The Shadow of the Wind
By Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Originally published Barcelona, Spain 2001
English Translation Published Penguin 2004
Author Website (Spanish) Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Book Website Shadow of the Wind in Spanish
As I mentioned yesterday, I purchased this book off a sale table. I spent the entire weekend reading it, (and finished it this evening around 11pm) because I could not put it down (despite my eyes still being wonky).
Daniel lives in Barcelona with his father who owns a bookshop. Daniel is 10 years old, and he finds a novel called Shadow of the Wind written by Julian Carax, that he falls in love with. Daniel decides he wants to read everything else the author wrote, but when he starts looking, he discovers that someone is systematically buying up all the copies and destroying them.
Even at age 10, Daniel discovers a need, an urge, to find out who is destroying these books, and why. He learns about the Cemetery of Forgotten Books (OT sort of reminds me of the Well of Lost Plots - Jasper fforde Book 3 in the Thursday Next series - which is constantly beckoning me to read it - but as yet it does not fall within a challenge - sigh). The Cemetery is run by Isaac. Isaac tells Daniel the following.
This is a place of mystery, Daniel, a sanctuary. Every book, every volume you see here has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it, and of those who read it, lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.
(Page 6 in my edition).
I LOVE this quote. I think it is so true.
Daniel takes 10 years to find out why these books are being destroyed, and by whom. Along the way he makes new friends, as well as enemies. He discoveres shocking secrets, and falls in love - twice. But always, always he is looking for Julian (the author).
I am making this book the first one for the Books around the World Challenge, so I have 12 months to read 25 more books from various parts of the World.