Title : The Shadow of the Wind
Author : Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Genre : Adult historical fiction
Goodreads summary :
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.
Books like this make me feel joy in the fact that as a kid, I picked up this habit of reading which slowly developed into a passion for life. Books like these remind me why I love reading so much and will keep doing (hopefully) for the rest of my life. I mean, sure, there are books which I read and enjoy and even love, but this book contains everything which primarily attracts me to reading. This was an absolute masterpiece.
The plot of the book is beyond excellent, it is intriguing, mysterious and sinister. Though the back cover of the book summarises it to be an young boy’s journey to rediscover an author someone is trying to wipe out, at its heart, this book is a love story. It’s an account of a love affair gone wrong and the ramifications of that over different lives, and through a multitude of years. This book is a dedication to friendship and celebrates the joy of words and literature.
What I thoroughly enjoyed about the book is how it contains a bit of everything. It is mysterious, thrilling, romantic and interesting. The thriller-y aspect of the book actually had the hair on my arms standing (plus, I scare easy) and I honestly felt afraid to read bits of it when alone in a room even in bright daylight.
The suspense is brilliant. There were parts where I had to speed through the the book to know what happened next, so much so that I often could not completely soak up the beautiful writing (more on the writing later.) There are a couple of love stories weaved into the story which fit perfectly, and were a relief to read from the otherwise suspenseful parts.
There is excellent portrayal of family lives, both of broken homes and loving parents. The friendships in the book were heartwarming. It was interesting to see the different friendships grow and develop.
The writing was pure magic. I regret having rushed through a few parts of the book, but the parts I took in slowly, I devoured the writing. It was absolutely amazing, and the way the author strings together words is commendable. Even simple things are written so well, and certain phrases here and there are so well-worded and meaningful that it hurts.
The characters were very well-sketched and fleshed-out. I fell in love with the main characters, even though each had his/her own quirks and shortcomings, they were absolutely adorable. Also, the growth of the main character, Daniel, was so realistic and well-portrayed.
Overall, I loved this book. I highly recommend it to anyone who’s even mildly interested in this genre of books, or in this book particularly. I assure you, you won’t be disappointed.