The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind

Book - 2005
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"Gabriel García Márquez meets Umberto Eco meets Jorge Luis Borges for a sprawling magic show."-- The New York Times Book Review

A New York Times Bestseller

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer's son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author's other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax's books in existence. Soon Daniel's seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona's darkest secrets--an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

" Anyone who enjoys novels that are scary, erotic, touching, tragic and thrilling should rush right out to the nearest bookstore and pick up The Shadow of the Wind. Really, you should."-- Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

" Wonderous... masterful... The Shadow of the Wind is ultimately a love letter to literature , intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero."-- Entertainment Weekly (Editor's Choice)

"One gorgeous read."--Stephen King
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2005.
Copyright Date: ©2004
ISBN: 9780143034902
Branch Call Number: RUI
Characteristics: 486 pages :,illustrations, maps ;,24 cm
Additional Contributors: Graves, Lucia


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From Library Staff

If you liked The Night Circus

Wonderfully written, fully engaging novel. The Shadow of the Wind is a modern classic.

The Shadow of the Wind (Spanish: La Sombra Del Viento) is a 2001 novel by Spanish writer Carlos Ruiz Zafón and a worldwide bestseller
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 o... Read More »

Geraldine O'Riordan Aug 11, 2009

This book was recommended to me be a fellow volunteer at a Casino. I was dubious at the time but I absolutely loved it!
The author captures some really incredible ideas about books and that they have a life of their own only they are shared with others.

The story moves along well with a ... Read More »

From the critics

Community Activity


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_McGeek_ May 15, 2019

The writing and storytelling in this is incredible. It isn't a fast read or a light read but it IS worth it. It really comes together, revealing the mystery and the truth of the characters.
I'd recommend this to anyone who is a fan of historical fiction, the setting of post-war Barcelona was really interesting. In 3 words; dark, romantic and mysterious.

May 04, 2019

This intricate and atmospheric book takes place in post-WW II Barcelona. The story begins with an 11-year-old boy (Daniel) being introduced to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Daniel is encouraged to take one book home and make it his own. He chooses a book that changes his life forever. As we follow Daniel's journey to find out more about the reclusive author of his chosen book, danger seems to lurk around every corner. This is a gothic mystery that weaves a tight labyrinth of a tale. I almost needed to put up a chart as the present begins to mirror the past. Who knows what? When did they know it? What do we know that Daniel does not? Told from Daniel's 1st person perspective with interludes that detail the events other characters participate in apart from him. Beautiful prose, a lasting message about the power of books and a supreme translation. I am intrigued enough to pick up the next book in the trilogy -- if I only had more time.

Dec 31, 2018

A very, very dark gothic novel. There were no major players that I liked or admired. The main two characters - Julian Carax and Daniel Sempere were flawed by hopeless and naive love of women - and each was twarted by class separation, prejudice and revenge. The basic story is about a mystery and a search by Daniel to unravel it.
I wanted to like this novel but couldn't. It became more and more sad and depressing.

Nov 19, 2018

This book was a veeeerrrryyyy slow read. The characters are crass and the women are depicted only as sex objects.

The young protagonist is taken to “The Cemetery of Forgotten Books” by his father in 1945 Barcelona. He is allowed to “adopt” one book, and make sure it is never forgotten. He picks, seemingly at random, “The Shadow of the Wind” by an unknown author named Julian Carax.

I picked this book up in the Newton Library Book Sale on the fly, the copy was quite tatty and I was not sure if it was my “thing”, but for 50 cents, it was worth a try! On reading the first few pages I was hooked! The characters were well-thought out, and the plot was intriguing. On several occasions, I was sure I knew the ending only to find another twist I wasn’t prepared for. One wonderful feature of Zafon’s books is he never leaves anything hanging, all loose ends are tied up by the end no matter how small the detail. (submited by library customer JF)

Jul 17, 2018

When his father introduces ten-year-old Daniel to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and bids him select a title to adopt, ensuring that it is never forgotten (already possibly the most noble opening of a novel ever!), Daniel chooses 'The Shadow of the Wind,' and upon completing it becomes obsessed with learning more about its author, Julián Carax. However, Carax's identity proves enigmatic and, even more troubling, Daniel learns that someone has been burning all of Carax's works.

At its core, this is a captivating and beautiful literary mystery, full of surprising twists and turns. I don't read many works in translation and so have little basis for comparison, but it feels very well done.

Jul 10, 2018

One of my all-time favorite books. Haunting, beautifully written, complex characters and a book mystery.

Oct 29, 2017

This artistically written novel is a Gothic tale of post-war Barcelona. Within this modern literary masterwork, *The Shadow of the Wind* is actually a book within the book, and that book is "about accursed books, about the man who wrote them, about a character who broke out of the pages of a novel so that he could burn it, about a betrayal and a lost friendship. It's a story of love, of hatred, and of the dreams that live in the shadow of the wind."

Oct 18, 2017


Oct 17, 2017

I was enthralled by this book from beginning to end. I cannot accurately described how this book has left me feeling. I feel as if I lived an entire lifetime while reading it. It is a story within a story within a story. Every night I read it (which wasn't many because I finished it so rapidly), my dreams were filled with the characters from this book. I would wake up in the middle of the night, exhausted, but I would reach for the book because despite my exhaustion, I did not want to pass at the chance to read a chapter or two before returning to my dreams.........

THIS IS A MUST READ. I literally cannot stop my brain from recalling every little detail of this story. I will be distracted at work for a few days clearly! I know my review is vague, but if you love books, this book will make you love books even more than you thought possible.

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Add a Summary
Oct 13, 2018

Barcelona, 1915 to1956. Daniel a book dealer's son, mourning the death of his mother, find solace in a mysterious book, The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Cara . But when he seeks other books by the author he cannot find any nor the author.
Mysteries abound and secrets as well. 490 pages. Fasinating and fille with descriptions of Barcelona and Paris.

Jan 26, 2013

A young boy is shown a secret sanctuary for forgotten books by his father. He finds a captivating book that he cannot put down. Once finished he is determined to read other books the author has written. But someone is burning every book he ever wrote. Daniel is determined to uncover the mystery behind the book and sets off on a journey that will bring new friends, danger, romance and adventure. Join Daniel as he discovers what really happened to Julian Carax.

notTom Dec 16, 2010

In a Barcelona that is still recovering from the Spanish Civil War, a boy named Daniel becomes entranced by a book named The Shadow of the Wind written by an obscure author named Julian Carax. However, as he rabidly searches for more of his books, he comes to discover that someone is systematically destroying every book written by Carax. The identity of this mysterious author lies at the heart of a tale filled with such intrigue, murder, heartbreak, and madness. Daniel realizes that someone is willing to go to any lengths to keep it hidden, and he is prepared to go to the same lengths to uncover the truth.

Apr 10, 2010

Young man taken to tomb of books which holds 1 copy of every book - story follows - translated from Spanish


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ArapahoeMaryA Feb 07, 2019

Once, in my father's bookshop, I heard a regular customer say that few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart. Those first images, the echo of words we think we have left behind, accompany us throughout our lives and sculpt a palace in our memory to which, sooner or later—no matter how many books we read, how many worlds we discover, or how much we learn or forget—we will return.

ArapahoeTatyana Aug 30, 2016

There are so many things in this book I would like to remember, like this one for e.g. " Books are mirrors - you only see in them what you already have inside you."

SB2000 May 10, 2013

There are worse prisons than words Daniel

Mar 23, 2011

I still remember the day my father took me to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books for the first time.


Add Notices
nadian May 05, 2009

Sexual Content: Few descriptions of sexual scenes and some sexual language.

nadian May 05, 2009

Coarse Language: Brief moments of adult language.

nadian May 05, 2009

Violence: Many graphic descriptions of torture, violence and death.

Age Suitability

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nadian May 05, 2009

nadian thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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