Barcelona, 1945 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 horribly.As with all astounding novels, The Shadow of the Wind sends the mind groping for comparisons T he Crimson Petal and the White ? The novels of Arturo Perez-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 Zafon 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. "
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(243mm x 165mm x 38mm)
Penguin Books Ltd
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
The histories of a mysterious book and its enigmatic author are painstakingly disentangled in this yeasty Dickensian romance: a first novel by a Spanish novelist now living in the US. We meet its engaging narrator Daniel Sempere in 1945, when he's an 11-year-old boy brought by his father, a Barcelona rare-book dealer, to a secret library known as the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Enthralled, Daniel "chooses" an obscure novel, The Shadow of the Wind, a complex quest tale whose author, Julian Carax, reputedly fled Spain at the outbreak of its Civil War, and later died in Paris. Carax and his book obsess Daniel for a decade, as he grows to manhood, falls in and out of fascination, if not love with three beguiling women, and comes ever closer to understanding who Carax was and how he was connected to the family of tyrannical Don Ricardo Aldaya-and why a sinister, "faceless" stranger who identifies himself as Carax's fictional creation ("demonic") "Lain Coubert" has seemingly "got out of the pages of a book so that he could burn it." Daniel's investigations are aided, and sometimes impeded, by a lively gallery of vividly evoked supporting characters. Prominent among them are secretive translator Nuria Monfort (who knows more about Carax's Paris years than she initially reveals); Aldaya family maid Jacinta Coronada, consigned to a lunatic asylum to conceal what she knows; Daniel's ebullient Sancho Panza Fermin Romero de Torres, a wily vagrant working as "bibliographic detective" in the Semperes' bookstore; and vengeful police inspector Fumero, a Javert-like stalker whose refusal to believe Carax is dead precipitates the climax-at which Daniel realizes he's much more than just a reader of Carax's intricate, sorrowful story. The Shadow of the Wind will keep you up nights-and it'll be time well spent. Absolutely marvelous. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Carlos Ruiz Zafon, thirty-nine, grew up in Barcelona and currently lives in Los Angeles. The Shadow of the Wind has spent more than a year on the Spanish bestseller list, much of it at number one, and has sold in more than twenty countries.Lucia Graves was raised on the island of Majorca in postwar Spain. She has published Spanish-language editions of the work of her father, the poet Robert Graves, and books by Katherine Mansfield and Anais Nin.