Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mini-review of The Shadow of the Wind

This mini-review was initially posted on my local library's website. To enter the grand prize drawing for the summer reading program, adults had to read eight books and write a review of at least one of them. I wrote mine for The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (and brilliantly translated from Spanish by Lucia Graves). I started reading it before the Special Libraries Association (SLA) conference, June 12 to 16, and didn't finish until after my trip. In fact, June and July were very busy, hence my long silence from blogging, and I can't tell you how much I've missed my blog, and writing in general. I'm posting the mini-review in part to "ease back into" blogging. Anyway, I love love loved this book, and here's what I had to say about it:

Almost anyone who really loves books, and who understands the power of books and reading to transform our lives, will love the novel The Shadow of the Wind. It begins in 1945, when ten-year-old Daniel is first introduced by his father to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books.

Daniel finds a novel called The Shadow of the Wind, written by a man named Julian Carax, and falls in love with the story. When Daniel tries to find other books by Carax, he learns there is a mystery surrounding the author and his books: someone else has been searching for copies of Carax's books, and burning all that he finds.

There are mysteries, romances, troubled families, true friendships, forbidden love, and murder. There are good guys and bad guys, and some characters' true colors aren't always clear. Most of the story is set in Barcelona, Spain, and the setting feels gothic, as though it's always nighttime. Yet there are lighter moments, and a lot of humorous dialogue. Ruiz Zafón weaves the disparate threads together securely, and creates a masterpiece.

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