Kirstie Ellen's Reviews > The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
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it was amazing
bookshelves: historical-fiction
Recommended for: Anyone ready to have their mind blown

Can we just start by saying, this is a book ABOUT a book. And oh-my-god if that just rev up your book nerd excitement I don't know what will. It is literally an entire 500 (ish) page journey about stories. Remember to breathe.

This book is pure genius. The Shadow of the Wind is honestly a mind blowing experience that I enjoyed far too much than is probably good for my well-being. It's the story of a young boy, Daniel, who discovers a book, The Shadow of the Wind by Julián Carax in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. And from there we leap through several genres and end up with a book that is best described as a romantic, gothic-mystery thriller. Yeah. Wow. It is incredible. I would recommend this to certain people but quite frankly I believe this is a book that if you ever so happen to stumble across it in a bookstore, just buy it. Everyone should try this. Whilst I don't think everyone will like this, you simply just don't know if you will. Once you open this book, well, picture yourself as a boulder, sitting atop a large hill. Now imagine you open this book and some gives you an almighty kick that sends your plummeting down the hill. Yeah, that's the best way to describe the experience of reading this book. Exhilarating.

The Plot
So after Daniel discovers this book, he reads it all in one night in his apartment where he lives with his father above their bookstore. His mother died at an young age so it's just the two of them. He loves the book so much that he tries to find other works by Carax, but can't and instead discovers that a mad, crazy man (who is grotesquely disfigured and whom we are forever guessing the identity of) is also searching for them and destroying every copy. Further intrigued he tries to discover the mystery behind these books and the illusive author: Carax. Little does he know he is about to plunge himself into the horrors of a history best left undisturbed. This is truly a crazy plot and oh-my-god the plot twists were killing me. Toward the end of the book I frequently began to frustrated my family with my exclamations of OH WHAT. THAT WAS HIM?!!

Daniel and Fermín
Behold, the greatest duo of literature. No truly, Fermín is incredibly hilarious. A tramp that Daniel and his father pull off the streets to help them run their bookstore, Fermín is a confrontingly energetic character who gives this book an incredible flare and provides Daniel with invaluable advice throughout the journey. A personal favourite of mine:
"Nobody knows much about women, not even Freud, not even women themselves."
He also has a mysterious past (who doesn't in this book?!) and the horrible Inspector Fumero is on his case for reasons we do not discover for a long, long time. We can praise the combined efforts of Fermín and Barceló (a family friend with a similar interest in books, who also has a blind daughter - Clara - that Daniel is semi in love with) that the book gets pushed into action. If nothing else, the book is worth reading for Fermín's beautiful outlook on life and incredible self-image he holds of himself. Other notable characters are Bea (of course), but I won't tell you anything about her, Nuria (*cries*), and of course, Miquel, Carax's life-long friend.

Daniel v.s. Carax
This was probably the most, what would you say, frightening? part of the book. The more you read, the more you realise that these two men are treading a very similar path. And when you realise that, or more to the point, when Daniel realises this (although he suspects it for a while before) you just want to die inside. It's him versus time to stop his life unraveling just as Carax's did. One word, Bea.

A Beautifully Written Book
I was spellbound for so much of this book because of the way Zafón is so capable of capturing the reader's imagination and interest and dragging them into the story. I often made the comparison of how I, myself, responded to Zafón's book, to how Daniel responds to Carax's book. Whew. It's just so good. Along the way we're revealed various flash-blacks that slowly piece together the mysterious of Carax and his friends, and what really happened the night he fled to Paris to begin his flop of a career as an author. If you're not a fan of horror, I just want to warn you that I would definitely describe some of this book at heart racing, but I cannot express enough how good this book is! And you know what the best news is? THERE'S THREE MORE BOOKS *celebrations*. The story is brutal, it's confronting, and I warn you now the concluding end of the book made me squirm. But by god, it is worth reading.

The Shadow of the Wind is on heck of a book. I recommend you read it, but prepare yourself for a roller coaster and don't forget to collect the pieces of your soul as is explodes after the (very) stressful action-packed conclusion of the book. *Deep breaths*. So go on, what are you waiting for?

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Reading Progress

December 24, 2013 – Shelved
December 24, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
December 4, 2014 – Started Reading
December 7, 2014 –
page 113
December 10, 2014 –
page 185
December 11, 2014 –
page 219
December 13, 2014 –
page 365
December 13, 2014 –
page 429
December 14, 2014 – Finished Reading
January 12, 2015 – Shelved as: historical-fiction

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