The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon | Teen Ink

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

August 10, 2011
By sithukorale GOLD, Mississauga, Other
sithukorale GOLD, Mississauga, Other
13 articles 2 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Better well done than well said"
Benjamin Franklin

“Page after page I let the spell of the story and its world take me over...”
Daniel, Protagonist

Mystery, tragedy, obsession, revenge, darkness and humor, romance and horror are somehow all mixed in this magical, rich, delicious read. It is told by young Daniel, son of an antique book shop keeper and lover of stories, and begins when he is introduced by his father to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. In the outskirts of 1945 Barcelona The Cemetery of Forgotten Books is a “carcass of a palace” where books- tens of thousands- that people no longer remember, are preserved. Tradition is that the first time someone visits the cemetery they must choose a book- and promise to make sure it never dies. The book that Daniel befriends will unearth a dark yet beautiful secret of love and revenge thriving in the depths of the ancient city. That book is The Shadow of the Wind by a Julian Carax.

However, Daniel soon discovers that this captivating book, which was so mesmerising he read it in one night, is perhaps the last existing book of Julian Carax. Because someone is systematically destroying all of the Carax books- which is perhaps the worst nightmare of a writer. Someone who smells of burnt paper and calls himself Lain Coubert- the name of the devil in a Carax novel. And as the mysterious “devil” persistently follows Daniel to get his hands on the the book, Daniel- who as he grows comes across his own life changing experiences- goes deeper and deeper in to the tragic, dark past of Julian Carax and discovers that the secrets are still very much alive.

Who killed Julian Carax?

Was it because he loved Penelope, the sister of his aristocratic friend Jorge Aldaya?

And who is Lain Coubert?

The answers are a thousand times more shocking and delicious than you can imagine. The experience is made all the more wonderful by the colorful stories and memorable characteristics the author has given to the characters- for example- hillarious yet the wise Fermin, who is a secret agent turned homeless man and his mortal enemy- Fumero, the psychopathic police inspector who deep within hides a memory of unrequited love and the desire for revenge. The author is undoubtedly a master at storytelling because just when you wonder how the characters, the past and the present, and all the loose ends of the story can possibly be connected- he blows you away with a stunning ending. The plot is so richly complex that it is definitely not a story of real life; but purely a sumptuous read.

Written by the Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafon and beautifully translated into English by Lucia Graves, The Shadow of the Wind must be read if you would like to get thoroughly lost in a story. If that doesn't persuade you, these raving critiques should: “One gorgeous read”, Stephen King: “A potent mix...”, Benedicte Page, Bookseller: and “...dazzling....”, The Times-Picayne.

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