Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Shadow of the Wind - Book Review

I took a little unplanned hiatus from the blog (and pretty much everything else) last week. I got a cold that mutated into a sinus infection. Lovely. Really lovely. Anyway, thanks to dear Utah Dad, I spent Thursday and Friday in bed. I was too sick to read. Seriously! Hard to believe, I know. The really sad thing was that I was right in the middle of a very exciting and mysterious book.

My former co-worker and friend recommended The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and I ordered it immediately. Then it sat on my shelf. You already know this story. But, remember I declared September "Read What You Want Month" just for this book.

The Shadow of the Wind is a dark, richly layered mystery that speaks right to the heart of the book lover. Daniel's father, the owner of a Barcelona book store, takes him one night to a mystical and secret place known as the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Allowed to choose any book as his own to protect and keep, Daniel chooses The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax. Entranced by his new book, Daniel sets out to find other works by Carax only to discover that the books are being destroyed. The copy Daniel has may be the last Carax book that exists. As Daniel uncovers the mystery surrounded the author Julian Carax, he puts himself and his friends in danger but also reveals the direction of his own life.

Provocative and dangerous, Zafon writes a fascinating and glorious mystery. Daniel is surrounded by unique and perplexing characters--broken, brutal and haunted. Using just enough foreshadowing of peril and threat to keep the reader absolutely intrigued, the writer is taken deep into the shadows of a city struggling to return to it's pre-war grandeur. The city of Barcelona makes a fabulous Gothic setting and very nearly becomes a character in it's own right.

Zafon is a brilliant story teller. I can't wait to read his other novels.


Megan said...

oh, I'm so glad you read it and especially glad that you liked it! I have at least one of his other books, but I'm saving it as a treat for myself. I do that with authors like this, the ones that really pull me in and convince me that they love and care about their own characters. I think of this as a magical book.

anna said...

I read The Angel's Game by Zafon and loved it. I will have to pick this one up.