The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind

Book - 2004
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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 -- T he 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.

Publisher: New York :, Penguin Press,, [2004]
Copyright Date: ©2004
ISBN: 9781594200106
Branch Call Number: FIC RUI
Characteristics: 486 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Graves, Lucia
Ruiz Zafón, Carlos 1964-


From the critics

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Sep 12, 2020

Another great book by this author. some of the same characters return and I love the idea of the Cemetery for Lost books. It was interesting how the author uses the civil war and its effects on regular citizens.

Jul 08, 2020

Enjoyed the book. I did the audio version. Love the idea of a cemetery of forgotten books and the mysteries that come out of it. Has strong male characters. Can be long at times, but worth it in the end. I also listened to the prequel to this book.

Jun 02, 2020

Wow. Increíble, de verdad. I think any true lover of books should read this novel.

Check out my full review at :

May 20, 2020

If you enjoy syrupy melodrama, endless embellishments, and incredulous plot twists then this is your book.

Mar 16, 2020

A fantastic read. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Am looking forward to reading more of is work.

Dec 12, 2019

Loved the book.

Nov 29, 2019

Kathy. Barcelona

_McGeek_ May 15, 2019

The writing and storytelling in this is incredible. It isn't a fast read or a light read but it IS worth it. It really comes together, revealing the mystery and the truth of the characters.
I'd recommend this to anyone who is a fan of historical fiction, the setting of post-war Barcelona was really interesting. In 3 words; dark, romantic and mysterious.

Dec 31, 2018

A very, very dark gothic novel. There were no major players that I liked or admired. The main two characters - Julian Carax and Daniel Sempere were flawed by hopeless and naive love of women - and each was twarted by class separation, prejudice and revenge. The basic story is about a mystery and a search by Daniel to unravel it.
I wanted to like this novel but couldn't. It became more and more sad and depressing.

Nov 19, 2018

This book was a veeeerrrryyyy slow read. The characters are crass and the women are depicted only as sex objects.

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Oct 13, 2018

Barcelona, 1915 to1956. Daniel a book dealer's son, mourning the death of his mother, find solace in a mysterious book, The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Cara . But when he seeks other books by the author he cannot find any nor the author.
Mysteries abound and secrets as well. 490 pages. Fasinating and fille with descriptions of Barcelona and Paris.

Jan 26, 2013

A young boy is shown a secret sanctuary for forgotten books by his father. He finds a captivating book that he cannot put down. Once finished he is determined to read other books the author has written. But someone is burning every book he ever wrote. Daniel is determined to uncover the mystery behind the book and sets off on a journey that will bring new friends, danger, romance and adventure. Join Daniel as he discovers what really happened to Julian Carax.

notTom Dec 16, 2010

In a Barcelona that is still recovering from the Spanish Civil War, a boy named Daniel becomes entranced by a book named The Shadow of the Wind written by an obscure author named Julian Carax. However, as he rabidly searches for more of his books, he comes to discover that someone is systematically destroying every book written by Carax. The identity of this mysterious author lies at the heart of a tale filled with such intrigue, murder, heartbreak, and madness. Daniel realizes that someone is willing to go to any lengths to keep it hidden, and he is prepared to go to the same lengths to uncover the truth.

Apr 10, 2010

Young man taken to tomb of books which holds 1 copy of every book - story follows - translated from Spanish


Add Notices
nadian May 05, 2009

Sexual Content: Few descriptions of sexual scenes and some sexual language.

nadian May 05, 2009

Coarse Language: Brief moments of adult language.

nadian May 05, 2009

Violence: Many graphic descriptions of torture, violence and death.


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ArapahoeMaryA Feb 07, 2019

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.

SB2000 May 10, 2013

There are worse prisons than words Daniel

Mar 23, 2011

I still remember the day my father took me to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books for the first time.

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nadian May 05, 2009

nadian thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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