The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books #1) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
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. (Goodreads)
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.
How do I even begin talking about The Shadow of the Wind?
As it unfolded, the structure of the story began to remind me of one of those Russian dolls that contain innumerable ever-smaller dolls within. Step by step the narrative split into a thousand stories, as if it had entered a gallery of mirrors, its identity fragmented into endless reflections.”
That’s an actual quote from the book. The nerve.
…until that moment I had not understood that this was a story about lonely people, about absence and loss, and that that was why I had taken refuge in it until it became confused with my own life, like someone who has escaped into the pages of a novel because those whom he needs to love seem nothing more than ghosts inhabiting the mind of a stranger.”
Well, I’ll be damned. The book is doing all the review by itself. What am I here for?
“Well, this is a story about books.“
“About accursed books, about a 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.“
Shut up book. You’re taking over my job.
Could I just fill this review with quotes? Of course I can. The Shadow of the Wind is a bookworm’s trove of quotes, the ones you post in Pinterest or your own wall. It’s a book that loves books.
A story is a letter that the author writes to himself, to tell himself things that he would be unable to discover otherwise.”
Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.”
I was raised among books, making invisible friends in pages that seemed cast from dust and whose smell I carry on my hands to this day.”