The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind : The Cemetery of Forgotten Books 1

4.27 (521,345 ratings by Goodreads)
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A stunning literary thriller in the tradition of Umberto Eco. The discovery of a forgotten book leads to a hunt for an elusive author who may or may not still be alive...

Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the 'cemetery of lost books', a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out 'La Sombra del Viento' by Julian Carax.

But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. Then, one night, as he is wandering the old streets once more, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from La Sombra del Viento, a character who turns out to be the devil. This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax's work in order to burn them. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind. A page-turning exploration of obsession in literature and love, and the places that obsession can lead.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 560 pages
  • 136 x 200 x 35mm | 390g
  • Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0753820250
  • 9780753820254
  • 1,565

Review quote

Part gothic mystery, past ribald comedy, part political thriller, part Borgesian parable, and all marvellous * Sunday Times * A hymn of praise to all the joys of reading * Independent * A magical tale -- Cecilia Ahern One of those rare novels that combine brilliant plotting with sublime writing * Sunday Times * A book lover's dream * The Times * Irresistibly readable...Walk down any street in Zafon's Barcelona and you'll glimpse the shades of the past and the secrets of the present * Guardian * Diabolically good * Elle * This gripping novel has the feel of a gothic ghost story complete with crumbling, ivy-covered mansions, gargoyles and dank prison cells...this is just the sort of literary mystery that would have found favour with Wilkie Collins * Daily Mail * A deeply satisfying, rich, full read * Sunday Telegraph * A page-turning exploration of obsession in literature and love * Sunday Express * An astounding critical success. There's an intricate plot, a gothic atmosphere and an elusive quest, as well as murders, intrigue and star-crossed lovers * Guardian * A sensation across Europe... a page-turning mystery.... a coming of age tale.... And it's a hymn of praise to all the joys of reading, stylishly caught in Lucia Graves's entrancing translation. -- Boyd Tonkin * INDEPENDENT * crowd-pleaser in the mode of The Da Vinci Code... Intertwining playful detective caper, compelling political thriller and sweeping historical romance, the narrative coils back beyond the savagery of the civil war to the world of the tainted Spanish aristocracy, before slowly unravelling the dark secrets born of Franco's tyranny. Zafon's novel... leave the reader with a palpable sense of enchantment. * SUNDAY TIMES * This week's book barely needs an introduction. Almost every book group I know about had read The Shadow of the Wind... the book is about a boy who becomes obsessed with an author. It is set in Barcelona during a bloody time in Spain's history and there is, as you would expect from a bestseller, plenty of death, murder, love and heroism. * THE TIMES BOOK CLUB * It was only The Da Vinci Code that stopped The Shadow of the Wind from hogging the top of the bestseller charts last year... an astounding critical success. There's an intricate plot, a gothic atmosphere and an elusive quest, as well as murders, intrigue and star-crossed lovers. * THE GUARDIAN * a wonderful portrait of Barcelona - not the sunny, culture rich and fun loving city break destination that most visitors know - but a shadowy, at times dark and atmospheric picture of the city centre streets in the years following the Spanish Civil War. * LIVING SPAIN * This bewitching novel has all the hallmarks of a classic Holy Grail story complete with mystery, mayhem, romance and labyrinthine plotting. What elevates it above all others in the genre is its emotional energy, making it a richly rewarding read. * DAILY MAIL * one of the most engaging, funny, moving, lyrical books * IRISH EXAMINER * The best book I've ever read -- AMANDA LAMB * WOMAN AND HOME * a magical tale of romance -- CECELIA AHERN * SUNDAY EXPRESS * I couldn't put it down but didn't want to rush is as every sentence is beautifully crafted and every character unique. -- SANTA MONTEFIORE * EVENING STANDARD * A page turning exploration of obsession in literature and love * SUNDAY EXPRESS * a great thriller -- CECELIA AHERN * MARIE CLAIRE * the main character's deep love for books and their respective, secret libraries -- CECELIA AHERN * IRISH TIMES * A real page-turner of a mystery that will have you hooked from beginning to end * SPAINSH MAGAZINE *
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About Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Carlos Ruiz Zafon is the author of eight novels, including the international phenomenon The Shadow of the Wind, and The Angel's Game. His work has been published in more than forty-five different languages, has sold over thirty million copies, and has been honoured with numerous international awards. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
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Rating details

521,345 ratings
4.27 out of 5 stars
5 51% (267,580)
4 31% (161,225)
3 12% (64,999)
2 4% (18,782)
1 2% (8,759)

Our customer reviews

***** One of those types of books that you would have to read over and over again! Loved it!show more
by Claire Galea
I have, as many of you will have, read hundreds of books in my life and I have come across many good books. This book goes beyond that, and I can wholeheartedly say this is the best book I have read in my adult life. I read this book like my life depended on it and did not put it down until its conclusion. This is the kind of book that pulls you in, enchants you and doesn't let go. I stumbled across this book when looking for nothing in particular and I could not recommend it high enough. You must read this more
by Miss Melanie Hume
i have spent my live reading books, classics and romances and modern books, but this is my favourite book of all time. it had suspence, mystery, comedy, romance with the bonus of an exellent author. i have given it to some of my friends and they could not finish it. i stand by the fact that it is an amazing book, and you pass it by you are robbing yourself of an amazing readshow more
by Elena Sorgiovanni
This is one of the best books I have ever read - and i have read alot of books. Zafon has a beautiful writing style and i was in love with this book within the first chapter and was entranced up until the very end. Some was predictable however there was a twist I did not pick which made it even better. Fabulous book for the switched on reader who respects great literature as well as the starry eyed dreamers of the world. A great all rounder and something I constantly reccomend to people. Just beautiful. BUY IT!show more
by Rachael Wilkinson
This is one of the most exquisitely written novels that I have had the pleasure to read. Zafon writes so beautifully. He'll captivate you in the book's opening more
by Evie Zhao
This is possibly the most beautiful book I have ever had the opportunity to read. Entirely engrossing, it will pull you into its delicate jungle of words and characters, only showig the way out once you have fallen in love with the foliage. Daniel is merely a vessel Zafon has constructed in order for the reader to experience the story first hand. You will feel yourself becoming a part of this character. Although it is a cliche, you will laugh, cry and gasp in equal measure as the glorious, touching tragedy of the story is more
by Alyssa Oprandi
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