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The Shadow of the Wind (El cementerio de los libros olvidados #1)

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  233,302 ratings  ·  18,153 reviews
Un amanecer de 1945 un muchacho es conducido por su padre a un misterioso lugar oculto en el corazón de la ciudad vieja: El Cementerio de los Libros Olvidados. Allí, Daniel Sempere encuentra un libro maldito que cambiará el rumbo de su vida y le arrastrará a un laberinto de intrigas y secretos enterrados en el alma oscura de la ciudad.

La Sombra del Viento es un misterio li
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Paperback, 506 pages
Published June 2012 by Phoenix (first published 2001)
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Meagan Osinga You can definitely read this on its own. I haven't read the others in the series and it has easily made my top 5 favourite books. Its a beautifully…moreYou can definitely read this on its own. I haven't read the others in the series and it has easily made my top 5 favourite books. Its a beautifully written novel, one that easily stands on its own. Hope you enjoy it :)(less)
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) No veo aquí la pregunta sobre el libro. Pero no se crea que todas las novelas historicas españolas son como ésta. Personalmente no la clasificaría yo…moreNo veo aquí la pregunta sobre el libro. Pero no se crea que todas las novelas historicas españolas son como ésta. Personalmente no la clasificaría yo como "historica". Sí, ocurre en el pasado, pero la historia de España realmente no incide en la trama. Como "novelas historicas" pienso más en Pio Baroja, Galdos y similares.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jamie
Mar 26, 2011 Jamie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone. So good.
Recommended to Jamie by: The girl at the Ferry Building Bookshop
There's probably nothing much I "learned" in the introspective sense, but this is a novel like a novel ought to be. This is an epic film on paper, gloomy and engaging, smokey, noir with crumbling ruins, young love, disfigurment, lust, torture...the stuff of Dumas, DuMauier and, as of late, The Historian. I woke up at five a.m. and had to sweet talk myself back to sleep: all I wanted to do was read. One Friday, after work, I took sanctuary in The Hotel Biron, those little tables in the dark, page ...more
Annalisa
Feb 10, 2014 Annalisa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: some language and sex
Recommended to Annalisa by: book club
I read the opening few pages and instantly knew 3 things:
1. I was going to love this book.
2. I needed a whole pad of post-its to mark quotes.
3. I wanted to read this in Spanish for the rich poetry the language would add.

A young boy Daniel is taken by his father to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and told to salvage a book which he must take stewardship over. He choses a novel—or maybe it chose him—that touches him, stirs his desire for literature, and forever entangles him with the fate of the b
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Tanja (Tanychy) St. Delphi
Mar 26, 2015 Tanja (Tanychy) St. Delphi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Tanja (Tanychy) by: a friend
The fact is that I’ll never be able to write a real review for this book. Here is why :

1. I’m not good enough.
I’m not now and I’ll never be. It doesn’t matter how many books you have read or how smart you are, you’ll never be good enough for that. You won’t be able to find exact words and it’s not just you. Only person who can is the author himself, but I think he already said everything he wanted.
Don’t believe me?
- “Books are mirrors - you only see in them what you already have inside you.”
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Daniel
After reading The Shadow of the Wind, I was left with somewhat mixed feelings. On the one hand, this is such a beautifully written book, and is in essence an ode to literature. On the other hand, there are some serious flaws which distracts from the whole experience.

The best thing about the book, in my opinion, is Zafon's skill in artistic writing. It reminds me of why I love to read in the first place, and makes me wish I could write as beautiful as this. The book contains lots of memorable qu
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Simon
It's been a couple years since I read this book so I shouldn't and won't go into details, but the effect has lingered all this time. There's no other book I'm quicker to recommend than this one. It's not that it's particularly important in a lot of the ways "important" books are, it's just that it works as pure reading pleasure (and sometimes, isn't that enough?); so I find reviews from people desperate to discover structural flaws and stylistic cliches to be totally missing the point. Buy it ne ...more
Lola
I found this novel by accident, while quickly browsing shelves at the local library, and let me just say it was the best accidental find i've had in years. From the very first line to the end i loved it, and as a reader i am not easily pleased by anything. I love stories out of the ordinary that captivate my imagination and run away with it. That is exactly what The Shadow of The Wind did.

Right off the bat the plot intrigued me, Daniel Sempere is taken to the a secret labyrinth of forgotten book
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Kelly
Trying too hard. I wonder if I hadn't read this right after Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell if I would have liked it better. They were both trying to pay homage to the gothic/Romantic era writers, except that Strange and Norrell was brilliant, and this one was.. eh. I appreciated what the author was trying to do, but he didn't do it well enough to keep me reading. Yes, Romantic lit is full of cliche, but the thing is to do it in an intriguing way and with enough wit to keep your audience intere ...more
Nataliya
"Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you."
Well, I wonder then what part of me I saw inside this book - a book I adored despite its imperfections, despite its frequent veering into melodrama, despite (or maybe because of?) its densely Gothic atmosphere.

Whatever it was, it was enough to make me lose myself completely in the rich setting of mid-20th century Barcelona, in the world of seductive dangerous power of literature and perils and passions of young love, a
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Jon Cox
I can't believe someone actually published this book. Even worse, in my opinion is the fact that this book is on the New York Times Bestseller List. How is this possible? It must only mean that there are a lot of people out there that think very differently from me. Don't you be one of them. Seriously. Don't be fooled by this book. It is insipid, lame, and poorly written.

First. The prose is so overblown that the author uses three adjectives for every single noun. Count them. He evidently was to
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Steve Sckenda
Daniel woke up and could no longer remember the face of his dead mother. In sad Barcelona of 1945, Franco’s secret police terrorize survivors of the Spanish Civil War. The psyches of Barcelonans are as scarred as the bullet-pocked buildings, and the streets are haunted with the melancholy shadows of the dead and the disappeared. Little Daniel will not pause until he can again recall the world of shadow.

Daniel’s father, an antique bookseller, takes him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books where ne
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Antonio
May 05, 2015 Antonio rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: TODOS, todo el mundo
Recommended to Antonio by: Veronika Carmona


Todavía recuerdo aquel amanecer en que mi padre me llevó por primera vez a visitar el Cementerio de los Libros Olvidados.


Porque cinco estrellas no me alcanzan para la constelación mayor que quiero armar en este firmamento digital, porque pase las cuatro de la mañana devorando frases, párrafos, paginas, hojas y capítulos como un hombre que ha estado hambriento de arte por bastante tiempo, porque mis ojos rojos prueban que el papel tatuado de palabras es una de las drogas más extrañas y hermosas
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Jordan
This book SEEMED like it was going to be so good - a dark mystery set in post-war Barcelona, with tragic love and a place called The Cemetary of Forgotton Books... what's not to love? (To be honest, I'm not a fan of tragic love, but everything else at least seemed great). But while I was vaguely curious to see how everything pieced together, I didn't like or care about any of the characters, and dialogue like "Sometimes I no longer know who you are," kept me at a distance. The book never went be ...more
Warwick
Dire. The writing is along Dan Brown lines, with flowery metaphors mixed until they become meaningless. From page 1: "My father sighed, hiding behind the sad smile that followed him like a shadow all through his life." How can he be hiding behind it if it's following him? Then on the next page someone is described as having "vulturine features", but in the following sentence he has an "aquiline gaze". This sloppiness is everywhere.

The whole thing feels like it desperately wants be seen as some k
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Deb
I bought a copy of this book last September at the library's book sale, but it languished unread on my shelf until yesterday. What prompted me to pick it up was this: I was browsing through the backlist and pre-orders at Subterranean Press because of an author I'd found who releases specialized, small run stories that I thought I'd like to read. (Caitlin R. Kiernan) Turns out her books now run about $40-60 a pop and are generally only available third hand. As I browsed down the list, I saw that ...more
Kim

This novel begins with a visit to an amazingly evocative location. A father takes his ten-year-old son Daniel to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a secret labyrinth visited and maintained by Barcelona’s second-hand booksellers. Daniel must choose a book to treasure and keep with him all his life. He chooses a novel written by Julián Carax, an author who has disappeared and whose books have been sought out and destroyed by a strange, shadowy figure named after a character from one of Carax's nove
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Suzy
Jan 26, 2008 Suzy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Patient readers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lauren
Ruiz Zafón has created a near-perfect novel: seductive and intriguing characters, a brilliant Spanish locale, and a lyrical style reminiscent of past literary masters. I found myself reading passages countless times just to savor the words. The language was so solid and mesmerizing, I could not believe it was a translation. The story lingers in your mind hours and days after reading it, and I become nostalgic; wishing I could read it again for the first time.

When Daniel Sempere first enters the
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Diane Librarian
This novel started off very promising, but soon devolved into bad writing and ridiculous plotting. I finally had to abandon it after 200 pages because I didn't want to waste another minute on it. I'm going to give the writer the benefit of the doubt and wonder if this was poorly translated from the Spanish.

The story is set in Barcelona in 1945. What I liked about the beginning was the idea of a young boy being drawn into a secret world of readers. Daniel was 10 when his father took him to the C
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umberto
In fact I came across this novel some few months ago at Kinokuniya Bookstore in Bangkok but I decided not to buy it then, I thought I didn't have time to finish its 500+ pages. I wasn't sure if it's a page-turner and I had never heard of Carlos Ruiz Zafon or read his book before.

However, I bought a copy from one of the booths in our annual Book Expo XVI held early this month in Bangkok. Surprisingly, its first page thrilled me with words I've never read before: "The only thing I can recall is th
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Monique Gerken
This is my favorite book of all time! It is my goal in life to have everyone read this. There wasn't a dull moment and it keeps you guessing.

"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-th
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Sue
I really loved this book. It had elements of so many types of books rolled into one: it is an adventure; a paean to books and reading; a deep mystery while also a romance; it is a comic tragedy or a tragic comedy; there are so many overtones of the tragic history of Spain itself. And of course there is the magic, both in the words and in the action.

This book seems perfectly set in those murky years after World War II. While much of the world was attempting to return to some form of normal, Spain
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Seth Hahne
The problem with The Shadow of the Wind is that it tricked me into believing it was a great book by being so freaking fun. It is only now, after a month or so has passed since my reading, that I realize that No, The Shadow of the Wind was not a great book.

But it was freaking fun.

Seriously. Despite the pretty good writing, the largely stereotyped characters, the cliched plot development, and the soap-operatic twists and revelations, The Shadow of the Wind was a very fun ride. Despite the fact tha
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Arah-Lynda


Here is one for those of us who absolutely adore great literature. It is almost as though The Shadow of the Wind was written for book lovers everywhere. An adrenaline laced, pulse pounding, suspense filled, dark and romantic, gothic adventure, peopled with brilliantly developed, colourful, charismatic and ultimately,unforgetable characters. It really should come with a warning as it will keep you reading late into the night and long after you should have put it down. Fantastic! A must read folks
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Maxwell
First read: May 12-17, 2014-
Everything about this novel was captivating. The story follows Daniel, a young boy, whose father is a bookseller. He is taken to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and allowed to pick out one book that he is expected to 'save' or, in a sense, remember throughout his life. He picks a novel by Julian Carax titled "The Shadow of the Wind," and is immediately sucked into the story. From there, the novel follows Daniel as he begins to learn more about the illusive author, Jul
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Will M.
One of the best novels I've read, and not just of the Historical Fiction genre. This has to be the very first novel to really make me feel like I was living the life of the main character. I don't think I'll ever be able to get over how amazing this novel is. I'm going to have to reread this one day, because I really need to experience this whole novel one more time. I'll have to read the sequels first though.

Everything about this novel is superb. The characters, setting, plot, deliverance, and
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Carol
Apr 26, 2012 Carol rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Carol by: Paul, Helen, book groups
Several of my GoodReads friends really loved Shadow of the Wind. Paul and Helen nudged me to move it up on my list and I can't thank them enough for this. I have just spent the last week reading one of the most engaging novels that I've read this past year. Watch out everyone. I'm going to badger you until you read it too.

Shadow of the Wind is a bit of a humbling experience; I'm truly not certain I can do it justice. If you're a book lover, someone who loves to read, who appreciates stories wit
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Madeline
"This is a place of mystery, Daniel, a sanctuary. Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down the pages, its spirit grows and strengthens. This place was already ancient when my father brought me here for the first time, many years ago. Perhaps as old as the city itself. Nobody knows for certain how long it has existed, or who c ...more
Dracolibris
This book had me hooked when the young protagonist is taken to "The Cemetery of Forgotten Books" by his father in 1945 Barcelona. There he is allowed to choose one book that he will "adopt" and take care of, making sure it is never forgotten. He picks, seemingly at random, a book titled "The Shadow of the Wind" by an unknown author named Julian Carax.

But problems arise when, as the years go by, it becomes apparent that someone wants to make sure that all of Carax's books are not just forgotten,
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Juliana Zapata
Es un libro increíble con una historia hermosa, creo que de todos los libros que he leído, éste es el libro con mas citas hermosas de todos.

Disfruté mucho los personajes del libro y el desenlace de la historia fue perfecto

Reseña Completa: http://bastvilard.blogspot.com/2015/0...
Franco  Santos
Los libros son espejos: sólo se ve en ellos lo que uno ya lleva dentro.

Es un libro espectacular. Un homenaje a los libros, a la pasión por la lectura. Tengo que confesar que la primera vez que traté de leerlo me aburrió; pero lo volví a intentar unos meses después y no pude soltarlo. Supongo que no estaba preparado para el tipo de narración de Zafón: muy poética, aun en lo mas sencillo. Hasta pesada, diría. Sin embargo, una vez que me acostumbré me gustó muchísimo. Es sumamente adictivo.

Me enc
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Carlos Ruiz Zafón is a Spanish novelist. Born in Barcelona in 1964, he has lived in Los Angeles, United States, since 1994, and works as a scriptwriter aside from writing novels.

His first novel, El príncipe de la niebla (The Prince of Mist, 1993), earned the Edebé literary prize for young adult fiction. He is also the author of three more young-adult novels, El palacio de la medianoche (1994), Las
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More about Carlos Ruiz Zafón...

Other Books in the Series

El cementerio de los libros olvidados (3 books)
  • El juego del ángel (El cementerio de los libros olvidados, #2)
  • The Prisoner of Heaven (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #3)
El juego del ángel (El cementerio de los libros olvidados, #2) The Prisoner of Heaven (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #3) Marina The Prince of Mist (Niebla, #1) The Midnight Palace (Niebla, #2)

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“Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.” 4018 likes
“Fools talk, cowards are silent, wise men listen.” 2836 likes
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