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The shadow of the wind
Cover of The shadow of the wind
The shadow of the wind
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Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the 'cemetery of lost books', a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel one cold morning in 1945 Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out 'La Sombra del Viento' by Julian Carax But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find Then, one night, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from La Sombra del Viento, a character who turns out to be the devil and he is tracking down every last copy of Carax's work in order to burn them
Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the 'cemetery of lost books', a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel one cold morning in 1945 Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out 'La Sombra del Viento' by Julian Carax But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find Then, one night, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from La Sombra del Viento, a character who turns out to be the devil and he is tracking down every last copy of Carax's work in order to burn them
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    145
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Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 16, 2004
    Ruiz Zafón's novel, a bestseller in his native Spain, takes the satanic touches from Angel Heart
    and stirs them into a bookish intrigue à la Foucault's Pendulum
    . The time is the 1950s; the place, Barcelona. Daniel Sempere, the son of a widowed bookstore owner, is 10 when he discovers a novel, The Shadow of the Wind
    , by Julián Carax. The novel is rare, the author obscure, and rumors tell of a horribly disfigured man who has been burning every copy he can find of Carax's novels. The man calls himself Laín Coubert—the name of the devil in one of Carax's novels. As he grows up, Daniel's fascination with the mysterious Carax links him to a blind femme fatale with a "porcelain gaze," Clara Barceló; another fan, a leftist jack-of-all-trades, Fermín Romero de Torres; his best friend's sister, the delectable Beatriz Aguilar; and, as he begins investigating the life and death of Carax, a cast of characters with secrets to hide. Officially, Carax's dead body was dumped in an alley in 1936. But discrepancies in this story surface. Meanwhile, Daniel and Fermín are being harried by a sadistic policeman, Carax's childhood friend. As Daniel's quest continues, frightening parallels between his own life and Carax's begin to emerge. Ruiz Zafón strives for a literary tone, and no scene goes by without its complement of florid, cute and inexact similes and metaphors (snow is "God's dandruff"; servants obey orders with "the efficiency and submissiveness of a body of well-trained insects"). Yet the colorful cast of characters, the gothic turns and the straining for effect only give the book the feel of para-literature or the Hollywood version of a great 19th-century novel. (Apr. 12)

    Forecast:
    Appealing packaging (a weathered, antique-look jacket), prepublication bookseller events and an eight-city author tour should give this an early boost, though momentum may flag down the stretch.

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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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