Author: Carloz Ruiz Zafon
Genre: Historical fiction, Literary fiction
First sentence reads: I still remember the day my father took me to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books for the first time.
Ok, I've got five words to describe this book;
Masterpiece, spellbinding, thrilling, soulful, beautiful.
Now when I think further, I can add more adjective but it doesn't matter. My rating and the 5 words would have told you whats necessary.
The year is 1945, Barcelona. A 10 year old boy, Daniel was brought by his father, Sempere to a secret book haven , the Cemetery of Forgotten books. There he chose a book which he was told to adopt and keep it a secret. The book that Daniel chose was The Shadow of the Wind by an unknown author called Julian Carax. Spellbound by the story Daniel starts to question the origin and whereabouts of the author. which lead to a mystery behind the elusive Julian Carax. As Daniel grows up, the pull of the mystery gets stronger and he resolves to delve fully into it. He realizes that as he followed the trail of the book's origin, a few people start to follow his trail like ants to breadcrumbs. The origin and mystery behind Julian Carax is the crux of the story and it ends as it begins with a heady mix of anticipation and elevated heartbeat.
This is the only book that left me sleepless and anxious to get to the end or to the crux of the story. It was utterly bewitching and unputdownable. Every sentence was a song, a poetry in motion, a dark mystery waiting to unfold. The characters were immensely delightful and heartwarming, Daniel, his dad Sempere, the family friend, Gustavo Barcelo, the ever humorous and witty Fermin Romero de Torres, Julian Carax, Nuria Monfort, Bea (Daniel's sweetheart) and the loyal friend Miqual Moliner. I was glad for the length of the book, and the masterful translation by Lucia Graves. It was a hugely satisfying read and I would highly recommend this book to any book lover and anybody who loves a great mystery told in a beautiful and soulful manner.
I couldn't help thinking that if i, by pure chance, had found a whole universe in a single unknown book, buried in that endless necropolis, tens of thousands more would remain unexplored, forgotten forever.
'Well, this is a story about book.'
'About accursed books, about a man who wrote them, about a character who broke out of pages of a novel so that he could burn it, about betrayal and a lost friendship. its a story of love, of hatred, and of dreams that live in the shadow of the wind.'
'Don't insult me Daniel. Let me remind you that you are talking to a professional in the art of seduction, and this business of kissing is for amateurs and little old men in slippers. Real women are won over bit by bit. Its all a question of psychology, like a good faena in a bullring.'