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The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1)
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Archive - Additional Reads > The Shadow of the Wind - May 2014

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message 1: by Lynn, Moderator (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lynn | 3995 comments Mod
Members choice for May's additional read

The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Book 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.


Virginie (chouettblog) | 350 comments I really really would like to read this but I have to finish 2 challenges in the next 2 months. If only I could read faster :(.


message 3: by Lynn, Moderator (last edited May 03, 2014 05:20AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lynn | 3995 comments Mod
So who's reading this?

I'm slowly getting through it but I am reading other books at the same time (which I never do).
It's beautifully written and the story is intriguing me but I'm finding there's a bit too much detail for my liking and have found myself saying 'oh just get on with it' a few times.

Discussion Questions can be found under the spoiler
(Issued by the publisher and found on http://www.litlovers.com/ )
(view spoiler)


ally  ¯\(ツ)/¯ (allykennedy) | 1002 comments I have two books with about 100 pages each left before I move to this book. But I picked it up from the Library yesterday! I anticipate starting by Wednesday.


Janina (sylarana) | 692 comments I have read it a few years ago and it's one of my favorite books. It does start slowly and takes a lot of time building up the scenery ... which to me is part of the charm. After about half way through though it really pulls you in and doesn't let go at all ... For me at least.


message 6: by Lynn, Moderator (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lynn | 3995 comments Mod
I look forward to it picking up then Janina :)


Rhonda | 6 comments This is one of my favorite books. The descriptions are amazing, and the story is unforgetable. I love the whole series, but this is my favorite.


message 8: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah | 1467 comments I have been wanting to read this book for a few years. It is one of my friend's favorite book. I will be starting later in the month though. Looking forward to it.


Dominique L'm almost done. At the beginning, I found that it was a bit slow to my taste but more more I started to enjoy it. I can`t wait to see what happens at the end.


Dominique I finished it last night and I gotta say I really loved it. The story was beautiful.


Christi (casi4982) | 2 comments I listened to this book and loved it. It was a great story. Because of all the detail it was a perfect audiobook. If you think it is kinds slow try the audio version.


message 12: by Kristie, Moderator (new) - added it

Kristie | 5767 comments Mod
Thanks for the info Christi. I may try the audiobook.


Sandy from Alaska Colón (sandycfromak) | 56 comments I finally finished the book. My mind wandered quite a bit while reading it. For me, it was just an okay book.


Tracey I finished it this afternoon and loved it. I thought the beginning was too slow and overly detailed. After you get past the first 150 pages, it definitely picks up more until you can't put it down.


Yolanda Jones (yolsjo) | 1 comments This is one of my favorite books Just loved it though slow starter it is brilliant


Dominique It would be fun to eventually have the book no 2 as a book of the month


message 17: by ally ¯\(ツ)/¯ (new)

ally  ¯\(ツ)/¯ (allykennedy) | 1002 comments I haven't even opened this book to page one.
My rabbit has been incredibly sick the past month. Meds and monitoring and vet trips.
I will read this book (hopefully by month end) I just wanted to let you all know why I wasn't participating because I had commented above earlier.
Glad so many of you seem to enjoy it :)


Hillary (hmom) | 10 comments This is one of my favorite books. In fact the 3rd book is on my TBR list


message 19: by [deleted user] (last edited May 17, 2014 09:38AM) (new)

It's not a book I would have chosen for myself, but I read this for a book club a few years ago. I loved it! Ruiz Zafon's beautiful writing kept me reading for hours past my bedtime and had me rushing home from work so I could continue. I closed the book with a promise to myself that I would return to it again and that I will read everything by this author.


Janina (sylarana) | 692 comments I have read almost everything by Ruiz Zafon (all the books in this series and some of his YA books). Sadly though, to me, this one is the clear highlight of his work. The Shadow of Angels is still a wonderful book (even though not as good as this one), but the Prisoner of Heaven was rather disappointing to me. Still, I'm planning to read them all again back to back once the cycle is finished (based on the ending of Prisoner of Heaven I'm assuming there will be another book).


message 21: by ally ¯\(ツ)/¯ (new)

ally  ¯\(ツ)/¯ (allykennedy) | 1002 comments Just started, I'm already loving the writing. It is gorgeous :)


message 22: by Lynn, Moderator (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lynn | 3995 comments Mod
Glad to see you've got around to it ally, keep us posted on your thoughts :)


Jennifer I finished today. I thought the first half was really slow, but the rest of the book I really enjoyed. I plan on reading the next 2 as well. Has anyone else read his other books?


message 24: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah | 1467 comments Gosh - I really want to get to this book this month - always behind in my reading.


message 25: by Lynn, Moderator (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lynn | 3995 comments Mod
This was my first book and I'm not sure I'd read any more. Beautifully written yes but a little too much 'around the winding roads instead of using the motorway for me'


Jennifer Love the analogy Lynn!


message 27: by Lynn, Moderator (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lynn | 3995 comments Mod
Thanks :)


message 28: by Katy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Katy Mann | 278 comments RitaSkeeter wrote: "I literally started minutes ago but I love this quote, "Once, in my father's bookshop, I heard a regular customer say that few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds ..."

I thought this was an interesting and challenging book. (view spoiler)


Hillary (hmom) | 10 comments Jennifer, I have read the 1st 2 books & plan to read the 3rd


message 30: by Lynn, Moderator (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lynn | 3995 comments Mod
So now that we're close to the end of the month I'll re-post the discussion questions with the the spoiler.
Have a look and see if feel like discussing any of the questions.

1. Julián Carax's and Daniel's lives follow very similar trajectories. Yet one ends in tragedy, the other in happiness. What similarities are there between the paths they take? What are the differences that allow Daniel to avoid tragedy?

2. Nuria Monfort tells Daniel, "Julián once wrote that coincidences are the scars of fate. There are no coincidences, Daniel. We are the puppets of our unconscious." What does that mean? What does she refer to in her own experience and in Julián's life?

3. Nuria Monfort's dying words, meant for Julián, are, "There are worse prisons than words." What does she mean by this? What is she referring to?

4. There are many devil figures in the story-Carax's Laín Coubert, Jacinta's Zacarias, Fermín's Fumero. How does evil manifest itself in each devil figure? What are the characteristics of the villains/devils?

5. Discuss the title of the novel. What is "The Shadow of the Wind"? Where does Zafón refer to it and what does he use the image to illustrate?

6. Zafón's female characters are often enigmatic, otherworldly angels full of power and mystery. Clara the blind white goddess ultimately becomes a fallen angel; Carax credits sweet Bea with saving his and Daniel's lives; Daniel's mother is actually an angel whose death renders her so ephemeral that Daniel can't even remember her face. Do you think Zafón paints his female characters differently than his male characters? What do the women represent in Daniel's life? What might the Freud loving Miquel Moliner say about Daniel's relationships with women?

7. Daniel says of The Shadow of the Wind, "As it unfolded, the structure of the story began to remind me of one of those Russian dolls that contain innumerable ever-smaller dolls within" (p. 7). Zafón's The Shadow of the Wind unfolds much the same way, with many characters contributing fragments of their own stories in the first person point of view. What does Zafón illustrate with this method of storytelling? What do the individual mini-autobiographies contribute to the tale?

8. The evil Fumero is the only son of a ridiculed father and a superficial, status-seeking mother. The troubled Julián is the bastard son of a love-starved musical mother and an amorous, amoral businessman, though he was raised by a cuckolded hatmaker. Do you think their personalities are products of nature or nurture? How are the sins of the fathers and mothers visited upon each of the characters?


message 31: by ally ¯\(ツ)/¯ (new)

ally  ¯\(ツ)/¯ (allykennedy) | 1002 comments I'm on page 163.

I'm starting to feel like I did with The Night Circus to some extent (I realize they are completely different books, just the same feelings apply). The writing is beautiful, but the story doesn't hold my interest long enough to get very far in one sitting.


message 32: by Lynn, Moderator (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lynn | 3995 comments Mod
That's pretty similar to what happened to me ally. I know it's beautiful writing and the story does have an interest to me but it takes too long to get there.


message 33: by Katy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Katy Mann | 278 comments Lynn wrote: "That's pretty similar to what happened to me ally. I know it's beautiful writing and the story does have an interest to me but it takes too long to get there."

I did finish it, but I know how you felt. (view spoiler)


message 34: by ally ¯\(ツ)/¯ (new)

ally  ¯\(ツ)/¯ (allykennedy) | 1002 comments I'll keep at it, just might take a while longer to get to the finish line.


Sandy from Alaska Colón (sandycfromak) | 56 comments Ally, I had a hard time reading the book too. My mind kept wandering! But, there were times when I was glued to the book for short periods. I did finish it though.


message 36: by ally ¯\(ツ)/¯ (new)

ally  ¯\(ツ)/¯ (allykennedy) | 1002 comments I'm on page 379. I just read (view spoiler)
There's 100 pages left and I'm seriously considering not finishing it. I've never been invested and frequently been bored.
Lynn, we seem to have similar feelings toward this book, was the ending worth it for you?


message 37: by Katy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Katy Mann | 278 comments ☆αlly☆ (litєrαry єscαpist) wrote: "I'm on page 379. I just read [spoilers removed]
There's 100 pages left and I'm seriously considering not finishing it. I've never been invested and frequently been bored.
Lynn, we seem to have simi..."


There's (view spoiler) You may not have hit that yet. (view spoiler) If you get that far, I would be curious to know how you felt. You'll know it when you see it.


Reija | 101 comments I have read half of this now and I'm still kind of waiting all that magic happens. I didn't realise that was some kind of book of book stuff, I haven't find it very interesting but maybe other half is better. Maybe I really should read books description before picking books.


message 39: by Lynn, Moderator (last edited May 29, 2014 10:22AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lynn | 3995 comments Mod
ally - if it wasn't a group read that I probably wouldn't have bothered to finish it.

I had trouble rating it because it was so beautifully written but I did have to force myself to read it.


message 40: by ally ¯\(ツ)/¯ (new)

ally  ¯\(ツ)/¯ (allykennedy) | 1002 comments Yes! Exactly!
Why is it the books people rant and rave about I have to force my way through...
I just wanna be normal lol


message 41: by Lori (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lori (glitzyrebel) I really enjoyed this book, however, I did not read it. The audiobook was amazing!!! (In fact, I would listen to the whole book again!!!) It really was THAT good. For those of you that are not finding it very interesting I would suggest you try the audio version.

I was anxious to read the second book so I got a copy from the library. It was horrible. I couldn't get through the first chapter. It was like I was reading something in a foreign language I couldn't understand. I got the audiobook and I enjoyed the second book!

It may be because it was translated into English. I don't know. But the narrators accent, tone and inflection, turned it into an amazing "listen".


message 42: by Lynn, Moderator (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lynn | 3995 comments Mod
☆αlly☆ (litєrαry єscαpist) wrote: "Yes! Exactly!
Why is it the books people rant and rave about I have to force my way through...
I just wanna be normal lol"


Normal? Pffft! I think we are amazing :D


message 43: by Alycia (new) - added it

Alycia (bookhound18) | 814 comments I also didn't enjoy this book. I tried reading it a few months back and got maybe halfway through before putting it down.


Virginie (chouettblog) | 350 comments Is it that bad? I was quite looking forward to read it.
It's so different.


Sandy from Alaska Colón (sandycfromak) | 56 comments I was on the group that didn't like the book that much. However, I think that is a minority opinion. In reading comments from others it seems that the majority of people enjoyed the book.


message 46: by ally ¯\(ツ)/¯ (new)

ally  ¯\(ツ)/¯ (allykennedy) | 1002 comments I am fascinated by the 4.21 rating after all this feedback.


Reija | 101 comments Finally I finished it this morning and yeah, if it wouldn't have been group read, I wouldn't bother to finish it. The story did not do anything to me, and maybe all that language stuff you talk about are lost in translation, I don't know. Maybe I just have too high hopes.


Farnoush Bikdeli I loved the Shadow of the Winds. I loved the setting and storyline. I couldn't put it down.


message 49: by ally ¯\(ツ)/¯ (new)

ally  ¯\(ツ)/¯ (allykennedy) | 1002 comments I gave up.
If I ranked books on technical merit, it would probably have been a 4. However, I only rate on personal enjoyment and if I can't finish a book... well... if I could, it would be 0.


message 50: by Laura (new)

Laura This is my June book club pick, I am looking forward to reading it!


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