Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Book Review: The Shadow of the Wind

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 mater how many book we read, how many worlds we discover, or how much we learn to forget-we will return.  

The first chapter of Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind concludes with this paragraph.  Instantly, I was hooked.

Opening in 1945, Barcelona is a city slowly healing from the wounds of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel is a bookseller's son who mourns the loss of his mother.  He finds comfort only in words.  As the young boy's eleventh birthday approaches, his father takes him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books.  In this secret labyrinth each book waits for someone's choosing.  Drawn to its fancy binding, little Daniel picks a novel titled "The Shadow of the Wind," by an obscure Spanish writer, Julian Carax.  But when he sets to find the author's other works, he discovers someone has been destroying every copy of every book.

My Take on the Cemetery of Forgotten Books 
With one fateful turn of a page, Daniel begins an adventure that will unravel another man's tragedy and solve one of Barcelona's darkest secrets.  The past is an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love. Quickly, Daniel realizes that if he doesn't find out the truth about Julian Carax, he and those closest to him will horribly suffer.

The Shadow of the Wind is a dazzling novel about the power that one book can exert over the right reader.  Don't let its thick spine (it ends at a whooping 488 pages) turn you away.  The many chapters and numerous subplots ultimately reveal a love letter to literature, intended for readers who are as passionate about storytelling as its young hero.  If you're half as much of a book nerd as me, I'd certainly suggest it!  Also, I can't help but wonder is there's a mystery maze of forgotten titles right here in New York City?

My Rating:  *****

No comments:

Post a Comment