I read THE SHADOW OF THE WIND and it is one of the best books I have read.  When I read the prequel, ANGEL’S GAME, I was disappointed; it didn’t come close to the first book. 

Because SHADOW OF THE WIND is such a absorbing reading experience, I am posting the review.

THE SHADOW OF THE WIND – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

I still remember the day my father took me to the Cemetery of Forgotten  Books for the first time.  Has there ever been an opening sentence so  calculated to ensnare the lovers of books?

The Cemetery of  Forgotten books is a secret  place in Barcelona; the knowledge of its existence is passed from  generation to generation.  Daniel Sempere is taken their by his father,  a bookseller.  Books, Daniel  is told, have souls.  They contain the souls of the author and the  souls of all who read them and for whom they inspire dreams. Every time a  library or a bookstore closes, the guardians of the books rescue them  and protect them until they can be brought back into the light of day.  The first  time someone comes to the Cemetery of Forgotten books, they choose a  book and it  becomes the life-long responsibility of the person who takes it.  The  book Daniel chooses is THE SHADOW OF THE WIND  by Julian Carax.

Daniel is so enthralled by the book that he is  determined to find all the other books written by the author. But he  finds that someone is ahead of him, finding Carax’s books and destroying  them. One day, Daniel, as an adult, is confronted by the man who is  determined to erase Carax’s name and existence. Now, Daniel becomes  determined to discover the secrets of the man who wrote THE SHADOW OF  THE WIND and the man who wants it destroyed.

THE SHADOW OF THE  WIND is a story filled with joy. Carlos Ruiz Zafon places the narrative in  the period after WWII  when Spain is controlled by Francisco Franco and there are spies  everywhere, watching every moment of an individuals life.  Daniel is  shadowed by the police but he is also shadowed by the mysterious figure  who wants his book. But this is a book about the  power of words to transform lives, to broaden them, and make them  richer. And so, there is joy and hope.

The Rap Sheet blog had a  poll asking readers to vote on which mystery/crime novel was the best of  the decade.  THE SHADOW OF THE WIND didn’t win but I was reminded,  again, of what a wonderful book it is.

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  1. Condorena says:

    This book is one of my all time favorites as well. I remember coo sing it for it’s cover. What a gem I found disproving the adage once again.

  2. Beth says:

    THE SHADOW OF THE WIND can’t be explained. It has to be read so people can discover the magic of the cemetery of forgotten books. It is the kind of book that comes along so rarely.

  3. Jose Ignacio says:

    Beth, you may be interested to know that the third book in this trilogy has just been released in Spain. Hopefully soon will be available in English. You can read more at http://darkwolfsfantasyreviews

  4. Beth says:

    I thought SHADOW OF THE WIND was one of the most intriguing and original books I had read in a long time so I was eager to read ANGEL’S GAME. The second book, a prequel, was a disappointment after the first.

    I’ll keep my eye out for the third book and hope it has the same strengths and qualities as the first.

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