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Barcelona, 1945—just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his eleventh birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother’s face. To console his only child, Daniel’s widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona’s guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again. Daniel’s father coaxes him to choose a volume from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the novel he selects, The Shadow of the Wind by one Julian Carax, that he sets out to find the rest of Carax’s work. To his shock, he discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written. In fact, he may have the last one in existence. Before Daniel knows it his seemingly innocent quest has opened a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets, an epic story of murder, magic, madness and doomed love. And before long he realizes that if he doesn’t find out the truth about Julian Carax, he and those closest to him will suffer horribly.
As with all astounding novels, The Shadow of the Wind sends the mind groping for comparisons —The Crimson Petal and the White? The novels of Arturo Pérez-Reverte? Of Victor Hugo? Love in the Time of Cholera?—but in the end, as with all astounding novels, no comparison can suffice. As one leading Spanish reviewer wrote, “The originality of Ruiz Zafón’s voice is bombproof and displays a diabolical talent. The Shadow of the Wind announces a phenomenon in Spanish literature.” An uncannily absorbing historical mystery, a heart-piercing romance, and a moving homage to the mystical power of books, The Shadow of the Wind is a triumph of the storyteller’s art.
About the Author
Carlos Ruiz Zafón was one of the world’s most read and best-loved writers. His work has been translated into more than forty languages and published around the world, garnering numerous international prizes and reaching millions of readers. He was the author of The Shadow of the Wind, The Angel's Game, The Prince of Mist, The Midnight Palace, The Prisoner of Heaven,
and, most recently, The City of Mist
(2021), published posthumorously.
He died in 2020.
Lucia Graves is the author and translator of many works and has overseen Spanish-language editions of the poetry of her father, Robert Graves.
“Anyone who enjoys novels that are scary, erotic, touching, tragic and thrilling should rush right out to the nearest bookstore and pick up The Shadow of the Wind. Really, you should.” —Michael Dirda, The Washington Post
“Gabriel Garcia Marquez meets Umberto Eco meets Jorge Luis Borges for a sprawling magic show.” —The New York Times Book Review
“[T]here is no question that [The Shadow of the Wind] is wondrous. . . [M]asterful, meticulous plotting and extraordinary control over language. . . . The Shadow of the Wind is ultimately a love letter to literature, intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero.” —Entertainment Weekly
“One gorgeous read.” —Stephen King
"The Shadow of the Wind will keep you up nights—and it'll be time well spent. Absolutely marvelous." —Kirkus (starred review)