Sunday, November 14, 2010

"The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (@Zafonescrituras)

Not your typical thriller, granted.  But, hey, we're not your typical reviewer.

Holy cow, this novel will grip you and take you on a ride.  It's the kind of Gothic thriller that seeps into your bones, invades your dreams and haunts your every waking moment.  I don't know how she did it, but Lucia Graves, the English translator, somehow manages to make it feel like you're reading the original version in Spanish.  I lived in Spain for a couple of years, and this novel took me back with so many subtle little details.

Zafon bleeds magic into every page.  Even though there's really nothing that's not possible in the real and rational world, this almost feels like a paranormal thriller.  I love thrillers that grab me by the throat and pummel me.  This one wrapped me up in gauzy, silken strands and then whipped me around like a rag doll.  And yet, at the end, in spite of (or maybe because of) all the many tense and horror-filled moments, I felt gently, but shaken...back in my own bed.  Where I promptly revisited the world Zafon created in my dreams.

That's kind of what the novel feels like.  A beautiful, haunting and very realistic dream.

You see that I'm waxing poetic in an uncharacteristic way.  So, let me put it to you this way.  If you love thrillers, this will be an awesome departure from the norm for which you will want to kiss me square on the mouth.  If you're not a big fan of thrillers, this is one of those that you can brag about at your book club while STILL ENJOYING THE NOVEL!!

That's right!  All the literary clout you could hope for...stunning prose, razor-sharp characters (wait until you meet Fermin...he'll keep you in stitches), and a plot that will whack you upside the head with all the weight of a century old cathedral.  But at the same time, it's a page-turner.  It kept me up at night, trying to read just a few more pages before my eyelids sagged.

I'm telling you, read the stinkin' book!  You will be very happy that you did.


  1. Absolutely one of the best books I have ever read. I passed it along to my sister and told her...stick with it. You will be well rewarded for your efforts. I haven't read his most recent book yet.

    I follow you on twitter.

  2. One of my favorite books. I absolutely loved the idea of the cemetery of lost books.
    The Angel's Game is also top notch.