I’ve had this book since my birthday last year. Almost a year later, I’ve finally read it. I don’t really know why I took so long to read this one. I’d guess it never really fit the mood I was in when looking for a book.
“Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.”
– Taken from Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1232.The_Shadow_of_the_Wind?from_search=true)
The first thing that really caught my attention in the story was the existence of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books The name makes pretty clear what this is, but my inner bookworm went ballistic with the thought of books being completely forgotten. Not to mention all the possibilities for rescuing a book from oblivion. And that’s exactly what Daniel, the main character, sets out to do. What was supposed to be quite easy becomes a convoluted story, full of enmities, secrets, and lies.
At points, it was a bit dull, especially toward the end, when Daniel gets the stories of people who knew Carax. On the other hand, some of the characters were really fascinating, and I kept turning the pages, waiting for them to reappear. A very important and fascinating character was the city of Barcelona (yes, I’m considering it to be a character). I’ve never been to Barcelona. In fact, I’ve never been to Spain (unless you count a few hours spent at the airport of Madrid). But I’ve been told, time and time again, that Barcelona is a fascinating city, and I do want to go there one day.
I really loved the way this book was written. The way the author set the mood to the scenes, the way he introduced his characters, revealing tidbits of information… Other than the stories told that compose the puzzle of Carax’s life, there are no information dumps, which was quite a pleasant change from the YA books I’ve been reading. Granted, this is an adult book, but still, the fact that I did not have to deal with any information dumps was really great. As for the ending, I did not see it coming. I had different guesses about Carax, and all of them turned out to be wrong.
Rating: 4 out of 5.