My first book of 2012 was “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafón recommended to me by Nick Frampton.
“I first read this book when I was travelling in 2009 and was totally engrossed in it from start to finish. It’s an epic story full of Gothic drama and rich, engaging characters – but at the heart of the novel is an author who is in love with writing and literature, who understands the power and importance of his craft and draws you in to this world. He writes about the city of Barcelona so vividly that it is as much a character in the story as the human counterparts and it’s impossible not to get swept along with his passion.”
Although I really enjoyed this book and thought the last 1/3 was a roller coaster ride of twists and turns it took me a while to piece together the numerous characters and locations. I agree with Nick that “The Shadow of the Wind” is a book full of “Gothic drama and rich, engaging characters” but for me it was difficult to keep track of who was who.
I accept that this might be down to my limited range of reading and the fact that I’m coming to this challenge having not read (other than work reference material) in a long time. The varied use of characters is in no way a criticism of the author, his character development or the book overall but personally I struggled at times.
Despite being unable to keep track of some of the characters I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The author has a talent for descriptive writing and you feel like you’re in the pages, experiencing the moments as they happen – by the end of the book you feel like you’ve known Barcelona all your life.
The author uses subtle hints at how our main characters’ (Julian Carax and Daniel Sempere) lives interact along the way which he only reveals at the very end – making you realise you were entwined in both their lives and experiences from the very beginning.
This is a dark and sometimes harrowing tale of a lost soul and a young boy’s borderline obsession to discover the truth. The villain of the piece (Francisco Javier Fumero) is pure evil and the way he’s portrayed makes you worry for the safety of the other characters. It twists, turns and constantly surprises.
The author has a wonderful way with words and the book flows well keeping you intrigued in what’s around the corner. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, despite getting lost on occasion, and would definitely recommend it!