Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Reader's Diary #2199 - Carlos Ruiz Zafón, translated by Lucia Graves: The Shadow of the Wind

I didn't have high hopes for Carlos Ruiz Zafón's The Shadow of the Wind. For one the title seemed cheesy and overly flowery. (Though to be fair, I also feel that way about The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and I wound up quite liking that book.) Also, it was recommended by a friend who's previous recommendations didn't really the hit the mark. 

However, I was hooked very early on with this magical, epic book and loved it through to the end.

Set in 1940s Spain, it deals with a teenage boy named Daniel who's been enraptured by a book he's discovered and more importantly by the mysterious writer who seems to have disappeared and left many enemies in his wake. And as Daniel digs up the past, the more it seems that the author's tragedies will soon be his own.

On top of the great story is a fantastic cast of 3 dimensional characters and richly described settings. 

Spain is in my travel plans for the next 5 years and at the end of this book is something I hadn't seen before: a walking guide to visit some of the real life settings in the novel. What a great idea!


raidergirl3 said...

I read this after I visited Barcelona, and I loved both! Glad you gave it a try even with your misapprehension.

John Mutford said...

Hey Raidergirl! I didn't realize anyone's still reading this old blog, been using mostly as a reading journal these days. In any case, good to hear from you again and that Barcelona didn't disappoint!

Ariadne Bard Brewer said...

It’s great to encounter someone else who liked Shadow of the Wind. I liked it so much that I immediately snapped up the the sequel, The Angel’s game when I came across it. Despite writing skill that makes this wanna-be writer madly jealous, it was something of a disappointment. in that the viewpoint character was so self-absorbed it left no entry-point for the reader, if that makes any sense. I think that Zafon’s kind of dark surrealism is shared by other authors who write in Spanish, such as the historical novelist Perez-Reverte.

Unknown said...

The initital book in the series was great. Sadly the sequels don’t come up to it. Zafon lets his protagonist become so self-absorbed that there’s nothing left to engage the reader