Yesterday, I finished “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruis Zafon. The book is a page-turner in the tradition of Umberto Eco, Gabriel GarcÃa MÃ¡rquez or Isabel Allende. Wonderful, magical, a literary painting. Personally, I think it’s more a thrilling novel than the literary thriller it is said to be on the cover – no Nicci French, thankfully. Again, I was seduced to buy the book after reading its intriguingng synopsis:
Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the ‘cemetery of lost books’, a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out ‘The Shadow of the Wind’ by Julian Carax. But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. Then, one night, as he is wandering the old streets once more, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from the Shadow of the Wind, a character who turns out to be the devil. This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax’s work in order to burn them. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind.
It’s the kind of book you can’t put away; you have to keep on reading. If you by any chance do stop reading – because you fell asleep or your Love wants some attention too – and you leave it for a bit, it will only take one or two sentences to be well inside the story again! It’s romantic, historic, a thriller, a book inside a book… I felt sad when I finished it – not because of the ending, but because I had turned that last page! Read it!
Unfortunately, I am without reading material at the moment – waiting for a translation of Allende’s Zorro and the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince -, so if anyone has any suggestions: tell me in the comment thingy!