is one incredible read!
Date published: 2005-06-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING This is one fantastic read. The plot (and sub-plots) reel you in and you are totally hooked. The mystery behind the so-called last copy in existence by the enigmatic Julian Carax unfolds in a kaleidoscope of flashbacks, suspense, and startling revelations. This is the novel you will literally devour in one sitting.
Date published: 2005-05-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A MUST READ I started reading this book with not much enthusiasm. Besides being the absolute best-seller in Spain for the last 3 years, it seemed unappealing to me. I recieved the book as a gift so opened to see what all the fuzz was about. I was marveled. This story of many stories is like the Russian dolls. Once you get into the inside of a character, you discover a new universe that makes you travel into unexpected places. If you are looking for an interesting book, this is it.
Date published: 2005-04-23

Extra Content

Read from the Book

A secret's worth depends on the people from whom it must be kept. My first thought on waking was to tell my best friend about the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Tomás Aguilar was a classmate who devoted his free time and his talent to the invention of wonderfully ingenious contraptions of dubious practicality, like the aerostatic dart or the dynamo spinning top. I pictured us both, equipped with flashlights and compasses, uncovering the mysteries of those bibliographic catacombs. Who better than Tomás to share my secret? Then, remembering my promise, I decided that circumstances advised me to adopt what in detective novels is termed a different modus operandi. At noon I approached my father to quiz him about the book and about Julián Carax-both world famous, I assumed. My plan was to get my hands on his complete works and read them all by the end of the week. To my surprise, I discovered that my father, a natural-born librarian and a walking lexicon of publishers' catalogs and oddities, had never heard of The Shadow of the Wind or Julián Carax. Intrigued, he examined the printing history on the back of the title page for clues."It says here that this copy is part of an edition of twenty-five hundred printed in Barcelona by Cabestany Editores, in June 1936.""Do you know the publishing house?""It closed down years ago. But, wait, this is not the original. The first edition came out in November 1935 but was printed in Paris....Published by Galiano & Neuval. Doesn't ring a bell.""So is this a translation?""It doesn't say so. From what I can see, the text must be the original one.""A book in Spanish, first published in France?""It's not that unusual, not in times like these," my father put in. "Perhaps Barceló can help us...."Gustavo Barceló was an old colleague of my father's who now owned a cavernous establishment on Calle Fernando with a commanding position in the city's secondhand-book trade. Perpetually affixed to his mouth was an unlit pipe that impregnated his person with the aroma of a Persian market. He liked to describe himself as the last romantic, and he was not above claiming that a remote line in his ancestry led directly to Lord Byron himself. As if to prove this connection, Barceló fashioned his wardrobe in the style of a nineteenth-century dandy. His casual attire consisted of a cravat, white patent leather shoes, and a plain glass monocle that, according to malicious gossip, he did not remove even in the intimacy of the lavatory. Flights of fancy aside, the most significant relative in his lineage was his begetter, an industrialist who had become fabulously wealthy by questionable means at the end of the nineteenth century. According to my father, Gustavo Barceló was, technically speaking, loaded, and his palatial bookshop was more of a passion than a business. He loved books unreservedly, and-although he denied this categorically-if someone stepped into his bookshop and fell in love with a tome he could not afford, Barceló would lower its price, or even give it away, if he felt that the buyer was a serious reader and not an accidental browser. Barceló also boasted an elephantine memory allied to a pedantry that matched his demeanor and the sonority of his voice. If anyone knew about odd books, it was he. That afternoon, after closing the shop, my father suggested that we stroll along to the Els Quatre Gats, a café on Calle Montsió, where Barceló and his bibliophile knights of the round table gathered to discuss the finer points of decadent poets, dead languages, and neglected, moth-ridden masterpieces.Els Quatre Gats was just a five-minute walk from our house and one of my favorite haunts. My parents had met there in 1932, and I attributed my one-way ticket into this world in part to the old café's charms. Stone dragons guarded a lamplit façade anchored in shadows. Inside, voices seemed shaded by the echoes of other times. Accountants, dreamers, and would-be geniuses shared tables with the specters of Pablo Picasso, Isaac Albéniz, Federico García Lorca, and Salvador Dalí. There any poor devil could pass for a historical figure for the price of a small coffee."Sempere, old man," proclaimed Barceló when he saw my father come in. "Hail the prodigal son. To what do we owe the honor?""You owe the honor to my son, Daniel, Don Gustavo. He's just made a discovery.""Well, then, pray come and sit down with us, for we must celebrate this ephemeral event," he announced."Ephemeral?" I whispered to my father."Barceló can express himself only in frilly words," my father whispered back. "Don't say anything, or he'll get carried away."The lesser members of the coterie made room for us in their circle, and Barceló, who enjoyed flaunting his generosity in public, insisted on treating us."How old is the lad?" inquired Barceló, inspecting me out of the corner of his eye."Almost eleven," I announced.Barceló flashed a sly smile."In other words, ten. Don't add on any years, you rascal. Life will see to that without your help."A few of his chums grumbled in assent. Barceló signaled to a waiter of such remarkable decrepitude that he looked as if he should be declared a national landmark."A cognac for my friend Sempere, from the good bottle, and a cinnamon milk shake for the young one-he's a growing boy. Ah, and bring us some bits of ham, but spare us the delicacies you brought us earlier, eh? If we fancy rubber, we'll call for Pirelli tires."The waiter nodded and left, dragging his feet."I hate to bring up the subject," Barceló said, "but how can there be jobs? In this country nobody ever retires, not even after they're dead. Just look at El Cid. I tell you, we're a hopeless case."He sucked on his cold pipe, eyes already scanning the book in my hands. Despite his pretentious façade and his verbosity, Barceló could smell good prey the way a wolf scents blood."Let me see," he said, feigning disinterest. "What have we here?"I glanced at my father. He nodded approvingly. Without further ado, I handed Barceló the book. The bookseller greeted it with expert hands. His pianist's fingers quickly explored its texture, consistency, and condition. He located the page with the publication and printer's notices and studied it with Holmesian flair. The rest watched in silence, as if awaiting a miracle, or permission to breathe again."Carax. Interesting," he murmured in an inscrutable tone.I held out my hand to recover the book. Barceló arched his eyebrows but gave it back with an icy smile."Where did you find it, young man?""It's a secret," I answered, knowing that my father would be smiling to himself. Barceló frowned and looked at my father. "Sempere, my dearest old friend, because it's you and because of the high esteem I hold you in, and in honor of the long and profound friendship that unites us like brothers, let's call it at forty duros, end of story.""You'll have to discuss that with my son," my father pointed out. "The book is his."Barceló granted me a wolfish smile. "What do you say, laddie? Forty duros isn't bad for a first sale....Sempere, this boy of yours will make a name for himself in the business."The choir cheered his remark. Barceló gave me a triumphant look and pulled out his leather wallet. He ceremoniously counted out two hundred pesetas, which in those days was quite a fortune, and handed them to me. But I just shook my head. Barceló scowled."Dear boy, greed is most certainly an ugly, not to say mortal, sin. Be sensible. Call me crazy, but I'll raise that to sixty duros, and you can open a retirement fund. At your age you must start thinking of the future."I shook my head again. Barceló shot a poisonous look at my father through his monocle."Don't look at me," said my father. "I'm only here as an escort."Barceló sighed and peered at me closely."Let's see, junior. What is it you want?""What I want is to know who Julián Carax is and where I can find other books he's written."Barceló chuckled and pocketed his wallet, reconsidering his adversary."Goodness, a scholar. Sempere, what do you feed the boy?"The bookseller leaned toward me confidentially, and for a second I thought he betrayed a look of respect that had not been there a few moments earlier."We'll make a deal," he said. "Tomorrow, Sunday, in the afternoon, drop by the Ateneo library and ask for me. Bring your precious find with you so that I can examine it properly, and I'll tell you what I know about Julián Carax. Quid pro quo.""Quid pro what?""Latin, young man. There's no such thing as dead languages, only dormant minds. Paraphrasing, it means that you can't get something for nothing, but since I like you, I'm going to do you a favor."The man's oratory could kill flies in midair, but I suspected that if I wanted to find out anything about Julián Carax, I'd be well advised to stay on good terms with him. I proffered my most saintly smile in delight at his Latin outpourings."Remember, tomorrow, in the Ateneo," pronounced the bookseller. "But bring the book, or there's no deal.""Fine."Our conversation slowly merged into the murmuring of the other members of the coffee set. The discussion turned to some documents found in the basement of El Escorial that hinted at the possibility that Don Miguel de Cervantes had in fact been the nom de plume of a large, hairy lady of letters from Toledo. Barceló seemed distracted, not tempted to claim a share in the debate. He remained quiet, observing me from his fake monocle with a masked smile. Or perhaps he was only looking at the book I held in my hands.

Bookclub Guide

INTRODUCTIONThe 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 man he's never met. With the passion of García Márquez, the irony of Dickens, and the necromancy of Poe, Carlos Ruiz Zafón spins a web of intrigue so thick that it ensnares the reader from the very first line. The Shadow of the Wind is an ode to the art of reading, but it is also the perfect example of the all-encompassing power of a well-told story.At the first light of dawn in postwar Barcelona, a bookseller leads his motherless son to a mysterious crypt called the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. This labyrinthine sanctuary houses the books that have lost their owners, books that are no longer remembered by anyone. It is here that ten-year-old Daniel Sempere pulls a single book—The Shadow of the Wind—off of the dusty shelves to adopt as his own. With one fateful turn of a page, he begins an adventure that will unravel another man's tragedy and solve a mystery that has already taken many lives and will shape his entire future.When Daniel speaks with Gustavo Barceló, a local booktrader, to find out more about his new treasure, word begins to spread that he has uncovered a long-sought rarity, perhaps the only copy of any of Julián Carax's works in existence. Soon after, a mysterious stranger whom Daniel recognizes as Laín Coubert, the leather-masked, cigarette-smoking devil from Carax's novel, propositions Daniel, offering to buy the book from him for an astronomical price. Daniel refuses, in spite of the man's thinly veiled threats. With the help of his bookselling friends, Daniel discovers that Laín Coubert has cut a swath of destruction through two countries, methodically searching for and destroying all of Carax's books while erasing every trace of Carax's life. ABOUT CARLOS RUIZ ZAFONCarlos Ruiz Zafón, thirty-nine, grew up in Barcelona and currently lives in Los Angeles. The Shadow of the Wind spent more than a year on the Spanish bestseller list, much of it at number one, and has sold in more than twenty countries. A CONVERSATION WITH CARLOS RUIZ ZAFONQ. This is your sixth novel, and it has been sold in twenty countries and translated into several languages. What do you think accounts for its worldwide appeal? Do you find that readers here in the States respond differently from Spanish readers?I think it is all about the story, the characters, the pleasure of the language and of the imagination, the experience of the read. American readers respond to The Shadow of the Wind in the very same way as Italian, Spanish, Norwegian, Australian, French, British, or German readers do. The pleasure of reading a great story and to experience the characters' adventures is universal.Q. Daniel promises to show Bea a Barcelona that she's never seen. From the paintings of Joan Miro to the imaginative architecture of Antoni Gaudí, what is it about Barcelona that lends itself to fantasy? Do you believe, as Daniel says to Bea, that "the memory of this city will pursue you and you'll die of sadness"?Barcelona provides an enchanting, mysterious, and romantic setting for the story because many things about the place, its streets, its history, and its people are unique. It is also my hometown, a place I know like the palm of my hand, and I wanted to use this fantastic backdrop as an organic character, very much like the great novelists of the nineteenth century did in creating the London of Dickens, the Paris of Victor Hugo and Balzac, etc. Hopefully, after reading the novel the memory of Barcelona and the joy of the story will pursue the readers as well.Q. Daniel says, "Once, in my father's bookshop, I heard a regular customer say that few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart" (p. 8). What book was that for you? Are there any forgotten books you would like to rescue from obscurity?I would say than rather than just one book, for me what did the trick was the world of storytelling, of language, of ideas. All books, all stories, all words and ideas, all the possibilities of the mind—such an infinite universe of wonders is what did me in and I haven't looked back. And I would like to save all books, those that are banned, those that are burned, or forgotten with contempt by the mandarins who want to tell us what is good and what is bad. Every book has a soul, as Daniel's father says, and I believe every book is worth saving from either bigotry or oblivion.Q. Your work has been compared to Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo, and Umberto Eco. Comparisons could also be drawn between Shadow and the works of filmmaker Pedro Almodovar—the overt sexuality, the parents' sins visited on the children, the prismatic storytelling. Do you agree with any of these comparisons? Who, if anyone, do you consider your biggest influence?I think many direct and indirect influences go into each author's work. In my case I believe I incorporate many elements from many different traditions of storytelling, from the Victorian novelists to the metafictional literary games that remind some readers of The Name of the Rose, as well as other techniques that come from a cinematic approach. My ambition is to blend all of those storytelling tools to provide the reader with a more intense, more engaging, and ultimately deeper reading experience. The wider the author's arsenal of tools and the better technically equipped the storyteller is, the better the tale will be. I believe the craft is the most important element in any artist's work, and I try to learn from everything, to incorporate and develop as many techniques as I can into my own voice. I don't ask for credentials or classic status: from Dickens to Orson Welles, from Gothic fiction to Japanese anime. If it works, I'm in.Q. This book is obviously an ode to books and to the art of reading. You have Bea state that "the art of reading is slowly dying, that it's an intimate ritual, that a book is a mirror that only offers us what we already 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" (p. 484). Do you believe this to be true? Do you share Fermín's disdain for television?I believe it is in our hands. Now more than ever, I believe it is up to us to decide if we want to think by ourselves, or if we want to accept and submit to what others would rather have us believe. As for TV, well, I share many of Fermín's views. I'd say TV is a very powerful medium, which can be used, and sometimes it is used, to accomplish great things. Unfortunately, those are exceptions to the rule. But blaming TV as an abstract entity is nonsensical. It's our hand on the remote. There's a world out there outside the tube. Life's short: Wake up and live.Q. The Aldaya Mansion, the allegedly cursed Angel of the Mist, seems to be a character in its own right. It has a life of its own, creaking, moaning, and breathing fire in its belly. Where did you draw your inspiration for your novel's gothic centerpiece? Are you attracted to haunted houses, the supernatural, and other horror story trappings? Do you believe in curses?I don't believe in the supernatural, but I think it provides excellent material for literary purposes. Ghost stories are great tools to explore symbolic and atavistic elements in a narrative. Shakespeare, Dickens, and Henry James used ghosts and phantasmagoric trappings in order to add layers of meaning and effectiveness to their stories. At the end of the day, it is all fiction, poetry, and magic. Real curses, however, don't dwell in dark basements but in our hearts and conscience. We make our own moral choices, sometimes far spookier than any horror tale, and the terrors of this world are far too real and ordinary.Q. There are many casualties of love in your novel, not just the star-crossed love between Julián and Penélope, but also the love that makes Miquel Moliner and Nuria Monfort both lay down their lives for Julián. Why do you think we are fascinated with ill-fated tragedies of love?Because that's the stuff that thing called life is made of. Love, deception, tragedy, joy, passion, murder, jealousy, lust, fear, generosity, friendship, betrayal . . . Human nature provides the lyrics, and we novelists just compose the music.Q. Fermín once says of the cinema, "Between you and me, this business of the seventh art leaves me cold. As far as I can see, it's only a way of fueling the mindless and making them even more stupid. Worse than football or bullfights. The cinema began as an invention for entertaining the illiterate masses. Fifty years on it's much the same." Yet your narrative is cinematic in scope, its images lifelike and grand. You are also a screenwriter. Would you like to see your novel become a movie? If so, who would you have portraying the characters, and who would make the movie?I have no particular wish to see a film made of the novel. I don't believe everything has to become a movie, a video game, a TV show, a T-shirt, or a piece of merchandising as a matter of course or just because the almighty dollar says so. I believe nothing can tell a story, explore the universe of its characters and its many wonders with the depth, joy, and effectiveness of a novel if it is done right. This is a book for people who love to read, who love books and reading, and it will remain so. Nobody can make a better film of this novel than the one you'll start to see when you begin to read its first pages. Film is a very interesting narrative language, and I use many of its elements—techniques from the grammar of images—to enrich the construction of the novel, but it is just one more piece in a much bigger puzzle. The greatest multiplex in the universe is inside your mind, and the only ticket you need is a good, well-written novel.Q. To ask you a question you once asked author Christopher Fowler: The world ends next month and you've time to write one last book/story. What would it be about?You always write about yourself, know it or not, so I would just floor it to make the doomsday deadline and finish the novel I'm working on right now, which picks up this literary experiment of blending genres and traditions from where The Shadow of the Wind left it and takes it one, or two, steps further. DISCUSSION QUESTIONSJulián Carax's and Daniel's lives follow very similar trajectories. Yet one ends in tragedy, the other in happiness. What similarities are there between the paths they take? What are the differences that allow Daniel to avoid tragedy?Nuria Monfort tells Daniel, "Julián once wrote that coincidences are the scars of fate. There are no coincidences, Daniel. We are the puppets of our unconscious." What does that mean? What does she refer to in her own experience and in Julián's life?Nuria Monfort's dying words, meant for Julián, are, "There are worse prisons than words." What does she mean by this? What is she referring to?There are many devil figures in the story—Carax's Laín Coubert, Jacinta's Zacarias, Fermín's Fumero. How does evil manifest itself in each devil figure? What are the characteristics of the villains/devils?Discuss the title of the novel. What is "The Shadow of the Wind"? Where does Zafón refer to it and what does he use the image to illustrate?Zafón's female characters are often enigmatic, otherworldly angels full of power and mystery. Clara the blind white goddess ultimately becomes a fallen angel; Carax credits sweet Bea with saving his and Daniel's lives; Daniel's mother is actually an angel whose death renders her so ephemeral that Daniel can't even remember her face. Do you think Zafón paints his female characters differently than his male characters? What do the women represent in Daniel's life? What might the Freud loving Miquel Moliner say about Daniel's relationships with women?Daniel says of The Shadow of the Wind, "As it unfolded, the structure of the story began to remind me of one of those Russian dolls that contain innumerable ever-smaller dolls within" (p. 7). Zafón's The Shadow of the Wind unfolds much the same way, with many characters contributing fragments of their own stories in the first person point of view. What does Zafón illustrate with this method of storytelling? What do the individual mini-autobiographies contribute to the tale?The evil Fumero is the only son of a ridiculed father and a superficial, status-seeking mother. The troubled Julián is the bastard son of a love-starved musical mother and an amorous, amoral businessman, though he was raised by a cuckolded hatmaker. Do you think their personalities are products of nature or nurture? How are the sins of the fathers and mothers visited upon each of the characters?

Editorial Reviews

“ 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.”—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post"Gabriel Garcia Marquez meets Umberto Eco meets Jorge Luis Borges for a sprawling magic show." --The New York Times Book Review"Wonderous... masterful... The Shadow of the Wind is ultimately a love letter to literature, intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero." --Entertainment Weekly (Editor's Choice)"One gorgeous read." --Stephen King