[Wonderful Wednesdays & Review] The Shadow of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Welcome to edition two of Wonderful Wednesdays!
Wonderful Wednesdays is a meme about spotlighting and recommending some of our most loved books, even if we haven't read them recently.  Each week will have a different theme or genre of book to focus on.

This week's theme is novels set in another country.
A while ago, I talked about my intention to do occasional reviews of books  I have read in the past (read post here). And as expected, I have not started on that yet! Thanks Sam @ Tiny Library, host of this wonderful weekly meme for the motivation!

When I found out this week’s theme, I was immediately reminded of one of my favorite novels which I read sometime in 2008, The Shadow of The Wind. The story is set in Barcelona, Spain.

Title: The Shadow of the Wind, originally in Spanish: La Sombra del Viento
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón, translated by: Lucia Graves
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction
Subject: Out-of-print books, Barcelona (Spain), Antiquarian Booksellers, Crime
Page: 486 pages
First Published: 2004

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 La Sombra del Viento 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 La Sombra del Viento, 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. A page-turning exploration of obsession in literature and love, and the places that obsession can lead. (Source)

One day, impulsively, I decided to buy a book. So I went to Borders without any research or having any book in my mind. I spent a good one hour (or maybe more) going through every book on the Fiction shelf ordered alphabetically according to the author’s name. But not one book struck me as interesting at that time and while I was on the verge of giving up, I came across this book in the ‘Z’ section. I guess what caught my attention was:
  1. The book cover – It was so dull!
  2. The title – It had a sentimental feeling about it
  3. And ultimately, the synopsis – I mean, who doesn’t love books about books, right?  Combined with the dark mystery element … I was so intrigued by then, I went straight to the cashier!
True enough, the book did not disappoint me at all. From the very first page, the story completely "stole my heart, my breath, and my sleep". As I was immersed in the plot of the story, I was filled with envy and amazement with the way the author (and of course, the commendable translator) crafted the words so very beautifully. It is a mystery story but most of all, it is a story about the passion for literature and love.

I fell in love with the city of Barcelona and how I wish the Cemetery of Forgotten Books really exist!


Trish said…
Oohh that does sound like a fabulous book! I may have to add that to my tbr list.
Sounds like a great book. And I love how you ending up choosing it!
Sounds like a great book. And I love how you ended up choosing it!
I studied Spanish at school and have always wanted to visit Barcelona. I own a copy of this book but haven't yet read it. I was worried it might not be as good as I hope it will be, but I think I'll give it a go now.
marmalade said…
i looked up for it because jeffrey archer was reading it at that time. he said it was beautifully written.

true enough. i couldn't put the book down. it was dark and mysterious; a little abstract and written in such an artistic way. though i believe zafon did a tremendous job, but i think half of the credit should also be given to the translator (because the book was originally written in spanish).

i am trying now to read another zafon's book but it wasn't as intrigued as the shadow of the wind. because i am still at page 23, and it has been weeks since i first started reading it.
Trish and Sam: I cherish this book. I think you will not be disappointed.

Susan: It was a tiring looking at every title from A-Z but totally worth it!

Marmalade: I have read The Angel's Game. I enjoyed it as well but not as good as The Shadow of The Wind.
I absolutely LOVED this book. One, because of the story about books...Two, because of the mystery..and Three, the writing.... so beautifully written and so many wonderful quotes from it. It is one of my three most favorite of all times.
Kat @ A Journey in Reading: I think any booklovers would have enjoyed a story about books.. I love many wonderful quotes from it that my copy of the books bears many dog-eared pages so that I can refer to them in the future!