Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the "cemetery of lost books", a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out La Sombra del Viento by Julian Carax.
But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. Then, one night, as he is wandering the old streets once more, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from La Sombra del Viento, a character who turns out to be the devil. This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax's works in order to burn them. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind.
Listen to a free interview with Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Simply Click here to download.
Click here to see all the titles in our Radio & TV Book Clubs collection.
©2001 Carlos Ruiz Zafon; (P)2005 Orion Publishing Group Ltd.
"One of the most engaging, funny, moving, lyrical books." (Irish Examiner)
"Superbly entertaining." (Washington Post Book World)
"Carlos Ruiz Zafon has written a masterful novel of hope, mystery, and love, made more superb on audio." (AudioFile)
"Part detective story, part boy's adventure, part romance, fantasy, and gothic horror, the intricate plot is urged on by extravagant foreshadowing and nail-nibbling tension. This is rich, lavish storytelling." (Booklist)
A wonderful story of determination,love and dogged perseverance. A beautiful and intricately woven tale with many twists and turns. Carlos Ruiz Zafon gives us a wonderful insight into turbulent times in Barcelona. Thoroughly enjoyable
This was my fourth download from Audible and I have to say that it's the first that has been disappointing. The narration is extremely irritating, with unnecessary melodramatic music slipped in here and there.
James Wilby's narration is plain awful. His 'Clara' reminds me of something from Monty Python. He imposes British rural accents on characters (a Cockney accent for Bernarda the maid, and an Irish accent for a drunken homeless man, for example.) This is supposed to be Barcelona, not the United Nations on a very bad day, James!
What's more, it's clear that James Wilby is uncomfortable with speaking Spanish and has to prepare himself to speak each Spanish name as he comes across it in the text as he indulges in a huge white-noise gap before he pronounces each one.
I haven't bothered to listen to the preview of an audible book since dowloading the first one and finding the quality excellent. However, I certainly will in future...
I hope the story itself picks up soon (I'm an hour in) and transports me beyond the nightmare of the audio.
this book has such potential. but it cannot decide if its a scary book or a slushy love story. as soon as it gets a bit thrilling... off it goes at a tangent and tries to be a love story. I could not finish it due to the narrator using totally ridiculous accents which do not fit the story at all. and the music that jumps in unexpectedly in an attempt to enhance the mood of the book.
note to the narrator: if you cannot do an appropriate accent dont do one at all. you ruined the book!
Commuting flies by with a good book!
The silky translation of Angel's game made this seem clunky in contrast. I gave up listening and bought the book.
I'd have preferred a decent unabridged version - the readers fine, just the content!
This book has been on my "must read" list for a long time, and I decided to download it instead. I'm so glad I did as it is beautifully read, and includes music written by the author, which compliments the story perfectly. Best audiobook I have downloaded by far.
This was a really good listen. I couldn't stop listening. I went on line straight away to see if his other book was available, sadly not at the moment, but as soon as it is available I will download it. I had already read the book and the sounds and music really put you there. Great listen.
Very disappointed in this audible version of what seems to be a great book. Overdramatic piano music makes it seem like a poor man's Phantom of the Opera and the Irish accent given to a Catalan Tramp is very irritating. Perhaps Andrew Sachs would have been a better choice for this book based in Barcelona ? I am almost tempted to give up listening the reading is so bad but the book reviews are so good I will have to grin and bear it or just give up and read the book.
This was a pleasant enough story that was VERY negatively affected by the inclusion of oppressive and totally unnecessary music overlaid on the reading. At points the actual words of the book become almost unintelligable behind the loud music, that, we find out at the end, is the creation of the author.
I came close to stopping halfway through. Th effect of the music was that bad.
I was recommended this book by a friend, otherwise I probably would not have chosen it. I loved it. I found it haunting and found myself thinking about it long after finishing it. It was at the end of the tape that I also discovered that the music had been composed by the author. I felt it was a shame I did not know this at the beginning, because all blended so well.
All in all a great read.
"Not my usual read"
I "read" it all the way through only because of the wonderful narrative by Mr Wilby. The story was not gripping and very average.
Daniel lives with his father in a flat above their second hand bookstore in central Barcelona. They are close and reasonably happy despite the shadow cast over them by the loss of their beloved wife and mother. One day the father takes the son to the “Cemetery of Lost Books”, a hidden and secret archive which contains at least one copy of every book ever printed. Daniel is instructed to select one book of which he will be the keeper, and in being so he will keep alive the book, the memory of the writer and a sense all who have ever handled and read it. After selecting his book a complex train of events, centered on the mysterious writer Julian Carax, is set in motion. There is the search for the writer, an unlikely friendship, unrequited love, forbidden teenage romance, brutal and corrupt authority, mystery and suspense. Set in Barcelona on the eve of the Spanish civil war, this novel is a snapshot of time that is about to be ground into the dust by the jackboot of totalitarianism. Through the writers well honed descriptive powers we get a clear sense of the city, the prevailing Spanish culture of the time and a taste of the civil war which is about to erupt. There are some wonderful moments in this novel, but at times it lacks a real authenticity, a certain hollowness pervades the narrative and this prevents it from becoming a great story. However, we need to weigh this reviewers opinion against the fact that this novel is highly regarded and was an international best seller. Judge for yourself.
"Mystical and thrilling story And well read."
Story deacribes a classical misty scenery, and mixes several generes like love, obsession, crime and mystique. There aren't a lot of action, but still a thrilling story that is hard to put away. You will fall in love, and be left thinking for days about what actually happened and what part you player in it as the reader (because yes, you were a part of it)..
everlasting enjoyment put down to words. a story who takes your breath away. simply perfect preformace
"Gita Bayu Book Club"
This was the first audibook I have ever listened to and I only downloaded it as it was a book club book and I couldnt find a hard copy of it anywhere. It was so wonderful being read too whilst doing other things and I could really picture the different characters in the narrators voice so it was almost the same as reading it myself. This book was a wonderful book with a lot of twists and turns and somehow in the end they all inter-relate. Great book and I hope many other readers (or listeners!) will enjoy it as I have.
No I havent but I really enjoyed listening to this book and would definitely listen to others he has read.
It took me two sittings but if I had have had the time to spare i could have sat and listened to it in one sitting!
"The Shadow of the Wind"
Carlos Zafon presents a top mystery that is annoyingly difficult to stop listening for meals work & sleep.
"Power of imagination"
Carlos Ruiz Zaf?n's The Shadow of the Wind is indeed a great and powerful novel. In addition to fantastic reading experience it offers a lot of philosophical and moral implications.
And all with a dose of good humor and in very imaginative way.
I also strongly advice to read/listen to Carlos' interviews. One of them (in English) is added to Audible.com audio version of the book.
What is interesting there is to discover how honest and humble to us, his readers is Carlos.
And, finally - all is about the Love ...
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.