‘The Shadow of the Wind is a stunning literary thriller in which the discovery of a forgotten book leads to a hunt for an elusive author who may or may not still be alive…
Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the ‘Cemetery of Lost Books’, a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out ‘The Shadow of the Wind’ by Julian Carax.
But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. Then, one night, as he is wandering the old streets once more, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from the book, a character who turns out to be the devil. This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax’s work in order to burn them. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind…’
I was recommended this book by a friend who has read this book, and its follow up books, many times.
When I first started reading this, I thought that it was going to be a fantasy novel. It’s not, but this book is a lot more than that.
Firstly, I thought that the writing was fantastic. This novel was originally written in Spanish, but the English version I read was very well translated. It was poetic and beautiful. This story is a brilliant mixture of suspense, humour and intrigue, which has vivid, almost noir depictions of Barcelona which I loved.
I loved how the plot weaved, twisted and turned and still remained understandable. Occasionally the plot slowed a little, but actually, I liked that, because it meant that you could really take in the atmosphere, the writer was creating. In fact, I slowed down whilst reading this, so that it wouldn’t end.
I thought that the characters in this novel were believable and extremely well crafted. Even though Daniel is the main protagonist in this novel, for me Fermin, was better. I loved his humour and, even though he is a homeless person, he was still portrayed as incredibly intelligent.
I’ve read a lot of books in my time, but by far, I think this is the best book I’ve ever read. I think this is going to be a book that I’ll read again and again. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the novels in this series.
My Rating *****