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The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1)
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Group Read Discussions > June 2018 Group Thread Spoiler Discussions - The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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message 1: by Bill (new)

Bill Use this thread for any spoilerish comments.. Enjoy!!!!


SherryRose | 927 comments I read this about a year ago. I am looking forward to the discussion.


Suzy (goodreadscomsuzy_hillard) | 663 comments Hi all - looking forward to hearing specifics about what you liked, didn't like, what you learned and overall thoughts/feelings about the book. Since I'm just about 20% into reading this book for the first time, I may be absent from this thread for a while, but will be active over on the no-spoiler thread until I finish the book.


Piyumi | 6 comments Hi everyone
I read this book last year and loved it.
A story within a story within a book about books.....I thought it would be complicated but it turned out to be really interesting and I found it well written


message 5: by Suzy (last edited Jun 10, 2018 02:50PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Suzy (goodreadscomsuzy_hillard) | 663 comments Hi everyone - I asked Bill to create a discussion thread for a list of characters which is up. I thought it would be good to have a place to add the list separate from our two discussions. I will try to make that list tomorrow - I have it only handwritten. It really helped me track what was going on!


Suzy (goodreadscomsuzy_hillard) | 663 comments The lists of characters have been posted. Hope you find them helpful.


Suzy (goodreadscomsuzy_hillard) | 663 comments I just finished the book yesterday and am still absorbing. I've mentioned that I listened - anyone else listen to this? I found it essential to have the print book handy given the complexity of the list of characters, that their names are not in my native language and the two distinct eras of action. One thing I loved about the audiobook was that many passages were accompanied by music. I learned at the end of the book that the author composed said music! Brilliant.


Piyumi | 6 comments Suzy wrote: "Hi everyone - I asked Bill to create a discussion thread for a list of characters which is up. I thought it would be good to have a place to add the list separate from our two discussions. I will t..."

Brilliant, thank you


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) | 581 comments I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned the author's tendency to describe each and every female character by her figure and her relative beauty. It's surprising to read in a book that is only 14 years old.


SherryRose | 927 comments Randy wrote: "I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned the author's tendency to describe each and every female character by her figure and her relative beauty. It's surprising to read in a book that is only 1..."

I think American culture is much more sensitive to that. Spain is probably more relaxed on the subject. Some people just happen to be beautiful and it’s ok to describe them that way (In my humble opinion)


message 11: by Suzy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Suzy (goodreadscomsuzy_hillard) | 663 comments Randy wrote: "I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned the author's tendency to describe each and every female character by her figure and her relative beauty. It's surprising to read in a book that is only 1..."

I took these descriptions at face value and true to the setting and characters. Set in 1945-1956. In Spain. And the women described were usually seen through the eyes of Daniel, a teenager just becoming aware of attraction to the opposite sex and Fermin, a self-professed womanizer. That is until he met and fell in love with Bernarda. :)


Connie (connier) | 37 comments I loved this book. I thought it was wonderfully written. I do understand some of the words used you might need a dictionary for, but isn't that what reading is all about. If I don't know the meaning of a word from the context of the sentence, then I either Google it or I look it up in the dictionary. Big deal! I do like literary fiction though and this ranks up there with the best. I enjoyed all aspects of this book. I have been real busy this month so it took me longer to read, but it was not because I didn't enjoy it, just ran out of hours in the day.

I don't know if it was a real thriller, but that is okay with me, I enjoyed the mystery and was certainly surprised by some things. I was not surprised that Carax was alive however, I had that figured out. I didn't know until near the end the why he looked as he did.

I would definitely read more books by this author. It was a GREAT read for me.


message 13: by Suzy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Suzy (goodreadscomsuzy_hillard) | 663 comments I loved it too, Connie, and glad to see that you enjoyed it! I also had intuited that Carax wasn't dead, but I didn't see that he and Lian Cubert were the same person until revealed in the book. Curious if you will read the other two books in this trilogy. I plan to not sure when.

For me this wasn't a thriller, or hardly a classic mystery although it was mysterious.

For those of you who have now read it through, what do you think is the central mystery of this book? Or asked another way, what is at the center of The Shadow of the Wind?

Also, I think I saw some reviews say that it includes magical realism (something I love when well done), but I can't say that I see where that applies. I think the author makes you feel that magic is going on as in calling Lian Cubert the devil, but I don't think it actually happens. Would love to have others' insights into that.


Connie (connier) | 37 comments Suzy wrote: "I loved it too, Connie, and glad to see that you enjoyed it! I also had intuited that Carax wasn't dead, but I didn't see that he and Lian Cubert were the same person until revealed in the book. Cu..."

I think this was more of a gothic period piece and could have been considered historical fiction even though it was fairly recent or to me at least...

I guess the mystery was "Who was Julian Carax and was he really murdered on the streets of Barcelona?"

For the magical realism, I really didn't feel it was. They were no real scenes where magic was used for a means to an end. Anyway for me that was the case.


message 15: by Suzy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Suzy (goodreadscomsuzy_hillard) | 663 comments Connie wrote: "Suzy wrote: "I loved it too, Connie, and glad to see that you enjoyed it! I also had intuited that Carax wasn't dead, but I didn't see that he and Lian Cubert were the same person until revealed in..."

I think many people shelve this as historical fiction, more than mystery. I was thinking for much of the book that the central mystery was "who killed Julian Carax" until I started to feel that he wasn't dead. This happened in the scene at the morgue where Julian's father is asked to identify him and he didn't give a positive i.d.

At times, I wondered if the book we were reading was actually the book that Carax wrote and that the characters were of his imagination and not real characters in Ruiz Zafon's book. That was hard to get my head around so I gave up on that line of thinking. :)


Connie (connier) | 37 comments Suzy wrote: "Connie wrote: "Suzy wrote: "I loved it too, Connie, and glad to see that you enjoyed it! I also had intuited that Carax wasn't dead, but I didn't see that he and Lian Cubert were the same person un..."

I had the feeling Julian wasn't dead before that and I think it was when Julian tried to reason with Daniel for the copy that Julian knew Daniel had. I just couldn't believe that Jorge would care that much about the books and the only person who would care about the books in my eyes was the author.

I also wondered if we were reading the book that Carax wrote, but this was fiction so I also discarded that theory!


MissLemon | 254 comments I have finally finished! I liked this book but I didn't really find it very 'mysterious' - I was pretty sure that Julian and Lain Coubert were the same person from the beginning, only wavering slightly when the duel was introduced.
I also didn't really feel the book got going until at least page 300, and the best part for me was from the start of Nuria Montforts Remembrance of the Lost section. Which by the way didn't really have a different 'voice' to the rest of the book - I feel Daniels 'voice' as a man aged around 30 should have sounded quite different to that of the middle aged woman Nuria.
I found the references to the Spanish Vivil war very interesting, and I'd like to read more set in the period, so this did feel more 'Histriorical fiction' to me, which I don't mind. In fact I forgot I was reading it for this group until I finished it and saw where I'd shelved it!
I did like the book, but I wish I could have read it in the original Spanish, but I often feel that when reading translated books.

Thanks for giving me an excuse to read this one :-)


message 18: by M.L. (new) - rated it 4 stars

M.L. | 365 comments I'm still reading but wanted to post a few of the authors/books I've come across: Holmes, Madame Bovary, Our Man in Havana, Victor Hugo (his pen).
The tile is also the title of the mysterious book The Shadow of the Wind. So many, many homages which I find enjoyable.


message 19: by Suzy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Suzy (goodreadscomsuzy_hillard) | 663 comments Just checking in to say thanks everyone for a great discussion - I still haven't reviewed this book, but I liked it a lot for many of the reasons mentioned in the comments!


message 20: by Suzy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Suzy (goodreadscomsuzy_hillard) | 663 comments Hi All - a couple of us who read Shadow of the Wind plan to do a buddy read of the other books, starting with Angel's Game. I've set up a buddy read discussion thread in the folder "Buddy Reads". Please join if you'd like! (I will begin reading/commenting soon.) Here's the link to the discussion thread. https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 21: by Suki (new) - rated it 4 stars

Suki St Charles (goodreadscomsuki_stcharles) | 44 comments I would consider this book to be more of a Gothic romance rather than a mystery/thriller.


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