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Wrapped up in the mystery is a message of death: Michael Gear. I guess it added to the Spanish flavor of the book. Jun 02, Nayra. The prisoner of heaven It seemed Zafon was going to ruin the characters lives to make a point. I love stories out of the ordinary that captivate my imagination and run away with it.
The Shadow of the Wind Spanish: The book was translated into English in by Lucia Graves and sold over a million copies in the UK after already achieving success on mainland Europe, topping the Spanish bestseller lists for weeks.
It is believed to have sold 15 million copies worldwide,  making it one of the best-selling books of all time. The Angel's Game is set in Barcelona during the s and s and follows a young writer who is approached by a mysterious figure to write a book. Just after the war, Daniel's father takes him to the secret Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a huge library of old, forgotten titles lovingly preserved by a select few initiates.
According to tradition, everyone initiated to this secret place is allowed to take one book from it and must protect it for life. That morning he takes the book home and reads it, completely engrossed.
Daniel then attempts to look for other books by this unknown author but can find none. The novel is actually a story within a story. His friend Fermin Romero de Torres, who was imprisoned and tortured in Montjuic Castle for having been involved in an espionage against the Anarchists during the war—himself being a government intelligence agent—helps Daniel in a number of ways, but their probing into the murky past of a number of people who have been either long dead or long forgotten unleashes the dark forces of the murderous Inspector Fumero.
He begins to burn all of his novels and calls himself Lain Coubert. After finishing reading the book, Daniel marries Beatriz "Bea" Aguilar, whom he has loved for a long time, in I never underline in books. This book, however, required a pencil at the ready at all times, because I couldn't pass up underlining some amazing parts.
Though the plot isn't super strong, there is a mysterious and magical quality to the book that propels you through it, page after page. The characters feel so real, and thus their lives seem to be playing out for you in such a real way that you are concerned and invested, wanting to know what happens next.
I loved the setting of Barcelona. This is also a book translated from Spanish, which is even more impressive on the part of the translator. I think the translation was incredible. Overall, this is a book that I will return to again in my life, I am sure.
It is captivating and a new favorite. View all 9 comments. Mar 07, Mohammed Arabey rated it really liked it. 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. I see how amazingly it is.. Lost Lovers.. It may categorised as Magical Realism , but the hard sad Realism of Barcelona, Spain after the Civil War drowned the Magical aspect, but there's always that most real magic in it So yeah, I got teary sad eyes by the end and even nostalgic to the beginning of it Too much stories that split of the main plot just as the protagonist described The Shadow of the Wind he has read..
But the narrate came with too much descriptions and details that most of it have a minor relation to the main story.. The Story It's a story about Books It's a story about the Soul of Books The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and 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. It's a story about Tangled Characters and Fates..
And it's not only one with secrets And above all, there is Sempere , Daniel's father who is one of the best fatherly characters I ever read I loved so much his relation with his son and its development through the time I observed him: I looked at that man whom I had once imagined almost invincible; he now seemed fragile, defeated without knowing it. Perhaps we were both defeated.
I leaned over to cover him with the blanket he had been promising to give away to charity for years, and I kissed his forehead, as if by doing so I could protect him from the invisible threads that kept him away from me, from that tiny apartment, and from my memories.
As if I believed that with that kiss I could deceive time and convince it to pass us by, to return some other day, some other life. It's a story about Time God, this part always touching me deeply and dreading me As well There's more I wish I tell but that's already too much It gets under your skin and steals your soul without you knowing it. City of Shadows, Days of Ashes those are chapter titles, and it fit the background story of the Spanish Civil War and these days after the fall of Barcelona.
But the description and details of the city streets, the tram ,the gothic atmosphere , even the fictional Doors of the Cemetery of the Forgotten Books is very beautiful and unforgettable, The weather Mohammed Arabey from 14 December To 22 December View all 24 comments.
Jan 30, jessica rated it it was amazing Shelves: View all 36 comments. Jul 08, Simon rated it it was amazing. It's been a couple years since I read this book so I shouldn't and won't go into details, but the effect has lingered all this time.
There's no other book I'm quicker to recommend than this one. It's not that it's particularly important in a lot of the ways "important" books are, it's just that it works as pure reading pleasure and sometimes, isn't that enough? Buy it ne It's been a couple years since I read this book so I shouldn't and won't go into details, but the effect has lingered all this time.
Buy it new, breathe in the perfume of those pages, tell your friends and family you're going to be busy for a few days and disappear into it.
View all 12 comments. View all 19 comments. Rereading the series in preparation for one of my most anticipated releases of the year, The Labyrinth of the Spirits. This book was never even on my radar until I heard someone talk about it by chance.
I was intrigued by what they said and bought i Rereading the series in preparation for one of my most anticipated releases of the year, The Labyrinth of the Spirits. I was intrigued by what they said and bought it that same day. Thus, I come to you half a year later - that's right, it took me half a year to get here- BUT worry not for I remember every detail as if I read it yesterday.
The Cemetery of Forgotten Books is a secret place, where a huge collection of books that have been forgotten or have fallen into oblivion is kept. Daniel's copy of book seems to be the only one left in existence. So begins an incredible journey that carries Daniel through a gothic city filled with fantastic bookstores, exotic cafes, abandoned mansions and spirit-haunted graveyards.
And as the story threads its way into Daniel's life, the lives of both begin to intertwine.
Daniel sees, bears uncanny resemblances to that of the protagonist in The Shadow of the Wind but in order to uncover the mystery as to how and why he'll have to dig deeper into Carax's biography. The book is populated with a cast of characters filled with dark and mysterious pasts, the tortured souls, guilt-ridden lovers, doomed and solitary eccentrics and more. I loved his father and their bond so much that I was constantly terrified that something would happen to jeopardise their relationship.
Fermin Romero de Torres was definitely one of the most interesting characters in here. He's eccentric, clever and charming and his deep friendship and loyalty to Daniel, combined with his sharp wit and cunning are the comic relief of the dark and gloomy tone of the book. His dark, mysterious character takes monumental twists and turns as his story slowly unravels to be one of tortured past and full of heartache.
Thinking about him gives me chest pains much less writing about him. Just know that he plays a big role in the lives of many of the characters and Suffice it to say, I loath him. TSoTW is an atmospheric book full of passion and revenge, heartbreaking love, grave disappointments and mysteries whose layers peel away ever so slowly.
The world is corrupt and cruel where the scum come out at the top and the inexorability of human destinies are grimmer than any ghostly stories Read it is all I can say, my friends.
View all 23 comments. Jul 03, Matthew rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is an excellent piece of literature. It contains poetic storytelling, shocking twists, thoroughly developed characters, symbolism, humor, romance, betrayal, action, sentimentality, nostalgia, and much, much more.
For book lovers it is perfect because it revolves around the mysteries of a little known author Julian Carax that the main protagonist, Daniel, stumbles across in a secret stash of literature called the Cemetery of Forgotten books. From there it quickly develops into a fantastic This is an excellent piece of literature. From there it quickly develops into a fantastic story of good vs. I saw some complaints that this book is slow.
I can understand that - it is not a light book and it is not a quick read. But, the payoff from getting immersed in the thick narrative is totally worth the extra time in the end. View all 29 comments. Dec 31, Mark Lawrence rated it it was amazing. This is a book about books, a story about stories.
It starts and ends in a library of sorts, themes and plots are echoed across decades, tied together by actors who find their roles changing, and by a pen that links two cycles of the story and has its own tale that started before and goes on beyond. The story is set in Barcelona and stretches from the turn of the 19th century to the sixties, though focusing most heavily in post civil war Spain recovering in the 40s and 50s.
It's a bitter sweet story, as much about the slow acceptance of loss as about fighting against it or finding happiness.
Many of the characters live in poverty or close to it, and the ventures into Paris bring to mind Orwell's descriptions. Barcelona is the star of the piece though. We focus on Daniel, a young man growing up, and becoming obsessed with the story of another man, a writer whose young life decades earlier is unfolded for us through Daniel's investigations. Both of them finding difficult and potentially tragic love. A fascinating and lovely read, and a nice break from the fantasy books that I have read almost exclusively over the last 5 years.
Give it a try!
Join my 3-emails-a-year newsletter prizes View all 5 comments. Look, it's not my thing to mince my words, so I'll give you my opinion and ultimately, you'll decide what to make of it anyway: Despite its obvious qualities, I have to admit that I'm a little baffled of its status given that all the flaws, if found in some random YA book, would be called out without any doubt.
It's pretty simple, actually: All of these characters were flat and forgettable in my book. In the past I've read historical novels that let me furious about the way women were treated and categorized into little boxes mother, virgin, whore, if you're asking but in The Shadow of the Wind I never felt that the issue was handled or acknowledged, or barely they do mention it in other men, but for me they were no better. All the time, and I'm not sure how I'm supposed to care about characters - Fermin and Daniel, for example - who constantly objectify women, when they're not busy expressing stereotypes like, "women can't do Maths", or, "women who let you touch them the first time are whores", etc, etc.
I felt like drowning. Far from me the intent of spoiling the story to you, so I'll just say this: What the hell?! Again, if this book was called The Storm and The Thorns , and some generic YA bullshit, it would have annoyed me, because I cannot feel invested in a romance if there's neither growth nor depth.
Why in the world should I feel differently this time? I do not. I couldn't care less. Even with the interesting view spoiler [meta narration hide spoiler ] , it felt like such a cop-out. I wish the descriptions of Paris would have reached this level of brilliance, but I didn't really mind.
Albeit the difficult times described, reading The Shadow of the Wind made me want to come back there, and I probably will very soon. From the first page I was hooked, and my interest didn't falter before reaching the second half but I already explained why. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but in the end, the story didn't convince me, and even the message - no matter how great it was, or wanted to be - felt a bit superficial because spoiled by the lack of depth of the characters.
View all 32 comments. TODOS, todo el mundo. Recommended to Antonio by: Veronika Carmona. View all 16 comments. Jul 08, Lola rated it it was amazing Shelves: I found this novel by accident, while quickly browsing shelves at the local library, and let me just say it was the best accidental find i've had in years. From the very first line to the end i loved it, and as a reader i am not easily pleased by anything.
I love stories out of the ordinary that captivate my imagination and run away with it. That is exactly what The Shadow of The Wind did. Right off the bat the plot intrigued me, Daniel Sempere is taken to the a secret labyrinth of forgotten book I found this novel by accident, while quickly browsing shelves at the local library, and let me just say it was the best accidental find i've had in years.
Right off the bat the plot intrigued me, Daniel Sempere is taken to the a secret labyrinth of forgotten books - the place where books are brought for their final rest after the world has forgotten their existence - and told by his father to pick one to always care for and protect.
He chooses The Shadow of The Wind and his life is forever changed by his fascination with the book, its author and his determination to uncover the mystery surrounding the doomed fate of all other works by the author. What fascinated me most as Daniel started to get entangled in the mysterious web of the book and its author's history, was how Daniels life began to mirror Carax the author of the book. The writing is almost poetic yet simple to follow and enjoy, their are subplots that run alongside the major plot so the book isn't one dimensional and boring.
Overall this is a fascinating read that is sure to take you on an adventure that will make you wish there were more pages to read after you turn the last page. Highly recommended for those who are not afraid to explore other worlds or allow a book to engulf their senses completely. View all 10 comments. View all 4 comments. Oct 17, Kevin Ansbro rated it it was amazing Shelves: He chooses an obscure novel, The Shadow of the Wind written "Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul.
Over time, the book awakens this socially awkward boy to fresh possibilities and new friendships in a city still handcuffed to its recent history. Daniel, himself, describes the novel thus: The story has heart and soul and it nobly champions the underdog in an unjust world. But, oh! Alas, damnation and gadzooks! Did you hear me?
Gadzooks, I said!! The author somehow snatches defeat from the jaws of victory by allowing his dazzling story to become bogged down by a warehouse load of wearisome narrative in the middle orders of the piece. He didn't hear me. And where's a book defibrillator when you need one?
Editing out a hundred or more pages would've done this a power of good. I'm still awarding it 4. Its sublimity outweighs its imperfections. And listen up, my Goodreads' brothers, sisters, funsters, pseuds, bibliophiles and savants. Daniel Sempere's book epiphany is one which will resonate with each and every one of you. For each of us there is one book that has been waiting for us from before we were born.
I wonder which one is yours? View all 52 comments. Trying too hard. I wonder if I hadn't read this right after Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell if I would have liked it better. I appreciated what the author was trying to do, but he didn't do it well enough to keep me reading. Yes, Romantic lit is full of cliche, but the thing is to do it in an intriguing way and with enough wit to keep your audience intere Trying too hard.
Yes, Romantic lit is full of cliche, but the thing is to do it in an intriguing way and with enough wit to keep your audience interested. This book did not have that balance. It had the formula, it just didn't execute things well enough, in my opinion. To be fair, that could be because this book was originally in Spanish. It could have lost a lot in translation.
I know it lost something, actually, because some of the sentences are rather awkwardly phrased. But Arturo Perez-Reverte's gothic-esque novels were also in Spanish, and they still had their magic in translation. So, I don't forgive this guy enough to finish the book. Which I didn't, by the way. Got about halfway through because I was hoping it would get better, but it was still not grabbing me, so.
Onto the next! View all 55 comments. Sound the alarm! Unpopular opinion to follow! Making this review a bit more personal than usual, because I can't slam a one-star review on this highly popular title without giving some explanation for my disappointment. To put it simply: In The Shadow of the Wind , a man does not simply urinate, he " discharge[s] his generous, steamy cascade.
Female characters fall into one of two categories: Every sex scene is so awkward, I found myself repeatedly wondering if this book was penned by a virgin.
Death is a constant threat - at every turn, for every character - until it bears no gravity. I should have heeded my intuition and saved myself eighteen grueling hours of slogging through this tiresome audiobook. The opening scene that planted the first seed of concern: On that June morning, I woke up screaming at first light.
My heart was pounding in my chest as if it feared that my soul wanted to carve its way out and run off down the stairs. My father hurried into my room and he held me in his arms, trying to calm me. For the first time, I realized my father was growing old.
He stood up and drew the curtains to let in the pale glint of dawn. I want to show you something," he said.
At five o'clock in the morning? That line reeks of contrived drama. I wanted to like this book, truly, but it wasn't the right fit for me. Between the bloated writing, sexism, and exhausting abundance of drama, reaching the final page was an absolute chore. View all 28 comments. After finishing this book, I was totally blown away by the number of GR friends who already read it.
It was really the greatest thrill. At last, yes, at last! It was finito! What a read it was. Honestly, I thought it was never going to end, that the saga beginning in , after the Civil War in Spain, was just too dragging and too detailed for my sensitive soul. Emotionally I shut down around the halfway mark, hanging onto the picturesque, descriptive prose for dear life, sensing a light at the After finishing this book, I was totally blown away by the number of GR friends who already read it.
Emotionally I shut down around the halfway mark, hanging onto the picturesque, descriptive prose for dear life, sensing a light at the end of the tunnel. Good lordie, miss molly, good gracious my angel, good heavens dear father! What a journey it was through the antique bookshop in Barcelona on Calle Santa Anna, to the streets of the city where the memories spilled like blood flowing like rain water though the gutters, where souls got ripped, raped and destroyed by the brutality of the war.
Nothing feeds forgetfulness better than war, Daniel. Wars have no memory, and nobody has the courage to understand them until there are no voices left to tell what happened, until the moment comes when we no longer recognize them and they return, with another face and another name, to devour what they left behind. Barcelona Spain. Not because it was explained in the book, but because through mysterious events after reading the book.
It was a rare book, which reverberated quickly through the echoe chambers of the world of book collectors. It immediately draw attention as the last book of the author. Daniel Sempere made a promise never to tell where he he found it and protect it as his most precious possession.
Daniel's father: This is a place of mystery, Daniel, a sanctuary. Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, hidden behind heavy bolted doors and high walls, brought voices alive of authors passed and present, who needed their story discovered and told.
Brave, curious, but innocent, ten-year-old Daniel Sempere did not foresee the consequences when he opened that particular book to read.
Nor could the effect it would have on him and his father's life be calculated. I had never known the pleasure of reading, of exploring the recesses of the soul, of letting myself be carried away by imagination, beauty, and the mystery of fiction and language. For me all those things were born with that novel.
And so it was for Daniel as well. People populated Daniel's life from different walks of life. His journey to become a man, would cross paths with villains and angels; carers and destroyers. His life would forever be connected to those who survived the manslaughter of war. Along the way, a pathos and empathy grew for the people who managed to survive. A tragicomedy, a suspense thriller, a historical fictional tale - a culmination of the voices and ambiance in books such as: To these people, hope was cruel, it had no conscious, and words were sometimes better of in their prison of memories.
Daniel had the power to keep these voice on paper alive, to allow them to be remembered. And then there is the backdrop of love in all its despicable, deceiving, destructive or honorable definitions. It meanders trough the labyrinth of the The Cemetery of Forgotten Books as well as the lives of the people who survived to tell their stories to Daniel.
It was a constant reminder of what makes us all vulnerable and victorious in life. For Daniel, it was a fast, uncompromising road to adulthood in which no secrets remained hidden. For those who wanted to share their tales, words became a sort of melancholic revenge Nurieta Monford: I began to dress like a pious widow or one of those women who seem to confuse sunlight with mortal sin.
I went to work with my hair drawn back into a bun and no makeup. It was a smile full of disdain, typical of self-important jerks who hang like stuffed sausages from the top of all corporate ladders.
What else could Daniel do but clung to the blessing and run The thing about words is that it takes us prisoner when rolled out by experienced wordsmiths.
This is one of those moments, although I must admit that only the beginning chapters, almost to the middle, and the last third of the book finally captured me beyond imagination. I almost gave up, but the magic in the prose propelled me forward. I just realized why not anyone can write a book, but why everyone, like yours truly, can get lost in the melody flowing from the magical alphabetic strings, the symbiotic sounds of voices on paper. Sometimes it is this music that kept me reading, surpassing the moral of the story.
The quality of thought and execution in this novel confirmed the addiction of words and books. Humor and hope are strange bedfellows. It may manifest in the intimations of paradise Happiness in every which way had a purpose, even in galleries of despair, even softened by ecumenical disguise. Sincere laughter came. In it all made finally sense to Daniel Sempere. Doom and gloom have a counterbalance. A very good one. All it needed was time. And good readers to follow the light to the last full stop of the tale.
View all 48 comments. The writing is along Dan Brown lines, with flowery metaphors mixed until they become meaningless. From page 1: Then on the next page someone is described as having "vulturine features", but in the following sentence he has an "aquiline gaze". This sloppiness is everywhere. The whole thing feels like it desperately wants be seen as some k Dire. The whole thing feels like it desperately wants be seen as some kind of profound parable, but the only result is that the characters are just implausible symbols.
They are too bland even to hate — unlike the book itself, which I loathed. View all 41 comments. Sep 07, Nataliya rated it really liked it Shelves: Whatever it was, it was enough to make me lose myself completely in the rich setting of midth century Barcelona, in the world of seductive dangerous power of literature and perils and passions of young love, a "Books are mirrors: Whatever it was, it was enough to make me lose myself completely in the rich setting of midth century Barcelona, in the world of seductive dangerous power of literature and perils and passions of young love, and the contrasts of idealistic innocence with the weariness of experience, all against the rich tapestry of the city full of beauty and secrets and vividness, all told in a lavish idiomatic language that makes you forget you're reading a translation.
And over all of this gothic surreal passion turned into words hangs a real grim presence of those in power who can come after you whenever they please, and who will try to silence you whenever they feel like it. Narrated by a young Daniel Sempere, it chronicles his transformation from a child to a young man in a Francoist post-war Spain, his loves and obsessions, his brushes with the world of mysteries and reality - both of these worlds equally dangerous and fascinating.
What was it exactly that made it so easy for me to overlook the imperfections and blemishes of this story - the not-uncommon sexist male gaze, the telenovela-like melodramatic developments, the sometimes strange choices of inserting exposition into the narrative flow. The atmosphere is built on a classic Gothic setting. The foreboding darkness haunts the story, complete with foreshadowings, strange haunted old mansions, dark secrets waiting to be unearthed, feverish passions and dark past tormenting the characters, emotional epistolary confessions, menacing villains, and dark stormy nights in abundance.
Shadows are everywhere, and things lurk in them, be sure of that. And destiny seems to reach in with its meddling hand and place things in necessary to it order. And the tortured, passionate love stories - oh yes, they are here, too.
And the pervasive sharp humor makes the story quite self-aware of its own stylized nature, making the elements that can easily turn annoying into fascinating bits instead. The plot twists are not pivotal. The reveals that come are not that important, and there are plenty of clues for the reader to come to the conclusions well before they are revealed.
Lovely, lovely book; not perfect but engrossing and beautiful, and well-deserving of the attention it has received. Reading it is a quite an experience.
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.
View all 22 comments. Here is one for those of us who absolutely adore great literature. It is almost as though The Shadow of the Wind was written for book lovers everywhere. An adrenaline laced, pulse pounding, suspense filled, dark and romantic, gothic adventure, peopled with brilliantly developed, colourful, charismatic and ultimately,unforgetable characters. It really should come with a warning as it will keep you reading late into the night and long after you should have put it down.
A must read folks Here is one for those of us who absolutely adore great literature. A must read folks. Make room on your book shelves for this one.