The Cemetery of Lost Books discussion

The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1)
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The Shadow of the Wind > Personal Experience

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Badger | 86 comments This is an experience I had related to reading SotW. When I finished reading this book some years ago, I thought it was one of the best novels I'd ever read. After finishing the last page I was seriously tempted to turn back to the first page and start over.

I have a friend, T. She reads even more than I do and we share a lot of the same interests in types of fiction. She's also an English doctoral candidate and so reads and writes about books a lot.

I gave T SotW for a birthday present one year. She has a tall "to-read" pile, as most of us do, so I figured she' get around to reading it someday. About 4 or 5 months later, she called me at work about 10:30 in the morning sounding anxious. She has a teenage boy who I would check in on when she was out of town and such. She said, "Are you busy? Can you talk?" Like something important had happened. I immediately thought something was wrong; maybe a problem with her son. I said, "Of course, what is it?" She said, "OMG! That book! I think that is the best thing I've ever read!" And for T to say that, that was high praise. She proceed to retell the details of the book in an excited voice.

I just smiled to myself and thought: I knew she'd like it.

Have any of you had similar experiences passing this or the Cemetery serious on to others?


message 2: by Mayra (last edited Nov 30, 2013 07:49AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mayra (palabrasdeluna) | 8 comments What follows is part of my experience with The Cementery of Lost Books: I began reading La sombra del viento (Shadow of the Wind) a couple years ago while on vacation to Puerto Rico. This turned out to be perfect, since after reading the first chapter I knew I had to purchase the other two books immediately! I enjoyed reading the three books in so many ways, but one of them was for the beautiful language he uses. Since I read them in Spanish I don't know how the translation compares in English, but to me his words felt like reading a book by Mario Vargas Llosa, where the language is just right.


Badger | 86 comments Mayra,
I read it in Spanish too. I agree: his language is beautiful. I have read bits of the books in English, but read them all in Spanish. My friend T, said the English versions are very good too.

Btw, I could never get into Mario Vargas Llosa. I tried reading him when I was living in Spain and just could not get into the stories. To each his own.


Mayra (palabrasdeluna) | 8 comments From all the Vargas Llosa books, my favorite (hard to describe it that way since it is not a happy book) is La fiesta del chivo. Once again, the language is perfect, but in this book, what seems to be unrelated from one chapter to the next, slowly falls into place. I agree that his books, especially the earlier ones, are not for everyone. However, I can't wait for the holiday vacations when I can read his latest!


Badger | 86 comments Monica,
I agree. I recommended SotW to my sister-in-law and she loved it.


William Graney | 1 comments If I had one wish (other than world peace type wishes) it would be to be able to read Haruki Murakami in Japanese. The writing is so good in the English translations it's hard to imagine it could be better but it probably is. Same thing with Carlos Ruiz Zafón, the Spanish is probably better but the English versions are pretty damn good. On a side note; it seems there is a general consensus that SOTW is far superior to Angel's Game and Prisoner of Heaven and although I liked Angel's Game less than the other two I liked Prisoner of Heaven a lot. For me it's right up there with Shadow of the Wind.


Badger | 86 comments I've read SotW and TAG twice each. I've read PoH only once only because it is newer. I look forward to reading it again soon. I didn't like TAG as much as SotW when I first read it. I didn't like the supernatural character of the angel/devil. But the opening sequence in the hotel room with the strange woman was so captivating. I was waiting for it to be explained as a real occurrence, like the seemingly supernatural occurrence of Lain Coubert in SotW was later shown to be real. It was never resolved and I guess I was disappointed. Also the ending is kind of cryptic and you have to interpret a lot of what happens. But about a year later I read it again and really liked it.

I now see all three as just parts of the whole story. The author himself has said that it is a story that can be entered from any point; starting with any of the books.


Badger | 86 comments Monica,
Good points. I can only imagine it would be a very different experience starting with TAG or PoH instead of SotW, as most of us did. Maybe that's the beauty of it; it is such a changeable experience.


Andrew (soorploom) William wrote: "If I had one wish (other than world peace type wishes) it would be to be able to read Haruki Murakami in Japanese. The writing is so good in the English translations it's hard to imagine it could b..."

Badger wrote: "This is an experience I had related to reading SotW. When I finished reading this book some years ago, I thought it was one of the best novels I'd ever read. After finishing the last page I was ser..."

These are the two most interesting and enjoyable authors currently for me, Zafon and Murakami. I would love to be able to read both Spanish & Japanese to read them in their original language also.

They are the authors currently I cannot get enough of!!


GenovaGee | 5 comments How are you all guys doing? I first read SotW when I was in college circa 2010-2011. I think I re-read SotW twice or thrice since then. How Zafón weaves his story still grips me every time... It is also good to re-read it for new perspectives and how I see/experience it as I age. :) It is with a sad heart that CRZ left us so soon but his legacy through his books will continue... have you recommended his books to your friends? Take care.


Badger | 86 comments I'm doing fine. Yes, all we have now is re-reading his books which I do from time to time. Does anyone have any suggestions? "If you like CRZ, you might like...."


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