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The Shadow of the Wind

Narrated by: Daniel Philpott
Series: Cemetery of Forgotten Books, Book 1
Length: 17 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,046 ratings)

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Summary

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 work 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. A page-turning exploration of obsession in literature and love, and the places that obsession can lead.

©2011 Carlos Ruiz Zafon (P)2011 Orion Publishing Group Limited
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome

I came upon this book by chance - I liked the look of the cover - it was that simple. That was where the simplicity ended. What an astonishing read. I have never come across an author like Zafon - beautifully crafted story which takes you on an amazing literary journey. A book about books - sounds like a dull read but it is so far removed from dull. Do books have souls? This book could go a long way to convincing you that they do ..... I've gone on to read more of Zafon's books, but this is the one which grabbed me and is head and shoulders above the rest.

39 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent listening

I had already read this as an ebook, but I enjoeyed the book even more listening to it. The narration is fantastic. There were moments when I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I also found it very illuminating on the conditions in Barcelona after the Civil War.There was so much to this book that I may well read it again.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Riveting story

This is a whodunit with a difference. Excellently narrated by Daniel Philpott it is set in Barcelona and spans 50 years.The leading character, who has his own problems to deal with during the course of the book, tries to unravel the mystery surrounding the writer of a book which has entranced him.. The plot is like a tapestry where the different colours are woven in to give an eminantly pleasing whole.Add to that the author's "european" style of writing and I was intrigued to the very end.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • jo
  • 02-12-13

A great listen

Would you consider the audio edition of The Shadow of the Wind to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version but the audio was well read and engaging. I would recommend it.

What about Daniel Philpott’s performance did you like?

The book can be a little slow paced but Philpott kept things moving and there was good continuity.

Any additional comments?

A friend recommended this book years ago and I've only just got round to listening. Why did I wait? I listened from start to finish in one weekend and resented every minute I had to unplug my earphones.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

An excellent mystery.

I read this book some years ago, but wanted to re visit it as I felt I had not fully appreciated it. I found that having it “read to me” made all the difference as the whole story came alive. The plot is complex and skilfully developed, in the setting of Barcelona at its most beautiful and at its most sinister. There are dark and murderous and incidents throughout the narrative, but so deftly handled that they never become horrific. The characters are superbly drawn and developed and the narrator is excellent.

20 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not for me

I was ready to give up several times during this story but I persisted thinking it must get better. It just never gripped me. Ok the language was quite beautiful in places, and the narration was good.
But I didn't find either the characters or the story very interesting. And I found Daniel's love story, which I'm sure was supposed to mirror the historical love story, contrived. It felt like an afterthought by the author, or a sudden idea. It didn't link in with the story up until that time.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating and Mysterious

Would you listen to The Shadow of the Wind again? Why?

Maybe now that I know the ending, it would be interesting to hear it again

What other book might you compare The Shadow of the Wind to, and why?

This book is not like any I have read.

What about Daniel Philpott’s performance did you like?

It was fantastic, he gave every character a personality without resorting to silly voices

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Some parts were exceedingly sad. It did make me gasp out loud couple of times, in shock.

Any additional comments?

Really paints a picture of the dusty, mysterious old world of the main character

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful Story

I read this book some year's ago and immediately fell in love with it. The atmosphere that the writer evokes is reminiscent of the best 19th Century Gothic novels replete with lost loves and ghostly supernatural occurrences. This story is great to lose yourself in and the narrator does a great job of bringing the characters to life. Highly recommended!

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Glory be, what a waste of time

I really thought that I would like this book - how wrong could I be. It is tedious in the extreme, the only character I like is the awful boy's father, and that is partly because I feel sorry for him having such an ungrateful and obnoxious offspring.

I cannot read any further - I am now at the stage where I do not CARE what happens to the damn book - or the nasty boy.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

With out a shadow of a doubt, brilliant.

A wonderfully evocative book. I have never been to Barcelona but after reading this I feel like I know it very well. The story transports and is one of the few books I have ever read in one day. Part romance part thriller all brilliant.

I wrote to Audible asking for them to make this available on their UK site and within a few days they had. I have never come across better customer service than this. Thank you Audible

15 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Eduardo J Venegas
  • Eduardo J Venegas
  • 20-03-15

Best book ever!!!

If you haven't read or listened The Shadow of Wind, you are missing what is one of the best novels of modern time. Zafon does an spectacular job. Melancholy, Joy, sadness, happiness everything in one place.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Marius
  • 11-03-17

A book with depth and a story well told<br />

loved it - well written and in good taste. I am truly glad that this is the first of three

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Janet
  • 24-03-20

Wonderfully written

A great read, captivating to the end. I highly recommend this book and want to read more of his books.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • bianca preusker
  • 22-12-19

Thoroughly enjoyable tale.

After a recent visit to Barcelona I really enjoyed this story, well read, and twisting and turning through the alleys of the old city.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris-Mari Du Preez
  • 30-08-19

Loved every bit

Wonderful story, very intense but rewarding. And closure at the end which is always good. Lots of sad moments but it was worth it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Susannah
  • 24-05-19

This Was Worth Reviewing

I seldom review books, but this one deserved it. Excellent story! Fascinating twists and great character development. I didn't want it to end!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Luciana
  • 02-04-19

My favourite book of all times!

I read it many years ago and loved it. It was great listening to it again. The interpretation is great 👍

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • David Holmes
  • 01-03-19

For gothic horror and literature fans

This book is for fans of gothic horror with a fixation on poètes maudits. I was glad of the great historical backdrop. The language is brilliant and the English translation is amazing, as well as the performance, which is particularly respectful of accents.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Juliana Magalhaes
  • 25-11-18

Happy and sad

Amazing book that leads us to love, despair and hope. Sad to finish it. The narrator is so colorful with his voice and interpretation that I will hunt down other books performed by him.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-08-18

Enchanting story - one of the best

I read this in hardback form years ago and was dubious about this medium but it did not disappoint. Incredibly beautiful story and one I'll go back to again in a few years.