Shadow in the Wind: ***1/2 stars
i actually finished this book while i was still in india, and had written this up in a notepad, but am only getting around to copying it over now.
ok, ok, so it isn’t necessarily a book that would first come to mind when traveling India, but hey, India is full on enough, that the change in scenery is sometimes welcome!
The book is awesome – especially if you’re looking for an excape from reality. I haven’t seen that much of it, but Spain, and more specifically Barcelona is one of my favorite places. Zafron completely recreated the streets – I could completely picture barcelona and the tribidabo area – but at the same time, it did not give you the impression that it was the modern and vibrant barcelona that we see today. The story takes place in 1950s Barcelona depressed from the overhang of war – he tells the tale of a young kid Daniel Sempere, who’s father, an owner of a bookstore, takes him to the ‘Cemetery of Forgotten Books’ – a labrynth of rare and discarded books waiting for a new owner (any book lover dreams for such a place).
The book that Siempere chooses is a book ‘The Shadow of the Wind’ by Julian Carax – and this starts his long journey to first find more books by Carax, and then when he uncovers that Carax’s books have been disappearing, to find out even more about Carax.
As the Sempere grows, his life begins to parallel that of Carax. As the reader, you’re constantly wondering if Sempere will be eventually fall into whatever tragic mishap forced the disappearance of Carax and his books.
One of the difficulities I had with the book, was the number of characters, but that I guess that was one of the strengths too – the subplots and twists made the story rich and exciting and I struggled to put the book down to finally go to sleep at nights.
the book has it all – mystery, murder, romance and complex. i’ve seen some posts which compare this book to The DaVinci Code- this book is leagues better. the writing is far better, and it didn’t need to rely on controversy for the hype – plus I didn’t feel jipped at the end like I did at the end of the DaVinci Code.
Barcelona is already talking about walking tours which follow the scenes of the book – I’m a sucker, i’ll probably convince some friends to go on it with me next i’m in there!