Start your review of The Shadow of the Wind The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, 1 Write a review Jul 29, Annalisa rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: some language and sex Recommended to Annalisa by: book club I read the opening few pages and instantly knew 3 things: 1. I was going to love this book. I needed a whole pad of post-its to mark quotes. I wanted to read this in Spanish for the rich poetry the language would add. A young boy Daniel is taken by his father to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and told to salvage a book which he must take stewardship over.
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Start your review of The Shadow of the Wind The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, 1 Write a review Jul 29, Annalisa rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: some language and sex Recommended to Annalisa by: book club I read the opening few pages and instantly knew 3 things: 1. I was going to love this book. I needed a whole pad of post-its to mark quotes. I wanted to read this in Spanish for the rich poetry the language would add.
A young boy Daniel is taken by his father to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and told to salvage a book which he must take stewardship over. He choses a novelor maybe it chose himthat touches him, stirs his desire for literature, and forever entangles him with the fate of the I read the opening few pages and instantly knew 3 things: 1.
He choses a novel—or maybe it chose him—that touches him, stirs his desire for literature, and forever entangles him with the fate of the book and its author. The strange author died in poverty but now someone is seeking out all remaining copies of his unsuccessful novels to burn. Wrapped up in the mystery is a message of death: do we live a full life or wander through it numb?
The Shadow of the Wind is an allegory for death in a fictitious novel by the same title. Shadow is a perfect symbol for death evoking images of how death can be metaphorical instead of literal—living shadows of lives, chasing shadows of dreams, being shadows of others, letting memories shadow life.
Every character had shadows which could engulf them or they could overcome. In this sense death becomes a fate we chose ourselves. For death is not always the worst thing that can happen "words are not always the worst prison". Every time the word shadow was used I considered its illusion of death.
It was with much thought that the word was scattered throughout the book. Both grew up poor without an ideal family life, fell in love with a rich girl who was the adoration of her father and whose brother was a best friend, evoked murderous anger from her father after impregnating her, and when they have a brush with death, extremes of hate and love anchored their fight to survive.
Once Daniel is aware of the correlation, the comparison stops. Is it because Daniel consciously chooses to chance his path or has fate dealt him a better hand? Julian wrote "There are no coincidences.
We are the puppets of our subconscious desires. Clara is a physical angel who is blind while Fumero an emotional devil blinded by hate. While women tended to be described as angel and men devil, most characters held both in different shades.
Take Julian the angel child bringing life love, novels who turned into the devil Lain Coubert bringing death destruction, fear. But the characters pick whether to accept the destiny allotted them. Fermin was living death in the shadows of the street who had to get over his demons to find life worth living. They chose shadows. The book reminded me of The 13th Tale thematically, linguistically, and in delivery, although I loved this book so much more.
The way the mystery unfolds finding tidbits from different perspectives enhanced the mystery and aided the depth of characterization. When I can see the vicious wife beater, deceived husband, and regretful father all in Antonio Fortuny I get a more well rounded sense of his motives.
I enjoyed how the characters played different roles for each other. I love Barcelona as the setting. The Spanish have a way of making all things metaphorically beautiful. The vivid romantic passages had me smiling and at times laughing out loud.
Julian was my initial guess and while the story kept me questioning, it was the best solution and I was happy with the conclusion. But no novel is perfect; my issues are these: 1. The readymade quotes are extreme. Zafon salvages this by calling himself out on the commentary. He sets the comments up in dialogue and then uses another character to mock the snippets. How could she know what Miquel looked at when dying? The chapters of her letters change from direct commentary to Daniel to third-party narrative.
I always hope historical fiction will showcase a more accurate moral setting, but it rarely happens. I was also disappointed that all marriages were displayed as wrong and wives disregarded.
Oh well. I guess it added to the Spanish flavor of the book. American authors tend to impose unrealistic happy endings while Europeans favor poignant sad ones. At one point it seemed bad things happened to Julian for nothing else than this love of tragedies. It seemed Zafon was going to ruin the characters lives to make a point. But he makes his point with Julian and leaves Daniel to gives us a satisfied ending. A story about the living dead cannot be all bliss but we still find redemption as the characters step out of the shadows and live their lives.
Quotes: Few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart. I believed, with the innocence of those who can still count their age on their fingers, that if I closed my eyes and spoke to her, she would be able to hear me wherever I was. Women have an infallible instinct for knowing when a man has fallen madly in love with them, especially when the male in question is both a complete dunce and a minor. Death was like a nameless and incomprehensible hand The eternal stupidity of pursuing those who hurt us the most.
Paris is the only city in the world where starving to death is still considered an art. Arrogant as only idiots can be. I felt myself surrounded by millions of abandoned pages, by worlds and souls without an owner sinking in an ocean of darkness, while the world that throbbed outside the library seemed to be losing its memory. Presents are made for the pleasure of who gives them, not for the merits of who receives them.
People talk too much. They come for parrots. God, in His infinite wisdom, and perhaps overwhelmed by the avalanche of requests from so many tormented souls, did not answer. Silencing their hearts and their souls to the point where People are evil. Evil presupposes a moral decision. Marriage and family are only what we make of them. Destiny is usually just around the corner. But what destiny does not do home visits. You have to go for it. Keep your dreams. You never know when you might need them.
Fools talk, cowards are silent, wise men listen. Waiting is the rust of the soul. Most of us have the good or bad fortune of seeing our livs fall apart so slowly we barely notice. Time goes faster the more hollow it is. I learned to confuse routine with normality.
The world war, which had polluted the entire globe with a stench of corpses that would never go away. The clear, unequivocal lucidity of madmen who have escaped the hypocrisy of having to abide by a reality that makes no sense. A story is a letter the author writes to himself to tell himself things he would be unable to discover otherwise.
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The Shadow of the Wind
Karlos Ruiz Zafon