- Title: The Shadow of the Wind
- Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón
- Narrator: Daniel Philpott
- Publisher: Orion
- ISBN: 9781409142249
Whilst it was published in English back in 2004, I remember The Shadow of the Wind was all over book blogs when I started blogging back in 2008. It was only last year that I got around to reading it myself. (Well listening anyway!)
I started off by listening to an abridged version with a different narrator, that I once downloaded in error (the abridged version not the book itself) from Audible. I listened to it for about an hour, before I gave up and nipped over to iTunes and bought the unabridged version.
Even apart from the less than stellar narration, and the constant interruption of musical snippets in the background, I just felt like I was missing too many nuances. And after listening to the unabridged version for only a few minutes, that soon proved to be the case, as I heard so many little details I hadn’t in the previous version.
One of the things I think I gained by listening to the book rather that reading it, was the pronunciation of the Spanish place names, which just sounded wonderful especially when combined with the tenor of the narration, it was just so evocative… I quite often really thought I was there at times, which is just what you want a book of this nature to do.
It was also a book I took a long time to listen to (about 4 months), just dipping in to it for half-an-hour here and there, I’m not sure if this was the best way, but it seemed to work for me. I’m so glad that I eventually got around to ‘reading’ the book. It was easily as good as the bloggers back in 2008 made it sound.
The plot was complex and labyrinthine weaving a number of timelines and seemingly separate sub-plots together, often taking things down a wonderfully dark and sinister back-alley, and the characters? Oh the characters… How wonderful were they? The romance between Daniel and Bea, couldn’t help but make me smile.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s amazing story telling, and Daniel Philpot’s perfect narration made the entire experience a delight.
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 of print. To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out ‘La Sombra del Viento’ by Julian Carax.
But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. Then, one night, as he is wandering the old streets once more, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from La Sombra del Viento, a character who turns out to be the devil. This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax’s work in order to burn them. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind. A page-turning exploration of obsession in literature and love, and the places that obsession can lead.