One of the first things a reader said about The Shadow of the Wind was that while she was reading it, she wasn’t sure if she liked it but couldn’t put it down, and the other readers agreed that it was a page-turner. We loved Ruiz Zafon’s prose and found the translation to be brilliant (and noted that the translator is the daughter of the famous poet Robert Graves). While the plot style verged on the supernatural, requiring suspension of belief in places, it never tipped over the edge into either horror or ridiculousness. The eerie overtones of the story and the reoccurring theme of broken relationships added a perfect film-noir-ish layer of atmosphere. But although the story was definitely a thriller, there was a huge amount of humor that offset the darkness, particularly in the character of Fermin. One reader commented on how much she loved the character of Daniel, the protagonist; another found the parallels between Daniel’s life and the mysterious Julien’s life to be very cool. A third reader said that the concept of the Cemetery of Lost Books was great. Several readers agreed that the style of the book was very Charles Dickens in nature, and that there were intriguing parallels with Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, especially between Hugo’s vengeful & implacable Inspector Javert & Ruiz Zafon’s Inspector Fumero. Although the plot was somewhat predictable in places, that didn’t keep readers from reading on!
Reviewed By: Sherry Larson-Rhodes