Gripping, engaging page-turner! Written originally in Spanish by Carlos Ruis Zafon and translated into English by Lucia Graves, The Shadow of the Wind is one of best-selling books ever. It’s a book about books and the love for books!
After a long time I got so much hooked into a novel in a way that I can say that it is a must must read! Set in post-war(early 1900’s) backdrop of Spain, Barcelona in particular, it is a story of true friendship, veracious love and intense hatred. Has right amount of all emotions, yet each overwhelming in its own way!
Teenage Boy Daniel finds a book “The Shadow Of the Wind” in the secret Cemetery of forgotten books. The book and its author Julian Carax enthralls him and he is eager to read more of his work. In search of Julian’s work, who is known to be dead, Daniel finds that someone called Lain Coubert has been burning all of Julian’s novels over the past decade. This is when Daniel decides to find the fate of Julian.
Daniel’s quest is the crux of the story and is so irresistibly engaging that I, as a reader, felt as curious and involved as Daniel! I liked all the characters which were all very believable and they all seemed to be linked by destiny! During the time Daniel unravels Julian’s life, he slowly realises how his life is quite similar! The journey makes him not to repeat the same mistakes Julian made decades ago and changes his life! I kind of guessed a few things before reading them in novel but even that did not lessen the interest in the book! Such is the power of great writing 🙂
The climax was as satisfying the novel and as a reader I couldn’t have wished for anything else or more from the book! It’s an eloquent piece of literature and has surely secured it’s place in my most favourite books’ list! Once again, a strongly recommended read and if you do read it, you are doing the reader inside you a favour!
Few awesome quotes from the book:
“Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.”
“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.”
“People tend to complicate their own lives, as if living weren’t already complicated enough.”
“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.”
“The moment you stop to think about whether you love someone, you’ve already stopped loving that person forever.”
“Never trust anyone, Daniel, especially the people you admire. Those are the ones who will make you suffer the worst blows.”
“Memories are worse than bullets.”
“A secret’s worth depends on the people from whom it must be kept.”
“A story is a letter that the author writes to himself, to tell himself things that he would be unable to discover otherwise.
“People talk too much. Humans aren’t descended from monkeys. They come from parrots.”
“But in good time you’ll see that sometimes what matters isn’t what one gives but what one gives up.”
“Presents are made for the pleasure of who gives them, not the merits of who receives them.”
“Man…heats up like a lightbulb: red hot in the twinkling of an eye and cold again in a flash. The female, on the other hand…heats up like an iron. Slowly, over a low heat, like tasty stew. But then, once she has heated up, there’s no stopping he
“So long as we are being remembered, we remain alive.”
“Money is like any other virus: once it has rotted the soul of the person who houses it, it sets off in search of new blood.”
“Time has taught me not to loose hope , yet not to trust too much in hope either”