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There s probably nothing much I learned in the introspective sense, but this is a novel like a novel ought to be This is an epic film on paper, gloomy and engaging, smokey, noir with crumbling ruins, young love, disfigurment, lust, torturethe stuff of Dumas, DuMauier and, as of late, The Historian I woke up at five a.m and had to sweet talk myself back to sleep all I wanted to do was read One Friday, after work, I took sanctuary in The Hotel Biron, those little tables in the dark, pages flickering with candles and drank a glass of wine in solitude, completely enthralled in the world of 1940 s Barcelona.I walked home from the train at night and found myself saying the characters names beneath my umbrella, hoping no one would hear me talking to myself, but they were, quite simply, too beautiful to ignore Julian Carax, Daniel Semepere, BeatrizTomas, Penelope Aldaya and Nuria Monfort.In a movie this would be too many people, but for this novel they were perfectly seamed, each point of view entralling and taxing than the one before.Most refreshing, clearly the author wasn t poisoned with the desire to simply keep the reader in the dark instead this story, with attention, was something you could figure out because that s the way life is The mystery itself isn t supposed to shock you intensely into thinking a book is good, that s a dirty trick Instead, the STORY carried you You cared about the story and it was a tragity and mystery all the same, simply because you were invested in these people and what became of them To know them so intimately from childhood to adulthood and old age, to know them through various degrees of point of view seperation to hear there is no Penelope, and then to know she is a sister, a love, but to some non existantwell, it s gothic literature at it s very best.With a book like this I am almost, ALMOST tempted to give up my most pedantic and pretentious thoughts, paralells and character development this story is a story and it s just that good It is the Phantom of the Opera, those dark tunnels and pressure points, a lake with candles or drawing rooms with no fire in the grate and crazy wives being stored in attics over head This is, quite literally a timeless tale, and yes, reading it will make you smarter, interested, cultured the back of the book includes a walking tour of Barcelona I missed Barcelona but I am quite determined to go now, with my copy of A Shadow of the Wind in hand, just like wanting desperately to visit Eastern Europe after I finished The Historian and see it all , but importantly real life simply fades to black as you become completely, totally and fantastically helpless and wrapped up in the lives of others.While there are fun hybrids Crash Topics in Calamity Physics, for one, which combine a courses, authors, quotes and plot lines from a thousand famous novels, this book really makes that unnecessary This is a classic without any help, no cheat cheats necessary Read it Read it Read it I write on books and other stuff at www.snapshotnarrative.tumblr.com I can t believe someone actually published this book Even worse, in my opinion is the fact that this book is on the New York Times Bestseller List How is this possible It must only mean that there are a lot of people out there that think very differently from me Don t you be one of them Seriously Don t be fooled by this book It is insipid, lame, and poorly written First The prose is so overblown that the author uses three adjectives for every single noun Count them He evidently was told that to be a writer you have to make everything as descriptive as possible, and then he decided that meant that each noun had to be modified three, always three, and only three times Argh.Second The author must have looked up every word he could in a thesaurus and chosen the one that was most obscure or had the most syllables Who is he trying to impress Maybe it was the translator s fault Maybe not Either way, this style is used even when describing what the ten year old character sees and says Which brings me to my next point.Third Every character in this book speaks with exactly the same voice All you hear is the authors voice, not any different characterizations And that voice demonstrates the problems I described in my first and second points But that s not all There is an even worse, and definitely fatal, problem with this book.Fourth This story was written as a mystery Nine years lurch by as the character slowly tries to unravel the details of the main conflict I actually don t have a problem with this in theory Unfortunately, after three quarters of the book, and numerous new characters, the mystery is no clearer So what does the author do about it He has one of the characters write a 30 page or so letter to the main character telling him what really happened Ta da The mystery is solved The author is such a terrible writer that he can t even solve his own mystery He has to use a cheap cop out to clear everything up I can t respect that Sorry I can t believe so many other people have Boycott the book Really. The fact is that I ll never be able to write a real review for this book Here is why 1 I m not good enough I m not now and I ll never be It doesn t matter how many books you have read or how smart you are, you ll never be good enough for that You won t be able to find exact words and it s not just you Only person who can is the author himself, but I think he already said everything he wanted Don t believe meBooks are mirrors you only see in them what you already have inside you The moment you stop to think about whether you love someone, you ve already stopped loving that person forever A story is a letter that the author writes to himself, to tell himself things that he would be unable to discover otherwise There are few reasons for telling the truth, but for lying the number is infinite In the shop we buy and sell them, but in truth books have no owner Every book you see here has been somebody s best friend Do you now 2 It s impossible I ll try to describe it It s not the same feeling but the result is You know that moment, or better said that feeling, when you see someone who means a lot to you and you have that beautiful feeling inside of you Now try to describe it You can t I know 3 And last but not least.Please allow me to quote the authorOnce, 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 its way into his heart Those first images, the echo of words we think we have left behind, accompany us throughout our lives and sculpt a palace in our memory to which, sooner or later no matter how many books we read, how many worlds we discover, or how much we learn or forget we will return And this is mine. After reading The Shadow of the Wind, I was left with somewhat mixed feelings On the one hand, this is such a beautifully written book, and is in essence an ode to literature On the other hand, there are some serious flaws which distracts from the whole experience The best thing about the book, in my opinion, is Zafon s skill in artistic writing It reminds me of why I love to read in the first place, and makes me wish I could write as beautiful as this The book contains lots of memorable quotes as well, definitely a good thing as far as I m concerned So after about 50 pages in, I was ready to love this book as I seldom loved another book before But as the story progressed, that resolution started to diminish slowly but surely Ironically, one the obvious flaws is Zafon s overuse of stylistic writing It seems like everyone acts or talks in a very elaborate manner, even in the simplest of situations, and this can really become tiresome after a while The plot also isn t as ingenious as the hype would make you believe Zafon does a good job creating a sense of mystery early on, and there are obvious parallels between the main character Daniel Sempere, and Julian Carax, the writer whose past he is trying to uncover But ultimately, the stories of Daniel and Julian are seperate ones, and they just happen to interconnect with one another by chance than by design By far the most troublesome flaw is the way the mysteries are resolved All too often, answers are given by having some side character or another tell his or her story for pages Nowhere is this evident than at the end of the book, where literally every single detail is revealed in the form of a very long letter, even details which the writer of the letter never could have known, since she wasn t even involved in those events It s as if Zafon did not have a clue or the motivation to write a logical conclusion, and decided to just dump all the information in one place With a bit attention to actual plot and character development, this could have been one of my favourite books Nevertheless, I still enjoyed reading the Shadow of the Wind It s just a shame that it falls some way short of its potential. riveting mysterious haunting imaginative charming sentimental.the list of adjectives is endless and while this book was all of these, the one thing that i will forever remember about this book is how it made me appreciate the art of storytelling i didnt feel like i was reading a novel i felt as if someone very dear was sitting next to me and telling me their favourite tale i was enamoured with the nuances of the language and swept up with all the action it was an absolute pleasure to experience such a well told story truly a masterpiece in every way possible 4.5 stars Fourth reading May 7 17, 2017Of course I love this book soooo much It s my all time favorite This is the 4th year in a row I ve read it, and it never gets old If you haven t already read this at my suggestion, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR Third reading May 14 21, 2016Second reading May 23 25, 2015 Okay, I can confidently say, upon re reading this, that it is one of my all time favorite books It was just as surprising and enchanting and delightful as the first time I read it, if not so The writing is impeccable The weaving together of so many storylines and characters is remarkable I can t gush enough about this book, so I will just say EVERYONE GO READ THIS NOW PLEASE You won t regret it.First read May 12 17, 2014 Everything about this novel was captivating The story follows Daniel, a young boy, whose father is a bookseller He is taken to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and allowed to pick out one book that he is expected to save or, in a sense, remember throughout his life He picks a novel by Julian Carax titled The Shadow of the Wind, and is immediately sucked into the story From there, the novel follows Daniel as he begins to learn about the illusive author, Julian Carax, and about the web of lies and intrigue that he gets trapped in.The writing is absolutely gorgeous The book is full of incredible quotes, wonderful, beautifully strung out sentences I never underline in books This book, however, required a pencil at the ready at all times, because I couldn t pass up underlining some amazing parts.Though the plot isn t super strong, there is a mysterious and magical quality to the book that propels you through it, page after page The characters feel so real, and thus their lives seem to be playing out for you in such a real way that you are concerned and invested, wanting to know what happens next.I loved the setting of Barcelona This is also a book translated from Spanish, which is even impressive on the part of the translator I think the translation was incredible.Overall, this is a book that I will return to again in my life, I am sure It is captivating and a new favorite 5 5. |FREE EPUB ⚇ La sombra del viento ☨ Barcelona, Just After The War, A Great World City Lies In Shadow, Nursing Its Wounds, And A Boy Named Daniel Awakes On His Eleventh Birthday To Find That He Can No Longer Remember His Mother S Face To Console His Only Child, Daniel S Widowed Father, An Antiquarian Book Dealer, Initiates Him Into The Secret Of The Cemetery Of Forgotten Books, A Library Tended By Barcelona S Guild Of Rare Book Dealers As A Repository For Books Forgotten By The World, Waiting For Someone Who Will Care About Them Again Daniel S Father Coaxes Him To Choose A Volume From The Spiraling Labyrinth Of Shelves, One That, It Is Said, Will Have A Special Meaning For Him And Daniel So Loves The Novel He Selects, The Shadow Of The Wind By One Julian Carax, That He Sets Out To Find The Rest Of Carax S Work To His Shock, He Discovers That Someone Has Been Systematically Destroying Every Copy Of Every Book This Author Has Written In Fact, He May Have The Last One In Existence Before Daniel Knows It His Seemingly Innocent Quest Has Opened A Door Into One Of Barcelona S Darkest Secrets, An Epic Story Of Murder, Magic, Madness And Doomed Love And Before Long He Realizes That If He Doesn T Find Out The Truth About Julian Carax, He And Those Closest To Him Will Suffer HorriblyAs With All Astounding Novels, The Shadow Of The Wind Sends The Mind Groping For Comparisons The Crimson Petal And The White The Novels Of Arturo P Rez Reverte Of Victor Hugo Love In The Time Of Cholera But In The End, As With All Astounding Novels, No Comparison Can Suffice As One Leading Spanish Reviewer Wrote, The Originality Of Ruiz Zaf N S Voice Is Bombproof And Displays A Diabolical Talent The Shadow Of The Wind Announces A Phenomenon In Spanish Literature An Uncannily Absorbing Historical Mystery, A Heart Piercing Romance, And A Moving Homage To The Mystical Power Of Books, The Shadow Of The Wind Is A Triumph Of The Storyteller S Art Front Flap It s been a couple years since I read this book so I shouldn t and won t go into details, but the effect has lingered all this time There s no other book I m quicker to recommend than this one It s not that it s particularly important in a lot of the ways important books are, it s just that it works as pure reading pleasure and sometimes, isn t that enough so I find reviews from people desperate to discover structural flaws and stylistic cliches to be totally missing the point Buy it new, breathe in the perfume of those pages, tell your friends and family you re going to be busy for a few days and disappear into it. I loved this book so much that I feel like my tears should speak for themselves and I don t even need to review it At the same time, I want to shout from the rooftops about how good this book is So here I am.This book is the perfect mix of dark brooding mystery with a wistful romance and a melancholy, bookish main character There s so many elements that are effortlessly held afloat by the gorgeous, melodic, and yet digestible writing I tabbed the everloving sunshine out of this book because there s so many astute and haunting lines Zaf n is truly a talented writer who I certainly see myself reading from My only issue throughout the book was the way the mystery unfolded, but it was of a user error because I took so long to read this book that between sittings, I would forget all the details about which character is who Also, the perspective jumping from character to character could be a bit startling, but by the end of this book when I spent the last 50 pages sobbing and hugging my cat as I read on, I couldn t give a single damn about this minor storytelling blip Very few books earn the title of a masterpiece from me, but this is one of them It takes you on a complete journey with characters so lifelike and human, eccentric and lovely, twisted and vile I foresee this being a book that, when I pass it in a book shop, I will stroke its spine lovingly and remember the hours I spent cuddled with it, lost in its alternating gloomy and hopeful moods. This is a book about books, a story about stories It starts and ends in a library of sorts, themes and plots are echoed across decades, tied together by actors who find their roles changing, and by a pen that links two cycles of the story and has its own tale that started before and goes on beyond the art of reading is slowly dying, it s an intimate ritual, a book is a mirror that offers us only what we already carry inside us, when we read, we do it with all our heart and mind, and great readers are becoming scarce by the day Zaf n is a master of prose, he is eminently quotable even in translation The story is set in Barcelona and stretches from the turn of the 19th century to the sixties, though focusing most heavily in post civil war Spain recovering in the 40s and 50s It s a bitter sweet story, as much about the slow acceptance of loss as about fighting against it or finding happiness Most of us have the good or bad fortune of seeing our lives fall apart so slowly we barely notice it The setting is vividly brought to life Many of the characters live in poverty or close to it, and the ventures into Paris bring to mind Orwell s descriptions Barcelona is the star of the piece though one of the many places in Barcelona where the nineteenth century had not yet been served its eviction notice Shadow of the Wind is a love story, or two love stories, or several love stories to be honest We focus on Daniel, a young man growing up, and becoming obsessed with the story of another man, a writer whose young life decades earlier is unfolded for us through Daniel s investigations Both of them finding difficult and potentially tragic love Her voice was pure crystal, transparent and so fragile I feared that her words would break if I interrupted them The Shadow of the Wind has a lot to say about books and reading, rather less to say about the business of writing though Books are mirrors you only see in them what you already have inside you Novels, as everyone knew, were for women and for people with nothing better to do It s a complex interwoven plot, not without threat and violence, with a series of reveals that undermine what you think you know.A fascinating and lovely read, and a nice break from the fantasy books that I have read almost exclusively over the last 5 years.Give it a try Join my 3 emails a year newsletter prizes.