I have owned this book since 2006 and I have absolutely no idea why it has taken so long for it to reach the top of Mt TBR. It is a very successful title of the last decade and has been mentioned in more than one top ten list. In fact reading one of these lists recently I realised that this was one of only three titles on such a list that I had not read! Lovereading - Books of the Decade Two of the unread titles I already had in my possession of which this is one and the third I have now obtained, so I will very soon have read all ten titles which were voted as amongst the best of the decade.
I was rather surprised when I looked on Amazon to see that there are already 459 reviews published there, of which 299 are five star ones. There are a handful of reviews from readers that did not like the novel but they are insignificant when a novel is as popular as this one I imagine.
It certainly deserves its place amongst the top ten titles of the last decade as I think this is destined to become a classic of the future.
What can I possible say about it that is original and has not already been said so many times before. A truly brilliant novel covering several genres, romance, mystery and comedy with a really good story to get your self involved in. Carlos Ruis Zafon definitely knows the art of good story telling.
In brief then the protagonist is Daniel Sempre a young man who grows up feeling that, to quote from the text, 'Mysteries must be solved, one must find out what they hide.' Also quoting ' It is a story of love, of hatred and of dreams that live in the shadow of the wind.' The story starts in the summer of 1945, when ten year old Daniel ,whose mother has recently died is taken to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books by his father, where he is allowed to choose himself a special book to keep.
Daniel chooses 'The Shadow of the Wind' by Julian Carax, which he reads and enjoys, then as he is growing up he wants to learn more about this mysterious author. Mysterious because no one seems to know much about him! Unwittingly he has got involved in a mystery that he will not only become obsessed with solving, but will also lead him to the love of his life. As he begins to solve the mystery what started out as a young boys curiosity turns nasty, even murder as Daniels life becomes strangely interlinked with that of Julian Carax. Twists and turns all the way with a very satisfactory ending because the author brings us up to date with the characters lives after the mystery is solved.
A fact worth mentioning, if you do not already know it, is that this is the first novel Carlos Ruiz Zafron has had published. I can't wait to read the next one!
Another bonus for me of this novel is the setting in Barcelona which the author brings to life really well. Also included at the end of the edition I read was a supplement, A walk in the footsteps of 'The Shadow of the Wind' which is designed to tell the reader more about the setting of the novel in Barcelona.
All I need to do now then is to suggest to my husband that we take a weekend break to Barcelona sometime and highly recommend the novel to any of you that have not already read it.
By Oh Barcelona courtesy of Flickr.com
Carlos Ruiz Zafron was born in 1964 in Barcelona and more can be learnt about him and his forthcoming novels here at his Website.
Blog Award! I have just discovered that the talented writer PRIYA PARMAR has today presented me with this award over on her blog THE PLUM BEAN PROJECT I am honoured and thank her for her lovely comments about my Book Review Blog.