Thursday, February 17, 2011

Review - Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Title: Shadow of the Wind (Amazon)
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Publisher: Penguin Books
Release Date: 2005
Pages: 486
Genre: Fiction 

Barcelona, 1945—Just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes one day to find that he can no longer remember his mother’s face. To console his only child, Daniel’s widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona’s guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again.

Daniel’s father coaxes him to choose a book from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the book he selects, a novel called
The Shadow of the Wind by one Julian Carax, that he sets out to find the rest of Carax’s work. To his shock, he discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written. In fact, he may have the last of Carax’s books in existence.

Before Daniel knows it, his seemingly innocent quest has opened a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets, an epic story of murder, magic, madness, and doomed love, and before long he realizes that if he doesn’t find out the truth about Julian Carax, he and those closest to him will suffer horribly.

Kim’s take – It is no wonder that this book was a New York Times Bestseller. It is amazing. I didn’t want it to end! This book had everything. Suspense, mystery, love, intrigue, tragedy, and humor. When 10-year-old Daniel begins to fear he is forgetting the image of his deceased mother, his father, who owns a bookstore, takes Daniel to the mysterious Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Daniel chooses a book called Shadow of the Wind and becomes intent on reading other novels by the mysterious author. In his search, Daniel becomes caught up in a web of deceit and mystery that only grows the more he learns. Aided by a humorous homeless man he befriends, the two scour Barcelona in search of the reason the author’s books are being destroyed. All the while, the two are being stalked by those who wish to destroy all traces of the author books and the author himself. The story was so mysterious and suspenseful I could not even guess what was coming next. It was everything that a good suspenseful mystery should be. I highly recommend it.

Kim’s Rating – 5/5


  1. This book felt like an old 1930s or 1940s movie. Epic. It took me awhile to really get into it, but once I did, I was completely engrossed. I especially loved Fermin - he was always funny yet his story was so tragic.

  2. Oooo I can't WAIT to read Shadow of the Wind. I have a copy, but it's just been sitting on the shelf for awhile.