"The Shadow of the Wind" is an intriguing tale, blending Gothic, historical and noir elements.
It took me a few pages to get used to Zafón's (too) orna...more"The Shadow of the Wind" is an intriguing tale, blending Gothic, historical and noir elements.
It took me a few pages to get used to Zafón's (too) ornate style and all of its details and analogies (some of them effective, some redundant), but I was soon engulfed in the story. Or stories, because there is a tale within the tale. This secondary story, which mirrors the story of the protagonist is exciting, at least the first few times it is repeated over and over again, but from different points of view. By the time we get the definitive version, though, I was growing a bit tired of it and the lengthy, unnecessarily detailed and soap-operish fashion in which it was presented did not help much.
It is, nevertheless, an enchanting and intricate story, with classic Gothic/noir motifs, some good twists (and some unnecessary and/or predictatble ones), a satisfactory ending and a promise for more.(less)
'Perfume' has an interesting premise - Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born in misery and left for dead. Against the odds, though, he fights/endures his w...more'Perfume' has an interesting premise - Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born in misery and left for dead. Against the odds, though, he fights/endures his way through life. Despite his unremarkable appearance, he has two extraordinary characteristics - he has a supernatural olfactory perception, and, ironically, no personal scent. However, for a novel that revolves around the sense of smell, it describes the effects and physics of smell surprisingly unrealistically. What is more, to me as a reader, the main character appeared as he did to his fellow-citizens - uncomely and insignificant. Aside for his olfactory gift, his personally (or rather lack of one) is quite dull. As for the murder part - it is unevenly told and is more of a background story. So as a horror/crime/mystery novel I'd say the book does not work out very well. Read as a historical novel, however, it is entertaining, as it offers a rich, picturesque (as well as grotesque) and plausible description of the age and its people.(less)