The Shadow of the Wind

“A book is a mirror that offers us only what we already carry inside us, that when we read, we do it will all our heart and mind.”

The Shadow of the Wind was written by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and was translated from the original Spanish to English by Lucia Graves.  I loved this book.  It was an engaging mystery story with some fantastic lines throughout the book that made me laugh and smile throughout the book.  I use an index card as my bookmark, and when I find something I love in a book I’ll make a short notation of it, either the page number or the entire quote.  For this book my bookmark has 15 page numbers listed from this book.  The quote I opened this post with is from the book and reminds me in large part why I enjoy reading in the first place, because of how amazing books are and what they bring to the reader.

Book Stats

487 pages

Mystery

Stand Alone book

Characters

The book centers on Daniel Sempere, the son of a bookseller in Barcelona.  The book begins with Daniel being 10 years old and follows him throughout his life.  I enjoyed reading about Daniel and I thought he was a very well written character, but my favorite character in the book was Fermin.  Fermin begins the book as a beggar on the streets who helps Daniel after he has been in a fight.  Later, Daniel convinces his father to hire Fermin to help in the bookstore.  As the book continues we find that Fermin was some sort of spy during the Spanish Civil War.  Fermin is a wonderful character who had some of my favorite lines in any book I’ve read for quite some time.

Setting

The book is set in Barcelona, Spain during the 1930’s through the 1960’s.

Plot

The book begins with Daniel being 10 years old and his father taking him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books.  While there, he discovers a book written by Julian Carax titled “The Shadow of the Wind”.  He takes this book with him and reads it that night, finishing it early in the morning.  After finishing the book, Daniel wants to find more books written by Carax, but is unable to.  It seems that someone has been traveling throughout Spain and France buying every copy of Carax’s books they can find and then burning them.  From here Daniel starts to investigate the life of Carax and trying to find out more about the author that no one seems to know anything about.  Early in his search, he meets a man who claims he is Lain Coubert who offers to buy the book from Daniel.  Lain Coubert was the name that the Devil used in The Shadow of the Wind.

Enjoyment

The book was wonderfully written with some of the best lines of prose that I’ve ever read.  The characters were all fun and the story was full of intrigue as you watch Daniel try to solve the mystery of what happened to Carax.  The story is wonderful and unfolds at a good pace and keeps you guessing throughout the novel.  Everything works out perfectly with the story and I thought that everything was tied up well by the end of the book, as a good mystery should do.

Overall Grade

Wonderful characters, and strong story, and very memorable lines of dialogue make this a book that I will readily suggest to anyone who enjoys a good read.

10/10

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