The Shadow of the Wind

By: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Cemetery of Forgotten Books Book 1
2001
Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5

The Shadow of the Wind

Have you heard of The Shadow of the Wind?

It’s been a long while since I read a translation, and I forgot how much I love them (done well, of course). Carlos Ruiz Zafon is not a writer I could’ve named before now; he wrote this book in Spanish and it was translated to English by Lucia Graves.

Sometimes I read a book that starts out so promising, but about 3/4 of the way through realize that I am still waiting for the mystery to be revealed.

This book was kind of like that.

I mean, I knew what was going on by 3/4 of the way through, but I’m still not quite sure why. There are a lot of false narratives at play, and that’s great. But Ruiz Zafon never really got down to the nuts and bolts of the characters’ motivations.

I liked this book. I think it’s pretty fun, and pretty honest to God scary at times. (NB: I do not recommend reading this book alone in a strange place at night. Been there, done that. You will see faceless mirages peering in the windows at you.)

And I think there are some really lovable characters here. In fact, there are a ton of characters in this book. I love a good character bonanza (think: War and Peace), but even I lost track of who’s who.

I guess that’s my review: every great thing about this book comes with a caveat. Added together, those caveats diminish this book almost entirely to just an okay book.

I still recommend it. I still think you’ll like it. I just wish it had lived up to the promise of the first few chapters.

 

*****

 

Some suggestions:

(for more mystery fiction)

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

In the Hand of Dante by Nick Tosches

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

(for books that glorify literature)

A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Eva Luna by Isabel Allende

(for more by Ruiz Zafon)

The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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