Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

genre: adult fiction
for the Book Blogger Reading Swap

It's hard for me to calm down my feelings about this book enough to actually create sentences. I'm swimming in thoughts and it's hard to decide what's going to come out on top.

Daniel of post-civil war Barcelona. Dear Daniel, who is our narrator and our eyes as his story begins, is ten years old. The son of a bookseller, Daniel discovers a book whose mysterious author will occupy his thoughts throughout his adolescence. Curious and determined, Daniel seeks to find out what happened to the writer and his digging will place him into an even more mysterious story that's as deadly and convoluted as any novel.

There are some incredible characters in this book. Daniel is so wonderfully naive, thoughtful and yet self-centered in a way that we all are as teenagers. The character who becomes his best friend might be one of the most fabulously memorable characters I've gotten to know. And the bad guys? Oh dear. There is horribleness that Daniel could've never anticipated when he opened the first page of that beloved novel.

I want to say that I loved it and yet was really disturbed by it at the same time. There is so much pain within these pages. I mean, the kind of pain that rips apart cities and families and hearts, sometimes all at once. But also, there is so much love. Not only love between people, but a love of books, of the written word and of those whose hearts are poured into their pages. This book creates such a wonderful thread between those who choose to write and those who take the time to read, that there is a sacred space there than can transcend personal familiarity or age or time.

Books can change us. That's a message that rang loud and clear for me. And while there are some graphic scenes and language that could make a sailor blush, let the record show that this book amazed me. It amazed me with plot puzzle pieces that should've never fit together and yet somehow seamlessly did. There is a frightening darkness in this story that sometimes was almost alive, it was so permeating, but then there would be these beautiful and tender moments that just would bring out the sun.

If one book can make me feel things so deeply, then it's a beautiful thing.

7 comments:

Melissa said...

My all time favorite book. Whenever someone asks me for a recommendation I always say Shadow of the Wind.

Melissa Mc (Gerbera Daisy Diaries) said...

I just finished this two months ago...and I'm still thinking about it.

bermudaonion said...

My sister read this a year or two ago and still raves about it. I need to read it soon.

Tricia said...

I remember that I liked this book more and more as the days past after I finished it. You catch the essence of the book so beautifully with your words.

Lena Sledge said...

Thanks for the review. It's great when a book can stir such intense feelings. It makes reading that more enjoyable.

DesLily said...

I read this over a year ago and thought it was fabulous! I kept it to read again someday.

erin sheely said...

I feel the same way about this one...so so sad and hard but parts of it were so beautiful.

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