The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Cover ImageFinished 12-5-10, rating 5/5, fiction, pub. 2001

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….When a library disappears, or a bookshop closes down, when a book is consigned to oblivion, those of us who know this place, its guardians, make sure that it gets here.  In this place, books no longer remembered by anyone, books that are lost in time, live forever, waiting for the day when they will reach a new reader’s hands.  In the shop we buy and sell them, but in truth books have no owner.  Every book you see here has been somebody’s best friend.  Now they have only us, Daniel.  Do you think you’ll be able to keep such a secret?”

The Cemetery of Forgotten Books

This is a book for book lovers just in case you couldn’t tell from the passage above.  And the above is pretty much why I haven’t bought an e-reader, but on to the story.  In 1945, Daniel is just a boy when his father takes him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books hidden in the back streets of Barcelona and when his obsession with the mysterious author, Julian Carax begins.  Daniel chose The Shadow of Wind to take home and he soon began to search out other Carax titles.  Only there weren’t any.  Someone had been destroying them all one by one.  Daniel was sixteen when he began to search out the books in earnest and he was aided in his quest by the cagey and charming Fermin.

I couldn’t help but fall in love with Daniel and Fermin and I was drawn into the mess they got themselves into when they started asking questions about Carax.  Why were so many people trying to keep the truth hidden?  And who were the good guys?  The characters they meet along the way heightened the suspense and I loved them all (well, I loved their addition to the story!).

It takes a lot to keep my attention these days.  Trying to find a balance between me for 39 years and mother of an infant me is trickier than I thought.  I have the attention span of a gnat these days, but this book kept me reading every spare moment I had, even if it was only a few minutes at a time.  I loved the drama, the mystery, the love, the Spanish setting, the wide cast of characters, and the love and respect of books shown in the story.  This book has a little bit of everything and I loved it.  Since I’m rating this a 5 it is obviously one of my favorites this year!

This was from my personal library and chosen by Vasilly and Alessandra.  Here’s what they had to say…

“Set in Barcelona in the 1950s, a masterpiece about the love for books.”  Alessandra

“You want to dig deeper into the book as you read.”  Vasilly

20 thoughts on “The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

  1. Heather says:

    This was my favorite of last year! It was a beautiful and intriguing story. I’m so glad you loved it as much as I did! I’ve been wanting to get to the next book Angel’s Game…any plans on reading that this next year?

    • stacybuckeye says:

      That’s too bad. I waited so long to read it that I had forgotten about the reviews altogether which is how I like to do it 🙂

  2. Jenners says:

    I need to read this if it kept you so enraptured. I’ve been meaning to try this author and this seems like the perfect place to start.

    And it is hard to find a balance as a new mom, isn’t it? It comes in time. One word of advice is to try to keep your blog going no matter how hard it gets; for me, it was a life-saver and helped me to keep my own identity and some kind of “social” life.

  3. VioletCrush says:

    I’ve read so many good reviews of this book but never really wanted to read it. You’ve made me want to go to the library and pick it up right away.

    Nice passage at the beginning.

  4. Bumble says:

    I could have sworn this book was already on my list – I know I’ve read that passage before in the book blogosphere somewhere. But it was not on the list! Thanks for suggesting it – sounds wonderful. New Mom Tested even!

  5. jennygirl says:

    Books long to be held and cherished and their pages moved, that’s why I don’t get an ereader. Just like you. Excellent review and I will def add this to my tbr. Thanks Stacy.

  6. Adam says:

    I also loved this book. Fermin was an absolutely wonderful character and had some of the best one-liners in any book I’ve ever read. The Angel’s Game was also a wonderful story and was very well written just as this book was. I love the idea of The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, and Zafon has said that he plans on writing 4 books revolving around that idea in the same general time frame, with this and The Angel’s Game being the first two.

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