Monday, February 28, 2011

8. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Set in Barcelona shortly after WWII, this book is the story of the young son of a bookseller who becomes obsessed with a book called The Shadow of the Wind written by Julian Carax.  Daniel wants to learn more about the author and only finds more mystery and intrigue as he grows older and more involved with the intrigue surrounding Carax.  This review by Stephen King sums it up, "If you thought the true gothic novel died with the nineteenth century, this will change your mind.  The Shadow of the Wind is the real deal, a novel full of cheesy splendor and creaking trapdoors, a novel where even the subplots have subplots . . . This is one gorgeous read."   I have to admit this book was a little too dark for my tastes, but there came a point when I really did become caught up in the story, where all the subplots started to come together.  I think my daughter, Cassie, would really like it.  Zafon does write beautifully and I've included some wonderful quotes about books:

"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."

"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 read, how many worlds we discover, or how much we learn or forget--we will return."

Really beautiful writing but the story was a little too disturbing.  I did like the ending, I liked the story of Daniel and Bea, Fermin and Bernarda, but overall, just a so-so read for me.  Rating:  3.5

1 comment:

  1. One of these days I am going to read this book!!