Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the WindThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Shadow of the Wind” is a love letter to all book lovers. A young boy named Daniel is given charge of a book – a book that he is to keep safe and to be responsible for during the rest of his life. The book that he chooses to take charge of naturally throws him into the path of danger and mystery that will alter everything he has ever understood about life, literature, and those that create the words on the pages we love so much.

Towards the beginning of the book after the characters have been established and the conflict introduced, Daniel, now in his later teens, describes the book also entitled “The Shadow of the Wind” he is responsible for and how it has impacted his life since coming into possession of it.” He says, “This is a story about books….about accursed books, about the man who wrote them, about a character who broke out of the pages of a novel so that he could burn it, about a betrayal, and a lost friendship. It’s a story of love, of hatred, and of the dreams that live in the shadow of the wind (178).”

“The Shadow of the Wind” written by Carlos Ruiz Zafon would be a great book based on plot and characterization alone. However, it is the language – its majestic rise and fall, its masterful ability to convey emotion or scenery – that won me over. What makes the language even more incredible is that this is a translation of a Spanish book. Lucia Graves, daughter of the famous English poet Robert Graves, deserves acknowledgment for her uncanny talent for crafting words that were not originally her own.

“Shadow of the Wind” is not a book meant to be sampled in small portions. It is a book that is meant to be devoured and to be appreciated for its complexity and also its simple telling of the universal truths we find in life, in literature, and in each other. Read it. You will not be disappointed.

{For further discussion and review, please visit, as this was our first book club book. As always, happy reading!}

1 comment:

Brian and Lindsey said...

Glad that you review your books on here. Thanks for helping me find new reads!