The Shadow of the wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon


The shadow of the Wind is a phantom, a book that I had never heard of an author I have never searched for when suddenly a friend of mine suggested this because of its conspicuous similarity to The Thirteenth Tale on hearing an excerpt. I was thrilled almost enthralled to be set on an adventure concerning books and an indistinguishable author. Once into the first few chapters, I couldn't Thank you enough Soumi.

Once you embark on a journey to trace the pages of The shadow of the wind, you find yourself in the post Civil war by lanes of Barcelona, dark, dingy, and filled with a miasma that pollutes your soul. In those times a silent boy woke up screaming and in pain. A pain that knows not its limits. Such is a pain when you forget the last memory of your mother. You cannot comprehend such an ignoble feeling of not being able to hold on to her face and cry your eyes out in search of the tenderness, and a boy of 10 years old? The weight becomes insurmountable.

Here begins the story. From within the winding corridors of The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, The resting place of books. Books that are not sought out, books that have their soul embittered, are placed here to rest, maybe forever. Here the boy holding his father's hand finds a singular book, The shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax.

With a tale of grim repercussions and a gothic art hidden between shrouds transcends the boy's mind and as he lets his soul into the book, He asks his father, why did he not know about Julian Carax? Being the owner of a book shop which he should?

Here begins the boy's frantic search for the one thing that will bring him retribution, the story of the phantom called Julian Carax. Who is he? Where is he? Does he have other books? Is he still alive to answer the looming question of this young one? Curiosity often killed the cat, but have you heard of curiosity summoned the devil? What shall you do when a devil out of the same pages you loved steps out of the misty roads, smelling of fire-ash and seeking to possess the books of Julian Carax to burn the memory of the author to extinction.

How should the young boy part with the book? After all, the search for Julian is the search for the face he has lost.

"That book taught me that by reading, I could live intensely. It could give me back the sight I had lost. For that reason alone, a book that didn't matter to anyone changed my life"

-Carlos Ruiz Zafon

A book that hasn't seen the lights of the world for an eternity now, the same book that has been erased of existence gave Daniel the place he seeks. In this search lies his retribution and for this, he will not part with the book, whatever fortune may come his way. Time flies by and the young Daniel grows into a young man, but what has changed the way he looks? His height probably? And maybe his voice. The fire burning within himself to know the truth behind Carax hasn't yet been extinguished. Nothing can quench his thirst for knowledge about the man he never knew.

The life of Daniel has become more twisted as time flew by, his emotional range has persuaded him to attach himself to forces he cannot conquer. With a broken heart and a couple of ribs he often stole glances over his shoulder to find out if the shadow follows if the faceless devil reaches him out.

The story behind Carax is revealed in steps, steady steps advancing slowly to display the twisted fate of nature. You will stop to think that Daniel is the Carax he seeks, the similarity between their soul is like an enchanted spring, it draws you within.

Thus unfolds the story of the transparent author, of his friends that loved him, of the fate that destroyed him and the love that remained lost while he strived to achieve an empty dream out of the reach in a distant land.

"Remember the deal we made. The day I die, all that was once mine will be yours..." -Miquel Molliner, The shadow of the wind

Friends that make you believe that all is not lost while they tread in the darkness they push you upwards. They make you rise from your ashes to be their glory. I loved Miquel Molliner and his portrayal of the true friend. It gives me shivers while I write this but if there is a Miquel Molliner in your life make sure you stick to him or her because it gets no better without the people you love.

While reading this I encountered strong love, the kind which cannot be suppressed. The kind you can never abandon. Not always love begets love but the love that doesn't beget cannot be called less. Nuria Monfort taught me this.

The more you read the more you will feel that Daniel is the retelling of the life of Julian Carax, the same feelings. The same burning passion but two different people roaming the misty streets of desolated Barcelona. A story that breaks your heart but yet you keep going. How twisted is the fate of the people in the setting still you don't stop? A mystery of a lost person and a phantom in the shadows. The ramblings of your desire and the uneventful desolation. I couldn't even forget this piece if you erased my memory with the deluminator.

Everything talked about this piece is less, the gothic charm that is imbued in the Novel gets darker and darker until the light is blotted out of the sea line. I am terribly sorry that I read this book so late, I cannot express my feelings about how cruel it is to lose Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Then I wonder if he will seek my call to the shadow of the winds.


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