Skip to content

Carlos Ruiz Zafón: The Shadow of the Wind

I feel like too many of my book posts lately have been of the form “Eh, didn’t really float my boat.” Well, in this case my watercraft was 100% buoyant. The Shadow of the Wind not only should have been my thing, it actually was my thing.

I guess it was a big hit in Spain, where it was originally published, and I can see why. It’s full of books and (metaphorical) ghosts and romance and melodrama in a way that is slightly over-the-top but always enjoyable. It’s set in post-WWII Barcelona, and I really enjoyed the evocation of the time and place. It has a fairly standard metaplot of Young Man Digs Into The Mysteries Of The Past While Getting Dragged Into A Modern-Day Plot And Also Falling In Love With Someone Who May Or May Not Be Good For Him, but it implements it superbly. The characters are kind of two-dimensional (which is to say, they don’t really have three dimensions, but at least they don’t have only one), but who cares. I found myself tearing through it, both wanting to know What Happens Next And What Is The Real Identity Of That Mysterious Guy but also wanting to see how the personal relationships played out. I would call it a guilty pleasure but it was too well written for that.

Zafón has written a few other novels, and I have a feeling I’ll be reading one of them during my next summer vacation.

One Comment