Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Shadow of the Wind

The Henderson Library Book Club discussed The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón in May.
I was excited to read this book because it's set in Barcelona, in the 1930s -1950s, in the years following their Civil War. Very dark, indeed.

Also, I couldn't resist any novel that introduces the "Cemetery of Forgotten Books" in the first chapter. This shadowy labyrinth twisted and folded in on itself, and drew me in further, much like the plot of the book itself.

The Shadow of the Wind reminds me very much of the magical realism of The House of the Spirits or Like Water for Chocolate. The characters seem essentially normal, but are somehow just Those who are believed to be dead are not. There are hints at ghosts, there are crypts, there are haunted houses. There is a beautiful blind woman, a psychopathic cop, a gifted writer whose books seem to choose those worthy to read them. There are star-crossed lovers whose stories end tragically as well as star-crossed lovers whose stories end blissfully.

Twisted characters live in a twisted city, and their stories intertwine throughout. I felt as though I was drawn deep into a dark maze, and when I emerged triumphant on the other side, I set the book down with a sigh of relief and satisfaction.

Category: General Fiction

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