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The Shadow of the Wind

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The international literary sensation, about a boy's quest through the secrets and shadows of postwar Barcelona for a mysterious author whose book has proved as dangerous to own as it is impossible to forget. Barcelona, 1945 - just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his eleventh birthday to find that he can The international literary sensation, about a boy's quest through the secrets and shadows of postwar Barcelona for a mysterious author whose book has proved as dangerous to own as it is impossible to forget. Barcelona, 1945 - just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his eleventh birthday 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 volume from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the novel he selects, 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 one 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. As with all astounding novels, The Shadow of the Wind sends the mind groping for comparisons—The Crimson Petal and the White? The novels of Arturo Pérez-Reverte? Of Victor Hugo? Love in the Time of Cholera?—but in the end, as with all astounding novels, no comparison can suffice. As one leading Spanish reviewer wrote, "The originality of Ruiz Zafón’s voice is bombproof and displays a diabolical talent. The Shadow of the Wind announces a phenomenon in Spanish literature." An uncannily absorbing historical mystery, a heart-piercing romance, and a moving homage to the mystical power of books, The Shadow of the Wind is a triumph of the storyteller’s art.


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The international literary sensation, about a boy's quest through the secrets and shadows of postwar Barcelona for a mysterious author whose book has proved as dangerous to own as it is impossible to forget. Barcelona, 1945 - just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his eleventh birthday to find that he can The international literary sensation, about a boy's quest through the secrets and shadows of postwar Barcelona for a mysterious author whose book has proved as dangerous to own as it is impossible to forget. Barcelona, 1945 - just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his eleventh birthday 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 volume from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the novel he selects, 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 one 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. As with all astounding novels, The Shadow of the Wind sends the mind groping for comparisons—The Crimson Petal and the White? The novels of Arturo Pérez-Reverte? Of Victor Hugo? Love in the Time of Cholera?—but in the end, as with all astounding novels, no comparison can suffice. As one leading Spanish reviewer wrote, "The originality of Ruiz Zafón’s voice is bombproof and displays a diabolical talent. The Shadow of the Wind announces a phenomenon in Spanish literature." An uncannily absorbing historical mystery, a heart-piercing romance, and a moving homage to the mystical power of books, The Shadow of the Wind is a triumph of the storyteller’s art.

30 review for The Shadow of the Wind

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    There's probably nothing much I "learned" in the introspective sense, but this is a novel like a novel ought to be. This is an epic film on paper, gloomy and engaging, smokey, noir with crumbling ruins, young love, disfigurment, lust, torture...the stuff of Dumas, DuMauier and, as of late, The Historian. I woke up at five a.m. and had to sweet talk myself back to sleep: all I wanted to do was read. One Friday, after work, I took sanctuary in The Hotel Biron, those little tables in the dark, page There's probably nothing much I "learned" in the introspective sense, but this is a novel like a novel ought to be. This is an epic film on paper, gloomy and engaging, smokey, noir with crumbling ruins, young love, disfigurment, lust, torture...the stuff of Dumas, DuMauier and, as of late, The Historian. I woke up at five a.m. and had to sweet talk myself back to sleep: all I wanted to do was read. One Friday, after work, I took sanctuary in The Hotel Biron, those little tables in the dark, pages flickering with candles and drank a glass of wine in solitude, completely enthralled in the world of 1940's Barcelona. I walked home from the train at night and found myself saying the characters names beneath my umbrella, hoping no one would hear me talking to myself, but they were, quite simply, too beautiful to ignore: Julian Carax, Daniel Semepere, Beatriz...Tomas, Penelope Aldaya and Nuria Monfort. In a movie this would be too many people, but for this novel they were perfectly seamed, each point of view more entralling and taxing than the one before. Most refreshing, clearly the author wasn't poisoned with the desire to simply keep the reader in the dark: instead this story, with attention, was something you could figure out--because that's the way life is. The mystery itself isn't supposed to shock you intensely into thinking a book is good, that's a dirty trick. Instead, the STORY carried you. You cared about the story and it was a tragity and mystery all the same, simply because you were invested in these people and what became of them. To know them so intimately from childhood to adulthood and old age, to know them through various degrees of point of view seperation--to hear there is no Penelope, and then to know she is a sister, a love, but to some non-existant...well, it's gothic literature at it's very best. With a book like this I am almost, ALMOST tempted to give up my most pedantic and pretentious thoughts, paralells and character development--this story is a story and it's just that good. It is the Phantom of the Opera, those dark tunnels and pressure points, a lake with candles or drawing rooms with no fire in the grate and crazy wives being stored in attics over head. This is, quite literally a timeless tale, and yes, reading it will make you smarter, more interested, more cultured (the back of the book includes a walking tour of Barcelona. I missed Barcelona but I am quite determined to go now, with my copy of A Shadow of the Wind in hand, just like wanting desperately to visit Eastern Europe after I finished The Historian and see it all), but more importantly real life simply fades to black as you become completely, totally and fantastically helpless and wrapped up in the lives of others. While there are fun hybrids--Crash Topics in Calamity Physics, for one, which combine a courses, authors, quotes and plot lines from a thousand famous novels, this book really makes that unnecessary. This is a classic without any help, no cheat cheats necessary. Read it. Read it. Read it. **I write on books and other stuff at www.snapshotnarrative.tumblr.com

  2. 4 out of 5

    Annalisa

    I read the opening few pages and instantly knew 3 things: 1. I was going to love this book. 2. I needed a whole pad of post-its to mark quotes. 3. I wanted to read this in Spanish for the rich poetry the language would add. A young boy Daniel is taken by his father to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and told to salvage a book which he must take stewardship over. He choses a novel—or maybe it chose him—that touches him, stirs his desire for literature, and forever entangles him with the fate of the b I read the opening few pages and instantly knew 3 things: 1. I was going to love this book. 2. I needed a whole pad of post-its to mark quotes. 3. I wanted to read this in Spanish for the rich poetry the language would add. A young boy Daniel is taken by his father to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and told to salvage a book which he must take stewardship over. He choses a novel—or maybe it chose him—that touches him, stirs his desire for literature, and forever entangles him with the fate of the book and its author. The strange author died in poverty but now someone is seeking out all remaining copies of his unsuccessful novels to burn. Daniel embarks on a mission to solve the mystery of the author's story being watched by a revengeful cop and the book burner himself. As the story twists and slowly unravels he doesn't know whose account to trust or how it will affect his life. Wrapped up in the mystery is a message of death: do we live a full life or wander through it numb? The Shadow of the Wind is an allegory for death in a fictitious novel by the same title. Shadow is a perfect symbol for death evoking images of how death can be metaphorical instead of literal—living shadows of lives, chasing shadows of dreams, being shadows of others, letting memories shadow life. Every character had shadows which could engulf them or they could overcome. In this sense death becomes a fate we chose ourselves. For death is not always the worst thing that can happen ("words are not always the worst prison"). Every time the word shadow was used I considered its illusion of death. It was with much thought that the word was scattered throughout the book. Spoilers Just as the fictitious novel was an echo of the book and Julian's life, I loved watching Daniel's life parallel Julian's. Both grew up poor without an ideal family life, fell in love with a rich girl who was the adoration of her father and whose brother was a best friend, evoked murderous anger from her father after impregnating her, and when they have a brush with death, extremes of hate and love anchored their fight to survive. As Julian's story unfolds, Daniel unwittingly finds himself in the exact same point of their duel destiny. Once Daniel is aware of the correlation, the comparison stops. Is it because Daniel consciously chooses to chance his path or has fate dealt him a better hand? Julian wrote "There are no coincidences. We are the puppets of our subconscious desires." But while the message is clear that we chose our own fate, it seems there was no fate but failure for Julian. The sad thing is I believed Julian's love for Penelope as it grew in obsession more than Daniel's love for Beatriz which seemed a happy chance of lust. Themes of devils and angels are prevalent as characters save and ruin each others' lives. Clara is a physical angel who is blind while Fumero an emotional devil blinded by hate. While women tended to be described as angel and men devil, most characters held both in different shades. Take Julian the angel child bringing life (love, novels) who turned into the devil Lain Coubert bringing death (destruction, fear). But the characters pick whether to accept the destiny allotted them. Fermin was living death in the shadows of the street who had to get over his demons to find life worth living. The shadows for Nuria, Julian, Fortuny, even Fumero didn't have to give them a reason to quit living. They chose shadows. The book reminded me of The 13th Tale thematically, linguistically, and in delivery, although I loved this book so much more. The way the mystery unfolds finding tidbits from different perspectives enhanced the mystery and aided the depth of characterization. When I can see the vicious wife beater, deceived husband, and regretful father all in Antonio Fortuny I get a more well rounded sense of his motives. I enjoyed how the characters played different roles for each other. I love Barcelona as the setting. If you've been to the artistically enchanting city, you know it's the perfect backdrop to this eloquently enchanting tale with a gothic feel. The Spanish have a way of making all things metaphorically beautiful. The vivid romantic passages had me smiling and at times laughing out loud. I highly enjoyed the writing and it wasn't until two-thirds of the way into the book that the story finally stole my complete attention. Julian was my initial guess and while the story kept me questioning, it was the best solution and I was happy with the conclusion. But no novel is perfect; my issues are these: 1. The readymade quotes are extreme. Zafon salvages this by calling himself out on the commentary. He sets the comments up in dialogue and then uses another character to mock the snippets. 2. Perspective, particularly in Nuria's letter, is off. How could she know what Miquel looked at when dying? The chapters of her letters change from direct commentary to Daniel to third-party narrative. Elsewhere in the novel Daniel summarizes conversations in italics but I wondered from whence the interruption of her narrative with Fumero's story came. 3. I always hope historical fiction will showcase a more accurate moral setting, but it rarely happens. While I believed the sex about Zafon's characters, done in secret and with fathers chasing down the culprits, how could they find out they were pregnant the next day? I was also disappointed that all marriages were displayed as wrong and wives disregarded. Oh well. I guess it added to the Spanish flavor of the book. 4. American authors tend to impose unrealistic happy endings while Europeans favor poignant sad ones. At one point it seemed bad things happened to Julian for nothing else than this love of tragedies. It seemed Zafon was going to ruin the characters lives to make a point. But he makes his point with Julian and leaves Daniel to gives us a satisfied ending. A story about the living dead cannot be all bliss but we still find redemption as the characters step out of the shadows and live their lives. Quotes: Few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart. I believed, with the innocence of those who can still count their age on their fingers, that if I closed my eyes and spoke to her, she would be able to hear me wherever I was. A secret's worth depends on the people form whom it must be kept. Women have an infallible instinct for knowing when a man has fallen madly in love with them, especially when the male in question is both a complete dunce and a minor. Death was like a nameless and incomprehensible hand...like a hellish lottery ticket. But I couldn't absorb the idea that death could actually walk by my side, with a human face and a heart that was poisoned with hatred. The eternal stupidity of pursuing those who hurt us the most. Paris is the only city in the world where starving to death is still considered an art. Arrogant as only idiots can be. I felt myself surrounded by millions of abandoned pages, by worlds and souls without an owner sinking in an ocean of darkness, while the world that throbbed outside the library seemed to be losing its memory. Presents are made for the pleasure of who gives them, not for the merits of who receives them. Television...is the Antichrist...our world will not die as a result of the bomb...it will die of laughter, of banality, of making a joke of everything. I realized how easily you can lose all animosity toward someone you've deemed your enemy as soon as that person stops behaving as such. People talk too much. Humans aren't descended from monkeys. They come for parrots. God, in His infinite wisdom, and perhaps overwhelmed by the avalanche of requests from so many tormented souls, did not answer. Silencing their hearts and their souls to the point where...they forgot the words with which to express their real feelings. People are evil. Not evil, moronic, which isn't quite the same thing. Evil presupposes a moral decision. The words with which a child's heart is poisoned, through malice or through ignorance, remain branded in his memory, and sooner or later they burn his soul. Marriage and family are only what we make of them. Sometimes what matters isn't what one gives but what one gives up. Destiny is usually just around the corner. But what destiny does not do home visits. You have to go for it. Just an innocent boy who thought he had conquered the world in an hour but didn't yet realize that he could lose it again in an instant. Keep your dreams. You never know when you might need them. Fools talk, cowards are silent, wise men listen. Waiting is the rust of the soul. Sometimes we think people are like lottery tickets, that they're there to make our most absurd dreams come true. While you're working you don't have to look life in the eye. Most of us have the good or bad fortune of seeing our livs fall apart so slowly we barely notice. Time goes faster the more hollow it is. I learned to confuse routine with normality. The world war, which had polluted the entire globe with a stench of corpses that would never go away. The clear, unequivocal lucidity of madmen who have escaped the hypocrisy of having to abide by a reality that makes no sense. A story is a letter the author writes to himself to tell himself things he would be unable to discover otherwise. The art of reading is slowly dying, that it's an intimate ritual, that a book is a mirror that offers us only what we carry inside us, that when we read, we do it with all our heart and mind, and great readers are becoming more scarce by the day. [speaking of television:] The novel is dead and buried...there'll be no more need for books, or churches, or anything.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tanja (Tanychy) St. Delphi/James

    The fact is that I’ll never be able to write a real review for this book. Here is why : 1. I’m not good enough. I’m not now and I’ll never be. It doesn’t matter how many books you have read or how smart you are, you’ll never be good enough for that. You won’t be able to find exact words and it’s not just you. Only person who can is the author himself, but I think he already said everything he wanted. Don’t believe me? - “Books are mirrors - you only see in them what you already have inside you.” The fact is that I’ll never be able to write a real review for this book. Here is why : 1. I’m not good enough. I’m not now and I’ll never be. It doesn’t matter how many books you have read or how smart you are, you’ll never be good enough for that. You won’t be able to find exact words and it’s not just you. Only person who can is the author himself, but I think he already said everything he wanted. Don’t believe me? - “Books are mirrors - you only see in them what you already have inside you.” - “The moment you stop to think about whether you love someone, you've already stopped loving that person forever.” - “A story is a letter that the author writes to himself, to tell himself things that he would be unable to discover otherwise.” - “There are few reasons for telling the truth, but for lying the number is infinite.” - “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.” Do you now? 2. It’s impossible. I’ll try to describe it. It’s not the same feeling but the result is. You know that moment, or better said that feeling, when you see someone who means a lot to you and you have that beautiful feeling inside of you. Now try to describe it. You can’t? I know. 3. And last but not least.... Please allow me to quote the author: “Once, in my father's bookshop, I heard a regular customer say that 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.” And this is mine.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Teo

    After reading The Shadow of the Wind, I was left with somewhat mixed feelings. On the one hand, this is such a beautifully written book, and is in essence an ode to literature. On the other hand, there are some serious flaws which distracts from the whole experience. The best thing about the book, in my opinion, is Zafon's skill in artistic writing. It reminds me of why I love to read in the first place, and makes me wish I could write as beautiful as this. The book contains lots of memorable qu After reading The Shadow of the Wind, I was left with somewhat mixed feelings. On the one hand, this is such a beautifully written book, and is in essence an ode to literature. On the other hand, there are some serious flaws which distracts from the whole experience. The best thing about the book, in my opinion, is Zafon's skill in artistic writing. It reminds me of why I love to read in the first place, and makes me wish I could write as beautiful as this. The book contains lots of memorable quotes as well, definitely a good thing as far as I'm concerned. So after about 50 pages in, I was ready to love this book as I seldom loved another book before. But as the story progressed, that resolution started to diminish slowly but surely. Ironically, one the more obvious flaws is Zafon's overuse of stylistic writing. It seems like everyone acts or talks in a very elaborate manner, even in the simplest of situations, and this can really become tiresome after a while. The plot also isn't as ingenious as the hype would make you believe. Zafon does a good job creating a sense of mystery early on, and there are obvious parallels between the main character Daniel Sempere, and Julian Carax, the writer whose past he is trying to uncover. But ultimately, the stories of Daniel and Julian are seperate ones, and they just happen to interconnect with one another more by chance than by design. By far the most troublesome flaw is the way the mysteries are "resolved". All too often, answers are given by having some side character or another tell his or her story for pages. Nowhere is this more evident than at the end of the book, where literally every single detail is revealed in the form of a (very) long letter, even details which the writer of the letter never could have known, since she wasn't even involved in those events. It's as if Zafon did not have a clue or the motivation to write a logical conclusion, and decided to just dump all the information in one place. With a bit more attention to actual plot and character development, this could have been one of my favourite books. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed reading the Shadow of the Wind. It's just a shame that it falls some way short of its potential.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nayra.Hassan

    :نعم ..ثمة سجون أسوأ من الكلمات سجون الذكريات. .صقيع الفشل عندما تقفز الشخصيات الخيالية خارج صفحات الكتب..لتصحح مفاهيمك و تنغص حياتك و تفتح عينيك قسرا ا"الكتابة ليست سوي مرآة نرى فيها ما نمتلكه في دواخلنا..و القراءة تحتم علينا إعمال القلب و العقل معا وهما عملتان نادرتان الآن! ا جذبتني ؛منذ ان قرأت الريفيو الانجليزي لمحمد عربي عنها..و رايت ذلك الرسم القاتم الغامض لاب و ابنه: ينطلقان في ظل ريح عاتية الى..مقبرة الكتب المنسية.. يا له من اسم غامض موحي!!..و مقبض ايضا لكل محبي الكتب..و مع رواية ملعونة و :نعم ..ثمة سجون أسوأ من الكلمات سجون الذكريات. .صقيع الفشل عندما تقفز الشخصيات الخيالية خارج صفحات الكتب..لتصحح مفاهيمك و تنغص حياتك و تفتح عينيك قسرا ا"الكتابة ليست سوي مرآة نرى فيها ما نمتلكه في دواخلنا..و القراءة تحتم علينا إعمال القلب و العقل معا وهما عملتان نادرتان الآن! ا جذبتني ؛منذ ان قرأت الريفيو الانجليزي لمحمد عربي عنها..و رايت ذلك الرسم القاتم الغامض لاب و ابنه: ينطلقان في ظل ريح عاتية الى..مقبرة الكتب المنسية.. يا له من اسم غامض موحي!!..و مقبض ايضا لكل محبي الكتب..و مع رواية ملعونة و قلم أثري ..تبدأ رحلتنا✒ ا"السرد هو رسالة يكتبها المؤلف ليعري روحه"ولقد تساءلت كثيرا لماذا حققت "ظل الريح "كل هذه الشعبية منذ ترجمتها؟؟ الإجابة ببساطة لانها رواية تتكلم بمفردات عالمنا نحن :مدمني القراءة ابطالها:صاحب مكتبة و ابنه. .كاتب و ملهمته.. .سكرتيرة بدار نشر و مترجم و صحفي..أصحاب دور نشر مقتني و تاجر للكتب النادرة..منقب عن الكتب ..و حارس لمقبرة الكتب المنسية( أحسست انها مثل هوجوارتس. .لا يراها الا من يستحق )ا إنهم المجتمع الصانع لسعادتنا ..ببساطة ✏ و من الثلاثينات و حتى الخمسينات نغرق في تفاصيل حياتهم الصعبة ببرشلونة في إطار أسوأ حرب أهلية و نتساءل لماذا تجبرنا الحياة على اتخاذ قرارات مصيرية كبري في سن 18 ؟!؟ لماذا نختار مهنتنا و ازواجنا و شكل حياتنا في سن الانفجارات الهرمونية الكبرى؟؟ لماذا نحاسب طوال العمر على أخطاء الاخرين؟ و تكون النتيجة الحتمية :جملة المؤلف الغامض خوليان كاراكاس الخالدة"لا استحق اي شيء و كفى "ا أسئلة ستجددها في عقلك تلك الرواية الشبيهة بالوردة الجوريية الفاخرة 🌹..بطبقات مخملية متداخلة من الأوراق .. الرومانسية احتلت من احداثها مثلما تحتل من الحياة..ساعات قليلة ينتج عنها آلام طويلة♥ا هي عدة روايات متداخلة...ناقشت أوجاع النضج..آلام الهروب..صقيع الوحدة ..اهانة الضرب و الجوع و سجن الذكريات توحدت مع دانييل. و فشلت مع خوليان. .و لكن ميجيل هو من اختطف قلبي ..و رأيت نفسي في الأب سيمبري..و باستثناء نوريا الشخصيات النسائية ثانوية النجمة الناقصة لتجاوزات الحادية الطابع لن أستطيع تجاهلها..و ان كنت اعتدت عليها بكل اسف في كتابات الأوروبيين "فليهديهم الله تعالى بقدرته "ترجمة رائعة للتونسي معاوية عبد المجيد و تركنا دانييل و اسرته في الجزء الثاني: لعبة الملاك و انطلقنا خلف كاتب اخر هو ديفيد مارتين ...لذا موعدي القادم مع دانييل في في الجزء الثالث: The prisoner of heaven

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rinda Elwakil

    لم يحبنا العالم و لم يسعنا، ووسعتنا أرفف مكتباتنا و حيز غرفنا الضيقة. تنبيه: هذه رواية لا تُقرأ علي عجل، و لا في فواصل بين أعمال مهمة ستسرقك و لن تفلتك، ستفرغ منها و لن تفرغ منك.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Maxwell

    Fourth reading: May 7-17, 2017 Of course I love this book soooo much. It's my all-time favorite. This is the 4th year in a row I've read it, and it never gets old. If you haven't already read this at my suggestion, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! Third reading: May 14-21, 2016 Second reading: May 23-25, 2015- Okay, I can confidently say, upon re-reading this, that it is one of my all-time favorite books. It was just as surprising and enchanting and delightful as the first time I read it, if not more so. Fourth reading: May 7-17, 2017 Of course I love this book soooo much. It's my all-time favorite. This is the 4th year in a row I've read it, and it never gets old. If you haven't already read this at my suggestion, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! Third reading: May 14-21, 2016 Second reading: May 23-25, 2015- Okay, I can confidently say, upon re-reading this, that it is one of my all-time favorite books. It was just as surprising and enchanting and delightful as the first time I read it, if not more so. The writing is impeccable. The weaving together of so many storylines and characters is remarkable. I can't gush enough about this book, so I will just say EVERYONE GO READ THIS NOW PLEASE. You won't regret it. First read: May 12-17, 2014- Everything about this novel was captivating. The story follows Daniel, a young boy, whose father is a bookseller. He is taken to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and allowed to pick out one book that he is expected to 'save' or, in a sense, remember throughout his life. He picks a novel by Julian Carax titled "The Shadow of the Wind," and is immediately sucked into the story. From there, the novel follows Daniel as he begins to learn more about the illusive author, Julian Carax, and about the web of lies and intrigue that he gets trapped in. The writing is absolutely gorgeous. The book is full of incredible quotes, wonderful, beautifully strung out sentences. I never underline in books. This book, however, required a pencil at the ready at all times, because I couldn't pass up underlining some amazing parts. Though the plot isn't super strong, there is a mysterious and magical quality to the book that propels you through it, page after page. The characters feel so real, and thus their lives seem to be playing out for you in such a real way that you are concerned and invested, wanting to know what happens next. I loved the setting of Barcelona. This is also a book translated from Spanish, which is even more impressive on the part of the translator. I think the translation was incredible. Overall, this is a book that I will return to again in my life, I am sure. It is captivating and a new favorite. 5/5.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mohammed Arabey

    Welcome to The Cemetery of the Forgotten Books Choose one book. But be aware, you may get trapped into its pages, as The Shadow of the Wind “As it unfolded, the structure of the story began to remind me of one of those Russian dolls that contain innumerable diminishing replicas of itself inside. Step by step the narrative split into a thousand stories, as if it had entered a gallery of mirrors, its identity fragmented into endless reflections.” And for me, by the end..after these long pages and s Welcome to The Cemetery of the Forgotten Books Choose one book. But be aware, you may get trapped into its pages, as The Shadow of the Wind “As it unfolded, the structure of the story began to remind me of one of those Russian dolls that contain innumerable diminishing replicas of itself inside. Step by step the narrative split into a thousand stories, as if it had entered a gallery of mirrors, its identity fragmented into endless reflections.” And for me, by the end..after these long pages and stories -with phases of some boredom-,after this long journey as the Story unfolded.. I see how amazingly it is.. A Sad sad story of Coming of Age, Tangled Fates , Lost Old Friendships..Lost Lovers..but without losing Hope. It may categorised as Magical Realism , but the hard sad Realism of Barcelona, Spain after the Civil War drowned the Magical aspect, but there's always that most real magic in it... Hope.. So yeah, I got teary sad eyes by the end and even nostalgic to the beginning of it...very excited and sad by the climax of the story, and just don't want it to end.. (view spoiler)[And so I got very teary with joy for the happy happy Ending for this Sad sad story... which make me rate it higher than I expected. (hide spoiler)] And I have to admit that although I loved the first chapter so much, The one with The Creepy Cemetery of the Forgotten Books, but after that felt bored at many points, I even almost put it down for later.... Too much stories that split of the main plot just as the protagonist described The Shadow of the Windhe has read.. But the narrate came with too much descriptions and details that most of it have a minor relation to the main story.. also the very prolonged dialogues of a certain character -good for quoting though- made me fast read many parts of it. which was alright, fast reading some of this book didn't affect my overall Loving the story.... The Story -------- It's a story about Books... “Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.” And when Daniel Sempere, 10, visit for the first time by his father to the secret creepy ,but heveanly sanctuary for any book lover, Cemetery of the Forgotten Books, to choose a book that he will adopt.. he choose The Shadow of the Wind by Julián Carax , he loved it so much, got obsessed with the author's writing style so much that he start searching for more about him and his other books....to be stopped by solid dead end... Julián Carax died mysteriously ,and every copy of all of his novels are burnt by a mysterious character sought to diminishing every memory of Carax...every shred of his soul.. It's a story about the Soul of 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.” But our protagonist and narrator, Daniel, didn't know searching for the real life story of Carax and his mystery will lead him into very tangled stories that will also get tangled with his own story.....even his own fate... It's a story about Tangled Characters and Fates.. and while Daniel's searching the truth about Carax, he meet with different characters, and a new odd friend, Fermín Romero de Torres who met accidentally with him as a beggar turned out to be fugitive of Inspector Javier Fumero a corrupt and fascist police inspector as many in these hard times and upheaval that was facing Barcelona. Fermín became a good useful assistance for him and his father ,and who help Daniel searching for Carax story...but things isn't easy when Inspector Fumero is there ,and nit just for Fermín, but for bigger secret from the past of Carax himself. And it's not only one with secrets...there's Nuria Monfort with her sad life in shadows.. who was an acquaintance to Carax, which may break your heart with her story.. there's tangled fates between so many characteres ..Penélope Aldaya the love of Carax and the sister of his best friend..and how their sad cursed love long ago tangled with the fate of Beatriz Aguilar who Daniel admires ,and the sister of his only friend.. (view spoiler)[I hated the very melodramatic step of the story when we find out that Carax and Penélope are brother and sister, that was too much sadness , yet it may explain why their love was cursed -as in One Hundred Years of Solitude- but was glad that Carax never find out this sad part till the end. (hide spoiler)] There's Father Fernando Ramos and his sad nostalgia to the lost old friends... And above all, there is Sempere, Daniel's father who is one of the best fatherly characters I ever read...I loved so much his relation with his son and its development through the time....., "I found my father asleep in his dining-room armchair, with a blanket over his legs and his favourite book open in his lap - a copy of Voltaire's Candide, which he reread a couple of times a year, the only times I heard him laugh heartily. I observed him: his hair was grey, thinning, and the skin on his face had begun to sag around his cheekbones. I looked at that man whom I had once imagined almost invincible; he now seemed fragile, defeated without knowing it. Perhaps we were both defeated. I leaned over to cover him with the blanket he had been promising to give away to charity for years, and I kissed his forehead, as if by doing so I could protect him from the invisible threads that kept him away from me, from that tiny apartment, and from my memories. As if I believed that with that kiss I could deceive time and convince it to pass us by, to return some other day, some other life. Time....... It's a story about Time...God, this part always touching me deeply and dreading me As well...but I love to read stories like this, specially when it's really perfectly written... There's more I wish I tell but that's already too much... finally It's a story about A City facing a hard phase... 'This city is a sorceress, you know, Daniel? It gets under your skin and steals your soul without you knowing it.' It may be just Barcelona in a hard time... City of Shadows, Days of Ashes those are chapter titles, and it fit the background story of the Spanish Civil War and these days after the fall of Barcelona. But the description and details of the city streets, the tram ,the gothic atmosphere , even the fictional Doors of the Cemetery of the Forgotten Books is very beautiful and unforgettable, The weather...sun rays ,even the hard snow storm by the climax is magically written making not only the city is a sorceress, but the novel itself...getting under my skin though all the boring bits..and stealing my soul into it by the end, making this Journey forever in my mind and imagination... Just Like Daniel with Julián Carax's The Shadow of the Wind, me with Carlos Ruiz Zafón's .. Mohammed Arabey from 14 December 2015 To 22 December 2015

  9. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    riveting. mysterious. haunting. imaginative. charming. sentimental. the list of adjectives is endless. and while this book was all of these, the one thing that i will forever remember about this book is how it made me appreciate the art of storytelling. i didnt feel like i was reading a novel; i felt as if someone very dear was sitting next to me and telling me their favourite tale. i was enamoured with the nuances of the language and swept up with all the action. it was an absolute pleasure to e riveting. mysterious. haunting. imaginative. charming. sentimental. the list of adjectives is endless. and while this book was all of these, the one thing that i will forever remember about this book is how it made me appreciate the art of storytelling. i didnt feel like i was reading a novel; i felt as if someone very dear was sitting next to me and telling me their favourite tale. i was enamoured with the nuances of the language and swept up with all the action. it was an absolute pleasure to experience such a well-told story. truly a masterpiece in every way possible. ↠ 4.5 stars

  10. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    It's been a couple years since I read this book so I shouldn't and won't go into details, but the effect has lingered all this time. There's no other book I'm quicker to recommend than this one. It's not that it's particularly important in a lot of the ways "important" books are, it's just that it works as pure reading pleasure (and sometimes, isn't that enough?); so I find reviews from people desperate to discover structural flaws and stylistic cliches to be totally missing the point. Buy it ne It's been a couple years since I read this book so I shouldn't and won't go into details, but the effect has lingered all this time. There's no other book I'm quicker to recommend than this one. It's not that it's particularly important in a lot of the ways "important" books are, it's just that it works as pure reading pleasure (and sometimes, isn't that enough?); so I find reviews from people desperate to discover structural flaws and stylistic cliches to be totally missing the point. Buy it new, breathe in the perfume of those pages, tell your friends and family you're going to be busy for a few days and disappear into it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jon Cox

    I can't believe someone actually published this book. Even worse, in my opinion is the fact that this book is on the New York Times Bestseller List. How is this possible? It must only mean that there are a lot of people out there that think very differently from me. Don't you be one of them. Seriously. Don't be fooled by this book. It is insipid, lame, and poorly written. First. The prose is so overblown that the author uses three adjectives for every single noun. Count them. He evidently was to I can't believe someone actually published this book. Even worse, in my opinion is the fact that this book is on the New York Times Bestseller List. How is this possible? It must only mean that there are a lot of people out there that think very differently from me. Don't you be one of them. Seriously. Don't be fooled by this book. It is insipid, lame, and poorly written. First. The prose is so overblown that the author uses three adjectives for every single noun. Count them. He evidently was told that to be a writer you have to make everything as descriptive as possible, and then he decided that meant that each noun had to be modified three, always three, and only three times. Argh. Second. The author must have looked up every word he could in a thesaurus and chosen the one that was most obscure or had the most syllables. Who is he trying to impress? Maybe it was the translator's fault? Maybe not. Either way, this style is used even when describing what the ten year old character sees and says. Which brings me to my next point. Third. Every character in this book speaks with exactly the same voice. All you hear is the authors voice, not any different characterizations. And that voice demonstrates the problems I described in my first and second points. But that's not all. There is an even worse, and definitely fatal, problem with this book. Fourth. This story was written as a mystery. Nine years lurch by as the character slowly tries to unravel the details of the main conflict. I actually don't have a problem with this in theory. Unfortunately, after three quarters of the book, and numerous new characters, the mystery is no clearer. So what does the author do about it? He has one of the characters write a 30 page (or so) letter to the main character telling him what really happened. Ta-da. The mystery is solved. The author is such a terrible writer that he can't even solve his own mystery. He has to use a cheap cop-out to clear everything up. I can't respect that. Sorry. I can't believe so many other people have. Boycott the book. Really.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mohammed Arabey

    ذكرتني هذه القصة بتلك العرائس الروسية المفرغة والتي تحوي علي عدد كبير من النماذج المصغرة منها بداخلها، خطوة بخطوة تكتشف أن الحكاية انقسمت إلي آلاف القصص وكأنها دخلت لبيت المرايا وتفتت في انعكاسات لا نهائية بالرغم من ان تلك المقولة قالها دانيل حول رواية "ظل الريح" بمنتصف الكتاب، فبنهاية روايته نفسها وجدت الجملة تنطبق عليها ايضا فالرواية هي عدة قصص متراكبة بها غموض، إثارة وتشويق -واقل القليل من الملل احيانا-، متميزة ويغلب عليها الشجن هي قصص عن العمر والزمن، المصائر المتشابكة، عن الروايات وعشق الكتب ذكرتني هذه القصة بتلك العرائس الروسية المفرغة والتي تحوي علي عدد كبير من النماذج المصغرة منها بداخلها، خطوة بخطوة تكتشف أن الحكاية انقسمت إلي آلاف القصص وكأنها دخلت لبيت المرايا وتفتت في انعكاسات لا نهائية بالرغم من ان تلك المقولة قالها دانيل حول رواية "ظل الريح" بمنتصف الكتاب، فبنهاية روايته نفسها وجدت الجملة تنطبق عليها ايضا فالرواية هي عدة قصص متراكبة بها غموض، إثارة وتشويق -واقل القليل من الملل احيانا-، متميزة ويغلب عليها الشجن هي قصص عن العمر والزمن، المصائر المتشابكة، عن الروايات وعشق الكتب عن الصداقات القديمة المفقودة، عن الأبوة، عن الحب الذي كان وصار ذكري، ولكن دون فقدان الأمل وايضا، هي قصة بلد في ظروف صعبة اهلا بكم في برشلونة ، ابان الحرب العالمية الثانية..عصر الديكتاتورية والظلم...والدماء هي حكاية صبي "دانيال" يحاول كشف أسرار حياة وغموض نهاية مؤلف روائي غير شهير بعد قراءة إحدي رواياته، ولكن شخص غامض يبحث عن كل نسخ رواياته ليحرقها ليطارد دانيال اشباح من الماضي في تحقيقاته في صداقة مفقودة وحب ضائع ، ولتتشابك قصة حياة دانيال، مراهقته وشبابه والذي في متقبل عمره مع قصة ماضي مؤلف روايته المفضلة في حقبة زمنية و مكان غني بالأحداث الحقيقية ، برشلونة إبان الحرب العالمية الثانية ووقوعها تحت الحكم الديكتاتوري...ومع لمحة من الخيال والسحر جعلت من الرواية تراجيديا بديعة لا أنكر أن من بعد الفصل الأول الذي به مقبرة الكتب المنسية الرهيبة، الغامضة الساحرة ، بدأت اشعر بشئ من الملل من كثرة الوصف والتفاصيل بلا احداث لبضعة فصول..وبعض الحوارات المطولة لأحد الشخصيات -عميقة تصلخ للاقتباسات ولكنها مطولة احيانا زائدة عن اللزوم - لقد كانت فعلا متعددة الحكايات والشخصيات كالعرائس الروسية "ماتريوشكا" كما قال بطل الرواية ثم اكتشفت الطبقات الداخلية للحكاية مع مرور الوقت في الأحداث ، مع مرور الزمن.. مع النوستاليجا حزن لدرجة ان عيني امتلاءت بالدموع قبل نهايتها ..وظلت حتي النهاية ولكن دعنا لا نفسد لك الحكاية ولنحكي شيئا عن طبقات القصة ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ القــصــــة ** هي قصة عن الكتب ** "الكتب هي مرايات : انت فقط تري فيهم ما هو بداخلك مسبقا" وعندما زار الفتي دانيال سيمبر مع أبيه لاول مرة وهو في عمر العاشرة ذلك المكان الكئيب العجيب السحري، مقبرة الكتب المنسية، جنة عشاق الكتب كدانيال وأبيه والكثير من شخصيات الرواية، ليختار كتابا ليتبناه ...فإنه إختار "ظل الريح" لجوليان كاركس، وعشقه...بل صار مهووسا بأسلوب المؤلف وبدأ يبحث عن المزيد من رواياته...ولكنه وصل لطريق مسدود فجوليان كاركس مات في ظروف غامضة ، وكل نسخة من كل رواياته يتم جمعها وحرقها من شخصية غامضة تسعي لمحو اي ذكري للمؤلف...كل قطعه من روحه موجودة بالكتب ** هي قصة عن روح الكتب ** " كل كتاب، كل مجلد تراه هنا، له روح. روح الشخص الذي كتبه، وأولئك الذين يقرؤونه، يعيشونه ويحلمون به. في كل مرة الكتاب يتنقل من يد لآخري، ويقع نظر احدهم علي صفحاته، فإن روح الكتاب تنمو وتقوي" ولكن بطل قصتنا ،دانيال، لم يعلم ان بقراءته للرواية وتغلغله في روح مؤلفها كاراكس والبحث حول قصته الحقيقية وغموض حياته وظروف وفاته أنها ستقوده للعديد من القصص المتشابكة بل والتي ستتداخل مع حياته نفسه الشخصية ...وربما تتشابك وتتماثل مع مصيره ** هي قصة عن شخصيات ومصائر متشابكة ** وبينما يبحث دانيال عن الحقيقة وراء كاركس، يلتقي بالعديد من الشخصيات المختلفة ويكون صداقات متنوعة مثل فيرمين روميرو دي تورز الهارب من بطش البوليس السياسي الفاشي وبالرغم من دوره المهم في مساعدة دانيال في رحلة البحث عن لغز كاركس،إلا أن مطاردة الضابط الفاشي الفاسد المفتش خافيير فيرمو له سيجعل الأمور صعبة بحق، وسيتشابك مصيره مع دانيال وأبيه هناك ايضا الاب فيرناندو راموس وذكريات الصداقات القديمة الضائعة وهناك نورا مونفورت وقصة حياتها الحزينة التي أوجعت قلبي كثيرا ، علاقتها المفقودة بأبيها، وحب عمرها الذي لم يكن لها يوما ضاع للأبد، كاراكس بل إن قصة حب كاراكس مع حبه الوحيد واخت صديقه ستتشابه كثيرا مع قصة دانيال مع حبه لاخت صديقه الوحيد، وحتي شخصية نورا الحزينة ستجد لها صدي في حياة دانيال قد يتمثل في حكايته المؤلمة مع كلارا الحسناء العمياء العاشقة للكتب (view spoiler)[ هناك جزء ميلودرامي استشعرته سخيفا وكرهته لأنه لم يزيد سوي مأساة مضاعفة وهو ان كاراكس وبينولبي أشقاء، ربما لا يفيد ذلك الكشف بالنسبة لي سوي في معرفة سبب مقنع لكون أن هذا الحب كان مصابا بلعنة حقيقية -كما حدث مع رواية مائة عام من العزلة- ولكن ما خفف من ضيقي من هذا الجزء هو ان كاراكس لم يعرف أبدا تلك الحقيقة المأساوية حتي النهاية (hide spoiler)] والاهم، هناك سيمبر ،والد دانيال والذي من اجمل صور شخصيات الأب في الروايات بحق، عشقت علاقته مع إبنه وتطورها علي مدار الاحداث...الزمن ** وهي قصة عن الأب ** "وجدت أبي نائما في كرسيه، وملاءة تغطي ساقيه وكتابه المفضل علي حجره -نسخة من كتاب فولتير كانديد- والتي أعاد قرأتها بضع مرات كل عام، المرات الوحيدة التي أسمعه يضحك فيها من قلبه تأملته : شعره رماديا، يخف، وجلد وجهه بدأ يرتخي حول الخد. نظرت للرجل الذي ظننته يوما لا يقهر: هو الأن يبدو هشا، مهزوما دون أن يدري ذلك. ربما كلانا مهزومان. ملت عليه لأغطيه بالملائة التي كان يعد لسنوات بالتبرع بها ، وقبلت جبينه، وكأني بفعلي هذا يمكنني حمايته من المخاطر الخفية التي ستبعده عني، عن هذه الشقة الصغيرة، وعن ذكرياتي. كما لو أن بهذه القبلة يمكنني أن أخدع الزمن واقنعه أن يتخطانا...أن يعود يوما أخر، بحياة اخري" غريب ان تدمع عيني وأشعر بهذا الشجن من تلك الجملة الاخيرة اليوم، 29 يوليو، بعد 8 شهور من قراءة الرواية علاقة الأب وابنه بتلك الرواية جميلة بديعة بحق...منذ ان اصطحب ابنه ليختار كتابا...وحتي نهاية الرواية الزمن الذي لا يمكننا خداعه...سيمر بنا ولن يتخطانا كما تمني دانيال ** وهي قصة عن الزمن ** وهذا ما يؤسرني في الحكايات..يلمس قلبي بلمسة باردة تسبب الرجفة ، ولكني لا أمل من قراءة مثل تلك الروايات العظيمة عن الزمن خاصا عندما تكون مكتوبة بجمال وسحر كتلك الرواية أن الزمن هو مايتكرر...يعيد نفسه..جعل جميع المصائر متشابكة...القلم الحبر الأنيق..الحب..الصداقة..الكتب..البيانو قد تصنف ك"واقعية سحرية" ولكن كما نبهني أحد الأصدقاء ، المؤلف محمد مجدي ، أن الرواية ليست بها جانب "الميتافيزيقا" كحل لكل هذا السحر ولكنه يظل سحرا بحق واقعيا وأخيرا، ** هي قصة عن مدينة تواجه اوقات عصيبة ** "هذه المدينة ساحرة. هل تعلم ذلك يادانيال؟ إنها تتسلل تحت جلدك وتسرق روحك دون ان تعلم؟" ربما هي عن برشلونا، أسبانيا في أوقات عصيبة ، او "مدينة الظلال" في "أيام الرماد" كما اسمتها فصول تلك الرواية وهي اسماء تليق بفصول الرواية فعلا حيث في خلفية أحداث قصة دانيال هناك قصة الحرب الأهلية بإسبانيا وسنوات ما قبل الحرب العالمية الثانية وصعود الفاشية والقمع بعد سقوط برشلونة ولكن وصف المدينة بالسحر التفصيلي، شوارعها والترام الذي يخترقها...وطابعها القوطي بالأخص منذ وصف الأبواب الرهيبة لمقبرة الكتب المنسية …. مناخها و أشعة الشمس بحواريها الضيقة وحتي العاصفة الثلجية بنقطة ذروة أحداث الرواية ، كل هذا مكتوب بسحر حقيقي يجعل ليس فقط من المدينة ساحرة، بل الرواية نفسها ساحرة..تتسلل تحت جلدك رغم بعض اجزاءها البطيئة نوعا، الا انها ستخدرك وتتسلل حتي تسلب روحك بنهايتها ، وتجعل رحلتك بها لا تنسي كما فعل جوليان كاراكس مع دانيال سيمبر، سيفعل كارلوس زافون معك هل قلت لك انها قصة عن المصائر المتشابكة؟ محمد العربي قراءة من 14 ديسمبر 2015 الي 22 ديسمبر 2015 الريفيو العربي في 29 يوليو 2016

  13. 5 out of 5

    فهد الفهد

    ظل الريح هذا هو الجزء الأول من رباعية (مقبرة الكتب المنسية) للإسباني كارلوس رويث زافون، الرباعية منفصلة يمثل كل جزء منها كتاباً مستقلاً، صدر حتى الآن ثلاثة أجزاء، ترجم الجزء الأول وسيصدر قريباً وبانتظار الثاني والثالث والتي أتمنى ألا تتأخر كثيراً، فقد تركني الكتاب الأول مذهولاً، هل تعرفون الكتب اللذيذة؟ تلك الكتب التي تذكرك عندما تفرغ منها بلمَ أحببت القراءة من البداية!! تلك الكتب التي تشبه حلماً جميلاً، قصص متشابكة تدور في أجواء محببة، هذا ما صنعه لنا زافون، برشلونة ما بعد الحرب، شاب يدعى دانيا ظل الريح هذا هو الجزء الأول من رباعية (مقبرة الكتب المنسية) للإسباني كارلوس رويث زافون، الرباعية منفصلة يمثل كل جزء منها كتاباً مستقلاً، صدر حتى الآن ثلاثة أجزاء، ترجم الجزء الأول وسيصدر قريباً وبانتظار الثاني والثالث والتي أتمنى ألا تتأخر كثيراً، فقد تركني الكتاب الأول مذهولاً، هل تعرفون الكتب اللذيذة؟ تلك الكتب التي تذكرك عندما تفرغ منها بلمَ أحببت القراءة من البداية!! تلك الكتب التي تشبه حلماً جميلاً، قصص متشابكة تدور في أجواء محببة، هذا ما صنعه لنا زافون، برشلونة ما بعد الحرب، شاب يدعى دانيال سيمبري يقوده والده إلى مكان غريب يدعى مقبرة الكتب المنسية حيث تحفظ الكتب التي تقترب من الاندثار، يختار صاحبنا الكتاب الذي سيتكفل بحفظه، رواية بعنوان (ظل الريح) لروائي برشلوني مجهول يدعى خوليان كاراكس، من هنا تنطلق القصة من هو الرجل الغامض الذي يفتش عن كتب خوليان ويحرقها، ما هي قصة خوليان ولماذا فر من برشلونة؟ هل هو حي أم قتل في مبارزة غامضة؟ قصص صغيرة تتكشف لنا، نلج متاهة لذيذة، نتعرف على شخصيات رائعة، من منا لن يحب فيرمين روميرو؟ هذه الشخصية الطريفة والمجنونة. عظيمة هذه الرواية، لا تفوت!!

  14. 5 out of 5

    ❄️Nani❄️

    Rereading the series in preparation for one of my most anticipated releases of the year, The Labyrinth of the Spirits. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~<><>~~~~~~~~~~ ALL THE STARS. ⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Welcome to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. ** Hauntingly beautiful. ** Gothic & atmospheric. ** A book about the love of books. what more could a reader ask for? ** And the best part? This book was never even on my radar until I heard someone talk about it by chance. I was intrigued by what they said and bought i Rereading the series in preparation for one of my most anticipated releases of the year, The Labyrinth of the Spirits. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~<><>~~~~~~~~~~ ALL THE STARS. ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Welcome to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. ** Hauntingly beautiful. ** Gothic & atmospheric. ** A book about the love of books. what more could a reader ask for? ** And the best part? This book was never even on my radar until I heard someone talk about it by chance. I was intrigued by what they said and bought it that same day. Four days later I’m sat dumbstruck, simultaneously satisfied and heartbroken. It’s a beautiful thing when fate intervenes. Isn’t it? Thus, I come to you half a year later - that's right, it took me half a year to get here- BUT worry not for I remember every detail as if I read it yesterday. -- Set in Barcelona, in the summer of 1945 - following the Spanish Civil War, the novel tells the story of Daniel Sempere, who is taken to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books by his father, a secondhand book merchant. The Cemetery of Forgotten Books is a secret place, where a huge collection of books that have been forgotten or have fallen into oblivion is kept. Daniel selects a book called The Shadow of the Wind by Julián Carax, an author who seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth and so have all his published books. Daniel's copy of book seems to be the only one left in existence. So begins an incredible journey that carries Daniel through a gothic city filled with fantastic bookstores, exotic cafes, abandoned mansions and spirit-haunted graveyards. -- The book itself has two main stories: that of Julian Carax and Daniel Sempere, written in the first person by both. And as the story threads its way into Daniel's life, the lives of both begin to intertwine. Daniel sees, bears uncanny resemblances to that of the protagonist in The Shadow of the Wind but in order to uncover the mystery as to how and why he'll have to dig deeper into Carax's biography. Zafón spins a web of intrigue so thick that it ensnares the reader from the very beginning. -- The characters were exuberant, well-written and larger than life in their tragedies as in their joys and desires. The book is populated with a cast of characters filled with dark and mysterious pasts, the tortured souls, guilt-ridden lovers, doomed and solitary eccentrics and more. But the most interesting part —second to Carax’s past— was discovering how all of their stories were interwoven together. Daniel isn't what you’d call heroic, but he's a sympathetic figure and very human in his failings, and beneath the novel’s colourful facade is also a touching story of Daniel’s relationship with his father, the proprietor of a highly respected bookstore that is barely surviving as readers are decreasing at an alarming rate. I loved his father and their bond so much that I was constantly terrified that something would happen to jeopardise their relationship. Fermin Romero de Torres was definitely one of the most interesting characters in here. Imprisoned and tortured for being on the wrong side of the war, he was saved from beggary by Daniel through a ‘random’ encounter and becomes Daniel’s advisor, protector and confidante - as well, help him dig into the murky past of the people connected Carax. He's eccentric, clever and charming and his deep friendship and loyalty to Daniel, combined with his sharp wit and cunning are the comic relief of the dark and gloomy tone of the book. Julian Carax’s story, in my opinion, was the most heartbreaking of all (and there are plenty of depressing stories here, I tell you). He had the odds stacked against him right from the start that the poor guy didn’t stand a chance. His dark, mysterious character takes monumental twists and turns as his story slowly unravels to be one of tortured past and full of heartache. And then there’s Fumero, the villain of ages. Thinking about him gives me chest pains much less writing about him. Just know that he plays a big role in the lives of many of the characters and... he’s the devil’s spawn. Suffice it to say, I loath him. TSoTW is an atmospheric book full of passion and revenge, heartbreaking love, grave disappointments and mysteries whose layers peel away ever so slowly. The world is corrupt and cruel where the scum come out at the top and the inexorability of human destinies are grimmer than any ghostly stories... it's also about a bit of redemption. Read it is all I can say, my friends. READ. IT.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    This is an excellent piece of literature. It contains poetic storytelling, shocking twists, thoroughly developed characters, symbolism, humor, romance, betrayal, action, sentimentality, nostalgia, and much, much more. For book lovers it is perfect because it revolves around the mysteries of a little known author (Julian Carax) that the main protagonist, Daniel, stumbles across in a secret stash of literature called the Cemetery of Forgotten books. From there it quickly develops into a fantastic This is an excellent piece of literature. It contains poetic storytelling, shocking twists, thoroughly developed characters, symbolism, humor, romance, betrayal, action, sentimentality, nostalgia, and much, much more. For book lovers it is perfect because it revolves around the mysteries of a little known author (Julian Carax) that the main protagonist, Daniel, stumbles across in a secret stash of literature called the Cemetery of Forgotten books. From there it quickly develops into a fantastic story of good vs. evil; driven by jealousy and shrouded in the unknown. I saw some complaints that this book is slow. I can understand that - it is not a light book and it is not a quick read. But, the payoff from getting immersed in the thick narrative is totally worth the extra time in the end. Lovers of books, lovers of historical fiction, lovers of mysteries with shocking twists, lovers of complex romance/revenge story lines, lovers of ultimate good vs evil battles - step right in to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books . . . and lose yourself in The Shadow of the Wind.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Antonio

    Hoy se celebra el 15 aniversario de la publicación de esta maravillosa obra de arte, que no me canso de recomendar. Todavía recuerdo aquel amanecer en que mi padre me llevó por primera vez a visitar el Cementerio de los Libros Olvidados. Porque cinco estrellas no me alcanzan para la constelación mayor que quiero armar en este firmamento digital, porque pase las cuatro de la mañana devorando frases, párrafos, paginas, hojas y capítulos como un hombre que ha estado hambriento de arte por bastante Hoy se celebra el 15 aniversario de la publicación de esta maravillosa obra de arte, que no me canso de recomendar. Todavía recuerdo aquel amanecer en que mi padre me llevó por primera vez a visitar el Cementerio de los Libros Olvidados. Porque cinco estrellas no me alcanzan para la constelación mayor que quiero armar en este firmamento digital, porque pase las cuatro de la mañana devorando frases, párrafos, paginas, hojas y capítulos como un hombre que ha estado hambriento de arte por bastante tiempo, porque mis ojos rojos prueban que el papel tatuado de palabras es una de las drogas más extrañas y hermosas que ha creado el hombre, porque ame, corrijo amo a Julián, a Miquel, a Nuria, a Penélope, a Barceló, a la Bernarda, a Clara, a Tomas, a Bea, al señor Sempere, a Fermín y especialmente a Daniel ; porque este es el único cementerio al que quiero regresar, porque a veces nos gusta un libro por su historia, otras por sus personajes, otras por su prosa, otras por sus citas, otras por su magia, y muy pocas veces porque uno alberga todo en conjunto, Mientras recorría túneles y túneles de libros en la penumbra, no pude evitar que me embargase una sensación de tristeza y desaliento. No podía evitar pensar que si yo, por pura casualidad, había descubierto todo un universo en un solo libro desconocido entre la infinidad de aquella necrópolis, decenas de miles más quedarían inexplorados, olvidados para siempre. Me sentí rodeado de millones de páginas abandonadas, de universos y almas sin dueño, que se hundían en un océano de oscuridad mientras el mundo que palpitaba fuera de aquellos muros perdía la memoria sin darse cuenta día tras día, sintiéndose más sabio cuanto más olvidaba. ...por eso y por cuantas cosas más estoy seguro he olvidado nombrar, recomiendo este libro a todo el mundo.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lola

    I found this novel by accident, while quickly browsing shelves at the local library, and let me just say it was the best accidental find i've had in years. From the very first line to the end i loved it, and as a reader i am not easily pleased by anything. I love stories out of the ordinary that captivate my imagination and run away with it. That is exactly what The Shadow of The Wind did. Right off the bat the plot intrigued me, Daniel Sempere is taken to the a secret labyrinth of forgotten book I found this novel by accident, while quickly browsing shelves at the local library, and let me just say it was the best accidental find i've had in years. From the very first line to the end i loved it, and as a reader i am not easily pleased by anything. I love stories out of the ordinary that captivate my imagination and run away with it. That is exactly what The Shadow of The Wind did. Right off the bat the plot intrigued me, Daniel Sempere is taken to the a secret labyrinth of forgotten books - the place where books are brought for their final rest after the world has forgotten their existence - and told by his father to pick one to always care for and protect. He chooses The Shadow of The Wind and his life is forever changed by his fascination with the book, its author and his determination to uncover the mystery surrounding the doomed fate of all other works by the author. What fascinated me most as Daniel started to get entangled in the mysterious web of the book and its author's history, was how Daniels life began to mirror Carax (the author of the book). The writing is almost poetic yet simple to follow and enjoy, their are subplots that run alongside the major plot so the book isn't one dimensional and boring. Overall this is a fascinating read that is sure to take you on an adventure that will make you wish there were more pages to read after you turn the last page. Highly recommended for those who are not afraid to explore other worlds or allow a book to engulf their senses completely.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    La sombra del viento = The Shadow of the wind (El cementerio de los libros olvidados #1), Carlos Ruiz Zafón عنوانها: سایه باد؛ سایه ی باد؛ نویسنده: کارلوس روییز زافون - کارلوس روئیس سافون - کارلوس روئیث ثافون؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز هشتم ماه دسامبر سال 2016 میلادی عنوان: سایه باد؛ نویسنده: کارلوس روییز زافون - کارلوس روئیس سافون - کارلوس روئیث ثافون؛ مترجم: کیومرث پارسای؛ تهران، علم، 1385؛ در 728 ص؛ شابک: 9644056876؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان اسپانیایی - قرن 21 م مترجم: مهرداد بازیاری؛ تهران، هرم La sombra del viento = The Shadow of the wind (El cementerio de los libros olvidados #1), Carlos Ruiz Zafón عنوانها: سایه باد؛ سایه ی باد؛ نویسنده: کارلوس روییز زافون - کارلوس روئیس سافون - کارلوس روئیث ثافون؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز هشتم ماه دسامبر سال 2016 میلادی عنوان: سایه باد؛ نویسنده: کارلوس روییز زافون - کارلوس روئیس سافون - کارلوس روئیث ثافون؛ مترجم: کیومرث پارسای؛ تهران، علم، 1385؛ در 728 ص؛ شابک: 9644056876؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان اسپانیایی - قرن 21 م مترجم: مهرداد بازیاری؛ تهران، هرمس، 1393؛ در هفت و 647 ص؛ شابک: 9789643639235؛ مترجم: نازنین نوذری؛ تهران، دیبایه، 1395؛ در 696 ص؛ شابک: 9786002122216؛ عنوان: سایه ی باد؛ مترجم: سهیل سمی؛ تهران، ققنوس، 1395؛ در 600 ص؛ شابک: 9789643116897؛ پسر یک کتاب‌فروش، در کتابخانه‌ ی کهنه‌ ی پدر خویش، در انباری خانه، کتاب سایه‌ ی باد را پیدا، و برای شناختن نویسنده‌ ی اثر، تلاش خود را آغاز می‌کند، و سرانجام درمی‌یابد که نویسنده‌ ی آن مردی ست با چهره‌ ای سوخته و شبیه شبح، که گاهی ظاهر شده، و گاه از نظرها پنهان می‌ماند. هم‌چنین درمی‌یابد که وی کتاب‌های زیادی بنوشته، اما همه‌ ی آن‌ها را، جز سایه‌ ی باد، از بین برده است. اما داستان بدین‌قرار است که دختر و پسری طی یک آشنایی، به یک‌دیگر دل‌باخته شده، و صاحب فرزندی می‌شوند، اما بعدها درمی‌یابند که دارای رابطه‌ ی نسبی با یکدیگر بوده‌ اند و ...؛ ا. شربیانی

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

    2/2.5 stars. Look, it's not my thing to mince my words, so I'll give you my opinion and ultimately, you'll decide what to make of it anyway : as far as I'm concerned, The Shadow of the Wind is overrated and, to say the truth, a bit of a smokescreen. Despite its obvious qualities, I have to admit that I'm a little baffled of its status given that all the flaws, if found in some random YA book, would be called out without any doubt. ✘ Caricatures as characters, from Daniel the Romantic whose const 2/2.5 stars. Look, it's not my thing to mince my words, so I'll give you my opinion and ultimately, you'll decide what to make of it anyway : as far as I'm concerned, The Shadow of the Wind is overrated and, to say the truth, a bit of a smokescreen. Despite its obvious qualities, I have to admit that I'm a little baffled of its status given that all the flaws, if found in some random YA book, would be called out without any doubt. ✘ Caricatures as characters, from Daniel the Romantic whose constant whining reminded me of some 18th Century hero (someone saves me from François-René de Chateaubriand, please), to the twisting-moustache villain whose mother, you guessed right, was a crazy bitch (mwahahahaha). As for the women (OMG, the WOMEN), they're either sexual creatures (often vile and manipulative, because of course *roll eyes*) or solely conceived for the Great Goal of Bearing children (or assuming their care). It's pretty simple, actually : the good girls are those who get pregnant or are desperate for it, and all women are portrayed through their looks. All of these characters were flat and forgettable in my book. ✘ Blatant sexism pouring through every page, and before you mention it, I KNOW, the society in 1945/1950 wasn't kind on women. I do know that, yet I don't believe that the portrayal of sexist behavior had to be so IN YOUR FACE. In the past I've read historical novels that let me furious about the way women were treated and categorized into little boxes (mother, virgin, whore, if you're asking) but in The Shadow of the Wind I never felt that the issue was handled or acknowledged, or barely (they do mention it in other men, but for me they were no better). It was just THERE. All the time, and I'm not sure how I'm supposed to care about characters - Fermin and Daniel, for example - who constantly objectify women, when they're not busy expressing stereotypes like, "women can't do Maths", or, "women who let you touch them the first time are whores", etc, etc. I read the French translation, so I'm not going to write down the quotes, but they are EVERYWHERE. I felt like drowning. ✘ The instalove, anyone? Far from me the intent of spoiling the story to you, so I'll just say this : there are three couples in this story, and the THREE OF THEM suffer from major instalove (the kind where people see each other once, talk twice, and share iloveyous). What the hell?! Again, if this book was called The Storm and The Thorns, and some generic YA bullshit, it would have annoyed me, because I cannot feel invested in a romance if there's neither growth nor depth. Why in the world should I feel differently this time? I do not. Honestly? I couldn't care less. ✘ The resolution of the intrigue did not satisfy me, because I found the way it was revealed rather lazy. Sure, I did not expect it, but after having remained in the dark during 80% of the book, I was a little disappointed by the avalanche of information that was thrown in my face, in a info-dumping fashion. Even with the interesting (view spoiler)[meta narration (hide spoiler)] , it felt like such a cop-out. ✔ The atmosphere is darkly enticing, captivating, even, and for me the real MC is Barcelona. Indeed I couldn't look away from the fascinating picture Carlos Ruiz Zafón created, from the vivid slices of life put into black and white letters. I wish the descriptions of Paris would have reached this level of brilliance, but I didn't really mind. Albeit the difficult times described, reading The Shadow of the Wind made me want to come back there, and I probably will very soon. ✔ The writing, if not free of some cheesy figures of speech - but it could be the translation - is addictive and compelling. From the first page I was hooked, and my interest didn't falter before reaching the second half (but I already explained why). ► All in all, The Shadow of the Wind was a disappointment for me. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but in the end, the story didn't convince me, and even the message - no matter how great it was, or wanted to be - felt a bit superficial because spoiled by the lack of depth of the characters. *Shrugs* For more of my reviews, please visit:

  20. 4 out of 5

    ميقات الراجحي

    رواية (ظل الريح).. تأتينا هي الأخرى من عالم هذا الدكتاتوري الإسباني الذي عصف بمملكة إسبانيا في القرن الماضي أثناء فترة الحرب الأهلية في إسبانيا. شدني الكاتب منذ أول الخيوط من مقبرته (مقبرة الكتب) التي غصنا معه فيها لنهاية أخر الأوراق. سيكون عليك ملاحظة الفرق بين بوليسة اجاثا كرستي وبين كارلوس هنا هو إضافة لمسة حب جميلة نفتقر لها في روايات اجاثا كرستي التي تبدأ وتنتهي بالبوليسية. برشلونة / السحر الإسباني هي منبت مكتبة المقبرة. وهي برشلونة ما بعد عهد فرانكو الدموي. رحلة الكتاب المُحرّم داخل المقبرة رواية (ظل الريح).. تأتينا هي الأخرى من عالم هذا الدكتاتوري الإسباني الذي عصف بمملكة إسبانيا في القرن الماضي أثناء فترة الحرب الأهلية في إسبانيا. شدني الكاتب منذ أول الخيوط من مقبرته (مقبرة الكتب) التي غصنا معه فيها لنهاية أخر الأوراق. سيكون عليك ملاحظة الفرق بين بوليسة اجاثا كرستي وبين كارلوس هنا هو إضافة لمسة حب جميلة نفتقر لها في روايات اجاثا كرستي التي تبدأ وتنتهي بالبوليسية. برشلونة / السحر الإسباني هي منبت مكتبة المقبرة. وهي برشلونة ما بعد عهد فرانكو الدموي. رحلة الكتاب المُحرّم داخل المقبرة مربكة في النص ومربكة للقارئ لكن كارلوس يذب فيك هوس متابعة الكتاب الممنوع أو المحرم وهي ظاهرة تستهوي حتى من لا يهتم بالقراءة. دانييال / دانييل يمسك بظل الريح الكتاب الذي يعتقد أن يبعث الشيطان. مزاولته القديمة في زيارة موقع المكتبة التي أصطلحوا على تسميتها مقبرة الكتب مأوى كل كتاب غير صالح. تُخلق علاقة بين الكتاب المغضوب عليه وبين ابن الوراق، دانييل صاحبة المكتبة. ذلك الكتاب الذي كان يتوجب عليه أن يختاره أو يختار غيرة المهم الخروج من المكتبة مع كتاب مختار فكان (ظل الريح) الذي نال اعجاب الشاب وتعجب أكثر من عظمة الكاتب وكيف يمنع مثل هذه التحفة الإبداعية سيبدأ بعد هذا العشق مطاردات بين دانييل وبين الحقيقة يبحث عن المؤلف الحقيقي للكتاب إلا أن روح شريرة متثملة في شخصية من الكتاب يطارد هو الآخر حامل النسخة الأخيرة من الكتاب المغضوب عليه ليتلفه. يوثق المؤلف لمدينة برشلونة ما بعد الحرب العالمية.. حيث مقر إقامتة ومقر المكتبة.. برشلونة مابعد الحرب الأهلية عن بقايا الفاشية والفوضى التي خلفتها الحرب عن الحب وألغاز تضج بها الرواية بخيال مجنون وإبداعي. برشلونة / المكتبة.. برشلونة ذاكرة البلاد المنسية نتاج ما بعد الحرب الأهلية الإسبانية والحرب العالمية الأولى وصراعات الدكتاتور الإسباني فرانكو هذا الشبح الذي سوف يطاردنا في كل أدب إسباني نجد شيء من حقارته. حتى وإن كانت هذه الرواية معنية بعوالم بعيدة عنه بعض الشيء لكنها تقترب من رائحة الموت والخوف. كل هذا يتم توظيفه وفق حبكة متينة وبدرجة عالية في سياق الرواية. حتى تلك القصص المتشعبة لا تخف منها هي جزء من حبكة طويلة بين الحب والكرة والخوف ورغبة المعرفة والمطاردة تسير خيوط الرواية. هذه الرواية مفترق طرق بين الحب والكره والخير والشر العاطفة في الرواية والمغامرة في في الرواية ربما هي كل ماذكرت. روايات هذا المبدع السابقة لظل الريح المترجمة للإنجليزية وغيرها من اللغات – بإستشناء لغتنا – كانت روايات موجهة لأدب الطفل والمراهقين وعندما بدأ وكتب هذه الرواية إنتقل الرجل لعالم مختلف فأختلفت معه شريحته من القراء فبلغ ما بلغ من عالمية وليست محلية فقط. هذه الرواية هى رباعية للمؤلف بينما بعض المواقع الإسبانية والإنجليزية تقول بأنها رباعية وليست ثلاثية، ثم صدر منها الجزد الرابع . قرأت منها باللغة الإنجليزية : ظل الريح : مقبرة الكتب المنسية - The Shadow of the Wind لعبة الملاك - El juego del ángel سجين السماء - El prisionero del cielo المتاهة - El laberinto de los espíritus وكلاهما – أي الأخيرتين – لم يعرفها القارئ العربي بإسثناء الجزء الأول قد ترجم مؤخرًا كما عرفت، ثم ترجم الجزء الثاني في 2017 وكلاهما – أي الأخيرتين – لم يعرفها القارئ العربي بإسثناء الجزء الأول قد ترجم مؤخرًا كما عرفت. أعتقد أن الرواية تحصد الآن قراءات عديدة عربية بعد ترجمتها المتأخرة جدًا. قراءة العمل بلغة إنجليزية كانت رائعة بالنسبة لي. عشقي لإسبانيا بدايات جذور الأندلس هو من يشدني لقراءة أي عمل أو دراسة لهذي اللغة الفاتنة وهذا الأدب الفخم. عندما تجد هذه الرواية قم بشرائها دون أي تردد، وكذلك يجب أن تفعل مع كتب هذا المؤلف المجنون خصوصًا بقية السلسلة لعبة الملاك وسجين السماء.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Ansbro

    "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." In post-civil war Barcelona, ten-year-old birthday boy, Daniel Sempere is taken by his father to a top-secret, labyrinthine library called 'The Cemetery of Forgotten Books' and is asked to select whichever one of the dusty publications calls out to him from an exhaustive succession of shelves. He chooses an obscure novel, The Shadow of the Wind written "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." In post-civil war Barcelona, ten-year-old birthday boy, Daniel Sempere is taken by his father to a top-secret, labyrinthine library called 'The Cemetery of Forgotten Books' and is asked to select whichever one of the dusty publications calls out to him from an exhaustive succession of shelves. He chooses an obscure novel, The Shadow of the Wind written by the enigmatic Julián Carax, an author whose life and work is shrouded in dark mystery. Over time, the book awakens this socially awkward boy to fresh possibilities and new friendships in a city still handcuffed to its recent history. Daniel, himself, describes the novel thus: "It is a story of love, of hatred and of the dreams that live in the shadow of the wind." In the honeymoon period of my read, I was already thinking it to be one of the best books I've read in a very long time and, after a handful of chapters, I was wishing that Goodreads would allow 5-star-plus ratings for special books such as this. The author's character imagery is up there with Márquez and Rushdie. The story has heart and soul and it nobly champions the underdog in an unjust world. Look out for nasty piece of work, Chief Inspector Francisco Javier Fumero, he of the pencil moustache and greasy grin; very much the bête noire of the piece. Záfon's expressive prose held me in a dizzy state of veneration and had me purring in my armchair like a pampered pussycat. But, oh! Alas, damnation and gadzooks! Did you hear me? Gadzooks, I said!! The author somehow snatches defeat from the jaws of victory by allowing his dazzling story to become bogged down by a warehouse load of wearisome narrative in the middle orders of the piece. "Get on with it, Záfon!" I shouted. (He didn't hear me). And where's a book defibrillator when you need one? It's a real shame because this book is infused with brilliance; Carlos Ruiz Záfon is incontestably touched by greatness. In my humble opinion, this magical rites-of-passage/good-versus-evil sprawl of a novel would have easily merited that notional 5-star-plus rating, were it not for the drawn-out tedium of its meandering epicentre. Editing out a hundred or more pages would've done this a power of good. I'm still awarding it 4.5, rounded up to 5. Its sublimity outweighs its imperfections. And listen up, my Goodreads' brothers, sisters, funsters, pseuds, bibliophiles and savants. Daniel Sempere's book epiphany is one which will resonate with each and every one of you. For each of us there is one book that has been waiting for us from before we were born. I wonder which one is yours? : )

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Trying too hard. I wonder if I hadn't read this right after Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell if I would have liked it better. They were both trying to pay homage to the gothic/Romantic era writers, except that Strange and Norrell was brilliant, and this one was.. eh. I appreciated what the author was trying to do, but he didn't do it well enough to keep me reading. Yes, Romantic lit is full of cliche, but the thing is to do it in an intriguing way and with enough wit to keep your audience intere Trying too hard. I wonder if I hadn't read this right after Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell if I would have liked it better. They were both trying to pay homage to the gothic/Romantic era writers, except that Strange and Norrell was brilliant, and this one was.. eh. I appreciated what the author was trying to do, but he didn't do it well enough to keep me reading. Yes, Romantic lit is full of cliche, but the thing is to do it in an intriguing way and with enough wit to keep your audience interested. This book did not have that balance. It had the formula, it just didn't execute things well enough, in my opinion. To be fair, that could be because this book was originally in Spanish. It could have lost a lot in translation. I know it lost something, actually, because some of the sentences are rather awkwardly phrased. But Arturo Perez-Reverte's gothic-esque novels were also in Spanish, and they still had their magic in translation. So, I don't forgive this guy enough to finish the book. Which I didn't, by the way. Got about halfway through because I was hoping it would get better, but it was still not grabbing me, so. Onto the next!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Margitte

    After finishing this book, I was totally blown away by the number of GR friends who already read it. It was really the greatest thrill. At last, yes, at last! It was finito! What a read it was. Honestly, I thought it was never going to end, that the saga beginning in 1945, after the Civil War in Spain, was just too dragging and too detailed for my sensitive soul. Emotionally I shut down around the halfway mark, hanging onto the picturesque, descriptive prose for dear life, sensing a light at the After finishing this book, I was totally blown away by the number of GR friends who already read it. It was really the greatest thrill. At last, yes, at last! It was finito! What a read it was. Honestly, I thought it was never going to end, that the saga beginning in 1945, after the Civil War in Spain, was just too dragging and too detailed for my sensitive soul. Emotionally I shut down around the halfway mark, hanging onto the picturesque, descriptive prose for dear life, sensing a light at the end of the tunnel. Good lordie, miss molly, good gracious my angel, good heavens dear father! What a journey it was through the antique bookshop in Barcelona on Calle Santa Anna, to the streets of the city where the memories spilled like blood flowing like rain water though the gutters, where souls got ripped, raped and destroyed by the brutality of the war. Nothing feeds forgetfulness better than war, Daniel. We all keep quiet and they try to convince us that what we’ve seen, what we’ve done, what we’ve learned about ourselves and about others, is an illusion, a passing nightmare. Wars have no memory, and nobody has the courage to understand them until there are no voices left to tell what happened, until the moment comes when we no longer recognize them and they return, with another face and another name, to devour what they left behind. 1945. Barcelona Spain. It was a book, Shadows of the Wind by one Julián Carax, which brought the history alive for young Daniel. Not because it was explained in the book, but because through mysterious events after reading the book. It was a rare book, which reverberated quickly through the echoe chambers of the world of book collectors. It immediately draw attention as the last book of the author. Daniel Sempere made a promise never to tell where he he found it and protect it as his most precious possession. Daniel's father: 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.The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, hidden behind heavy bolted doors and high walls, brought voices alive of authors passed and present, who needed their story discovered and told. Brave, curious, but innocent, ten-year-old Daniel Sempere did not foresee the consequences when he opened that particular book to read. Nor could the effect it would have on him and his father's life be calculated.Clara: I had never known the pleasure of reading, of exploring the recesses of the soul, of letting myself be carried away by imagination, beauty, and the mystery of fiction and language. For me all those things were born with that novel.And so it was for Daniel as well. People populated Daniel's life from different walks of life. His journey to become a man, would cross paths with villains and angels; carers and destroyers. His life would forever be connected to those who survived the manslaughter of war. When peace finally came, it smelled of the sort of peace that haunts prisons and cemeteries, a shroud of silence and shame that rots one’s soul and never goes away. Along the way, a pathos and empathy grew for the people who managed to survive. A tragicomedy, a suspense thriller, a historical fictional tale - a culmination of the voices and ambiance in books such as: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez; Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières; The Time in Between by María Dueñas; Winter in Madrid by C.J. Sansom; Picasso's War by Russell Martin; For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway The Return by Victoria Hislop The Perfume Garden by Kate Lord Brown Diction, motivation, actions - it all flows along the prose adding context to bravery and courage, unlocking the strange chain of destiny between them. To these people, hope was cruel, it had no conscious, and words were sometimes better of in their prison of memories. Daniel had the power to keep these voice on paper alive, to allow them to be remembered. And then there is the backdrop of love in all its despicable, deceiving, destructive or honorable definitions. It meanders trough the labyrinth of the The Cemetery of Forgotten Books as well as the lives of the people who survived to tell their stories to Daniel. It was a constant reminder of what makes us all vulnerable and victorious in life. For Daniel, it was a fast, uncompromising road to adulthood in which no secrets remained hidden. For those who wanted to share their tales, words became a sort of melancholic revengeNurieta Monford:I began to dress like a pious widow or one of those women who seem to confuse sunlight with mortal sin. I went to work with my hair drawn back into a bun and no makeup. Despite my tactics, Sanmartí continued to shower me with lascivious remarks accompanied by his oily, putrid smile. It was a smile full of disdain, typical of self-important jerks who hang like stuffed sausages from the top of all corporate ladders.While the first snow of winter dropped like tears of light on the Plaza de Cataluña, an old man, trying to catch the snow with his gloves, wished Daniel good luck, his eyes the color of gold, like magic coins at the bottom of a fountain. What else could Daniel do but clung to the blessing and run ... The thing about words is that it takes us prisoner when rolled out by experienced wordsmiths. This is one of those moments, although I must admit that only the beginning chapters, almost to the middle, and the last third of the book finally captured me beyond imagination. I almost gave up, but the magic in the prose propelled me forward. Relentlessly. I just realized why not anyone can write a book, but why everyone, like yours truly, can get lost in the melody flowing from the magical alphabetic strings, the symbiotic sounds of voices on paper. Sometimes it is this music that kept me reading, surpassing the moral of the story. The quality of thought and execution in this novel confirmed the addiction of words and books. Humor and hope are strange bedfellows. It may manifest in the intimations of paradise ... a last dance with Eros ... Happiness in every which way had a purpose, even in galleries of despair, even softened by ecumenical disguise. Sincere laughter came. In 1966 it all made finally sense to Daniel Sempere. Doom and gloom have a counterbalance. A very good one. All it needed was time. And good readers to follow the light to the last full stop of the tale. The end.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Arah-Lynda

    Here is one for those of us who absolutely adore great literature. It is almost as though The Shadow of the Wind was written for book lovers everywhere. An adrenaline laced, pulse pounding, suspense filled, dark and romantic, gothic adventure, peopled with brilliantly developed, colourful, charismatic and ultimately,unforgetable characters. It really should come with a warning as it will keep you reading late into the night and long after you should have put it down. Fantastic! A must read folks Here is one for those of us who absolutely adore great literature. It is almost as though The Shadow of the Wind was written for book lovers everywhere. An adrenaline laced, pulse pounding, suspense filled, dark and romantic, gothic adventure, peopled with brilliantly developed, colourful, charismatic and ultimately,unforgetable characters. It really should come with a warning as it will keep you reading late into the night and long after you should have put it down. Fantastic! A must read folks. Make room on your book shelves for this one.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nataliya

    "Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you." Well, I wonder then what part of me I saw inside this book - a book I adored despite its imperfections, despite its frequent veering into melodrama, despite (or maybe because of?) its densely Gothic atmosphere. Whatever it was, it was enough to make me lose myself completely in the rich setting of mid-20th century Barcelona, in the world of seductive dangerous power of literature and perils and passions of young love, a "Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you." Well, I wonder then what part of me I saw inside this book - a book I adored despite its imperfections, despite its frequent veering into melodrama, despite (or maybe because of?) its densely Gothic atmosphere. Whatever it was, it was enough to make me lose myself completely in the rich setting of mid-20th century Barcelona, in the world of seductive dangerous power of literature and perils and passions of young love, and the contrasts of idealistic innocence with the weariness of experience, all against the rich tapestry of the city full of beauty and secrets and vividness, all told in a lavish idiomatic language that makes you forget you're reading a translation. And over all of this gothic surreal passion turned into words hangs a real grim presence of those in power who can come after you whenever they please, and who will try to silence you whenever they feel like it. "I told her how until that moment I had not understood that this was a story about lonely people, about absence and loss, and that that was why I had taken refuge in it until it became confused with my own life, like someone who has escaped into the pages of a novel because those whom he needs to love seem nothing more than ghosts inhabiting the mind of a stranger." This is really a story within a story. Narrated by a young Daniel Sempere, it chronicles his transformation from a child to a young man in a Francoist post-war Spain, his loves and obsessions, his brushes with the world of mysteries and reality - both of these worlds equally dangerous and fascinating. But Daniel is really a medium through which we learn the heart and soul of this book - the story of Julián Carax, a man who wrote a book that finds its way into Daniel's life, a man whose past and present shape the course of all the events in this narrative, Julián Carax who seems to be the embodiment of both driving force and destructive force in the pages of this novel. “There are few reasons for telling the truth, but for lying the number is infinite.” This book left me in an enchanted daze, and I'm still struggling to figure out why or how. What was it exactly that made it so easy for me to overlook the imperfections and blemishes of this story - the not-uncommon sexist male gaze, the telenovela-like melodramatic developments, the sometimes strange choices of inserting exposition into the narrative flow. "A story is a letter that the author writes to himself, to tell himself things that he would be unable to discover otherwise." And the only answers I can find are these - it was the fantastic engrossing atmosphere and the sincere unabashed love of literature, combined with the language that sings to you in all its exuberant beauty. The atmosphere is built on a classic Gothic setting. The foreboding darkness haunts the story, complete with foreshadowings, strange haunted old mansions, dark secrets waiting to be unearthed, feverish passions and dark past tormenting the characters, emotional epistolary confessions, menacing villains, and dark stormy nights in abundance. Shadows are everywhere, and things lurk in them, be sure of that. And destiny seems to reach in with its meddling hand and place things in necessary to it order. And the tortured, passionate love stories - oh yes, they are here, too. "Memories are worse than bullets.” And yet the framing setting of 1950s grounds the Gothic atmosphere, forces it into reality. And the pervasive sharp humor makes the story quite self-aware of its own stylized nature, making the elements that can easily turn annoying into fascinating bits instead. "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." Daniel, a son of a bookshop owner, has a special connection with books - after all, he was introduced by his father to the mysterious place known as Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a place in the heart of Barcelona where abandoned books are stored, a place from where he is allowed to 'adopt' a book - and what calls to him is the book by an obscure writer Julián Carax, a Barcelonian himself, a man long-dead, a man whose remaining books are hunted and burned by a mysterious stranger. "I began to believe that Julián was not a man, he was an illness." It's Julián Carax, his elusive past and present, the enigma that surrounds the man and is impossible for Daniel to resist that form the cornerstone, the centerpiece of this novel. Julián, a tragic hero of the Gothic novel, whose life and character are slowly revealed bit by bit, until you realize you are just as enchanted with him as the people who have met him seem to be - and all that without Julián ever making an appearance himself. And by the time we see the warning signs of Julián's single-minded destructive obsession, it is too late to turn back, and we begin to understand the strange obsession with him that more than one character carries. "There are worse prisons than words." This book is an example of the journey, not the destination. The plot twists are not pivotal. The reveals that come are not that important, and there are plenty of clues for the reader to come to the conclusions well before they are revealed. What is important, however, is allowing yourself to step into the world Zafón creates, into the early- and mid-century Barcelona, under the shadow of gothic buildings, into the world that no longer exists. Lovely, lovely book; not perfect but engrossing and beautiful, and well-deserving of the attention it has received. Reading it is a quite an experience. 4 stars. "Once, in my father's bookshop, I heard a regular customer say that 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."

  26. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Greendale

    Sound the alarm! Unpopular opinion to follow! (Making this review a bit more personal than usual, because I can't slam a one-star review on this highly popular title without giving some explanation for my disappointment). To put it simply: verbose and wearying. Zafón seems to have swallowed a thesaurus and proceeds to regurgitate synonyms with unrelenting force. In The Shadow of the Wind, a man does not simply urinate, he "discharge[s] his generous, steamy cascade." The Shadow of the Wind is an o Sound the alarm! Unpopular opinion to follow! (Making this review a bit more personal than usual, because I can't slam a one-star review on this highly popular title without giving some explanation for my disappointment). To put it simply: verbose and wearying. Zafón seems to have swallowed a thesaurus and proceeds to regurgitate synonyms with unrelenting force. In The Shadow of the Wind, a man does not simply urinate, he "discharge[s] his generous, steamy cascade." The Shadow of the Wind is an ode to books that's not so much Gothic literature as it's a telenovela, a trait that's only exacerbated by Jonathan Davis' melodramatic delivery as narrator. Female characters fall into one of two categories: either beautiful and voluptuous, with tremulous breasts, shapely calves, and a body suitable for impregnating, or unattractive old women whose haggard appearance deems them unsuitable for bedding. Every sex scene is so awkward, I found myself repeatedly wondering if this book was penned by a virgin. Death is a constant threat - at every turn, for every character - until it bears no gravity. Zafón: *mentions death* Me: *rolls eyes, yawns* The opening pages had me worried, because of one particular detail - one detail - that told me this would be a book I wasn't liable to get along with. I should have heeded my intuition and saved myself eighteen grueling hours of slogging through this tiresome audiobook. The opening scene that planted the first seed of concern: On that June morning, I woke up screaming at first light. My heart was pounding in my chest as if it feared that my soul wanted to carve its way out and run off down the stairs. My father hurried into my room and he held me in his arms, trying to calm me. [. . .] We looked at each other in the half-light, searching for words that didn't exist. For the first time, I realized my father was growing old. He stood up and drew the curtains to let in the pale glint of dawn. "Come, Daniel, get dressed. I want to show you something," he said. "Now? At five o'clock in the morning?" I ask you, when has a child ever been aware of, or concerned with, what time in the morning they've woken their parents? That line reeks of contrived drama. I wanted to like this book, truly, but it wasn't the right fit for me. Between the bloated writing, sexism, and exhausting abundance of drama, reaching the final page was an absolute chore.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Warwick

    Dire. The writing is along Dan Brown lines, with flowery metaphors mixed until they become meaningless. From page 1: "My father sighed, hiding behind the sad smile that followed him like a shadow all through his life." How can he be hiding behind it if it's following him? Then on the next page someone is described as having "vulturine features", but in the following sentence he has an "aquiline gaze". This sloppiness is everywhere. The whole thing feels like it desperately wants be seen as some k Dire. The writing is along Dan Brown lines, with flowery metaphors mixed until they become meaningless. From page 1: "My father sighed, hiding behind the sad smile that followed him like a shadow all through his life." How can he be hiding behind it if it's following him? Then on the next page someone is described as having "vulturine features", but in the following sentence he has an "aquiline gaze". This sloppiness is everywhere. The whole thing feels like it desperately wants be seen as some kind of profound parable, but the only result is that the characters are just implausible symbols. They are too bland even to hate – unlike the book itself, which I loathed.

  28. 4 out of 5

    بثينة العيسى

    ما أعظم هذا العمل..

  29. 4 out of 5

    Odai Al-Saeed

    أعيب على نفسي لو لمح لي فكري أو تبجحت ترجسيتي الغريزية لتنقد عمل كهذا ، هنا ومن خلال هذه الصفحة أقف وقفة تبجيل وإحترام أمام رواية زافون .... أي داهية كتب هذا العمل وأي ذائقية سوف ترضينا بعد ذلك الكاتب الذي سقف ابداعه السماء ... غبطت نفسي مرارآ لأن القدر استوقفني كي أكون أحد قارئي نص ريحه العاتية ولشرف الصدفة شاكرآ لأنه ساقني لهكذا اعجاز يخلط حي الحدث المتماهي مع العاطفة والتشويق.... شكر خاص لمترجم العمل المبدع معاوية عبدالمجيد ولدار ميسكيلاني على هذا السبق في الدقة والإخراج .....ستة نجوم لعمل سو أعيب على نفسي لو لمح لي فكري أو تبجحت ترجسيتي الغريزية لتنقد عمل كهذا ، هنا ومن خلال هذه الصفحة أقف وقفة تبجيل وإحترام أمام رواية زافون .... أي داهية كتب هذا العمل وأي ذائقية سوف ترضينا بعد ذلك الكاتب الذي سقف ابداعه السماء ... غبطت نفسي مرارآ لأن القدر استوقفني كي أكون أحد قارئي نص ريحه العاتية ولشرف الصدفة شاكرآ لأنه ساقني لهكذا اعجاز يخلط حي الحدث المتماهي مع العاطفة والتشويق.... شكر خاص لمترجم العمل المبدع معاوية عبدالمجيد ولدار ميسكيلاني على هذا السبق في الدقة والإخراج .....ستة نجوم لعمل سوف يسقط في ذهنك حالما يسألك شخص ما هي أهم عشر نصوص قرأتها في حياتك..... رواية خارج التقييم

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tea Jovanović

    I remember taking a Canadian edition with me to vacation in Dubai... And when we went to see Golden souk, instead of, like true female, enjoying all the displayed golden wonders, I found first bench and finished the book, while my family ohed and ahed over so much gold in one place... one of the five best books I've read in last 10 years

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