BookBrowse Reviews Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Shadow of the Wind

by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon X
Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2004, 496 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2005, 496 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


1st Novel Translated into 20 Languages

Comment: Shadow of the Wind is a complex and sometimes long winded novel (480 pages) that has drawn comparisons to books such as The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum.  It combines elements of  romance, mystery and crime into one big paella of a book, whilst also exploring many aspects of love - the love of a good book, the love of parents for their children, of unrequited, unspoken and rejected love and of love lost.

Set in Barcelona in the 1950s, it tells the story of 18 year-old Daniel Sempre, who finds a mysterious book in an equally mysterious library, by a little known author, Julian Carax.  So enamored is he of the author that he sets out to find out more about him and track down any other books he might have written.  However, he finds that not only has Carax written nothing else but that it seems someone is systematically eradicating all copies of the book by any means possible, including murder - and his might be the very last one in existence.  

Shadow of the Wind has been widely praised; one of the most glowing comments comes from Kirkus Reviews which says it "will keep you up nights-and it'll be time well spent. Absolutely marvelous."  However, there is a less glowing reaction from the reviewer at Publishers Weekly who feels that "Ruiz Zafón strives for a literary tone, and no scene goes by without its complement of florid, cute and inexact similes and metaphors... 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."   As always, you can decide for yourself by browsing the excerpt at BookBrowse, which has been expertly translated by Lucia Graves, daughter of the author and poet Robert Graves (I, Claudius et al).

This review is from the February 2, 2005 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Calypso
    Calypso
    by David Sedaris
    David Sedaris' Calypso is every bit as hilarious and irreverent, as clever and incisive, as ...
  • Book Jacket: The Word Is Murder
    The Word Is Murder
    by Anthony Horowitz
    A wealthy widow enters a London funeral home to make arrangements for her own funeral. Six hours ...
  • Book Jacket: Call Me American
    Call Me American
    by Abdi Nor Iftin
    As a boy growing up in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, Abdi Nor Iftin loved watching action ...
  • Book Jacket
    Driving Miss Norma
    by Ramie Liddle, Tim Bauerschmidt
    In my cultural life, I've met and been awed by two Normas: The demanding, clueless, fiercely ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Salt Houses by Hala Alyan

From a dazzling new literary voice, a debut novel about a Palestinian family caught between present and past.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A Place for Us
    by Fatima Farheen Mirza

    A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win If You See Me, Don't Say Hi

If You See Me, Don't Say Hi by Neel Patel

Patel's stories introduce a bold and timely new literary voice.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A P Saved I A P E

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.