Best things in life: books, beaches, cats, chocolate, sunsets, sleep
I wish I could read The Shadow of the Wind, not the novel written by Carlos Ruiz Zafon but the one written by Julian Carax, the novel within the novel. Okay, that’s confusing but this book is about a boy, Daniel, who is taken to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books by his father where Daniel chooses a book that he is required to guard for the rest of his life. He chooses The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax, and he is so enamored of the story that it brings him to search for years for the missing but presumed dead author. Ultimately Daniel and Julian Carax’s intertwined stories contain love, betrayal, murder, friendships and excessive amounts of intrigue. Zafon’s story is wonderfully compelling and I eagerly look forward to reading the second book in the series, but I wish I could read the story that made Daniel take the risks that he does to discover the fate of Julian Carax.
A novel about books is always a treat for readers, at least for those of us who have such a passion for books. I’m terribly jealous of Daniel and his father who own a bookshop because they are allowed to spend all day dealing with books. I would probably be in trouble all the time if I were Daniel because I would constantly be trying to sneak away to some hidden corner to read. And though the central story line of TSotW concerns an author and his writings, this novel is actually not so much about books as about a young man who loves a girl and about long-held jealousy that eats away at a person. It has many elements and they are so well done, and I can’t do it justice by describing my reactions to it. It simply needs to be read. I have to include the following quote from one of the book’s important characters that I just can’t resist:
“Bea says that the art of reading is slowly dying, that it’s an intimate ritual, that a book is a mirror that offers us only what we already carry inside us, that when we read, we do it with all our heart and mind, and great readers are becoming more scarce by the day.”
Read this book; you won’t be sorry.