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The Shadow Of The Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Series Book 1) Format Kindle
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THE MODERN CLASSIC: OVER 20 MILLION COPIES SOLD
A Sunday Times bestseller and a Richard & Judy book club pick
'The real deal: one gorgeous read' Stephen King
'This book will change your life. An instant classic' Daily Telegraph
'A book lover's dream' The Times
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 'The Shadow of the Wind' 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 the book, 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...
'Marvellous' Sunday Times
'A hymn of praise to all the joys of reading' Independent
'Gripping and instantly atmospheric' Mail on Sunday
'Irresistibly readable' Guardian
'Diabolically good' Elle
Description du produit
"It says here that this copy is part of an edition of twenty-five hundred printed in Barcelona by Cabestany Editores, in June 1936."
"Do you know the publishing house?"
"It closed down years ago. But, wait, this is not the original. The first edition came out in November 1935 but was printed in Paris....Published by Galiano & Neuval. Doesn't ring a bell."
"So is this a translation?"
"It doesn't say so. From what I can see, the text must be the original one."
"A book in Spanish, first published in France?"
"It's not that unusual, not in times like these," my father put in. "Perhaps Barceló can help us...."
Gustavo Barceló was an old colleague of my father's who now owned a cavernous establishment on Calle Fernando with a commanding position in the city's secondhand-book trade. Perpetually affixed to his mouth was an unlit pipe that impregnated his person with the aroma of a Persian market. He liked to describe himself as the last romantic, and he was not above claiming that a remote line in his ancestry led directly to Lord Byron himself. As if to prove this connection, Barceló fashioned his wardrobe in the style of a nineteenth-century dandy. His casual attire consisted of a cravat, white patent leather shoes, and a plain glass monocle that, according to malicious gossip, he did not remove even in the intimacy of the lavatory. Flights of fancy aside, the most significant relative in his lineage was his begetter, an industrialist who had become fabulously wealthy by questionable means at the end of the nineteenth century. According to my father, Gustavo Barceló was, technically speaking, loaded, and his palatial bookshop was more of a passion than a business. He loved books unreservedly, and-although he denied this categorically-if someone stepped into his bookshop and fell in love with a tome he could not afford, Barceló would lower its price, or even give it away, if he felt that the buyer was a serious reader and not an accidental browser. Barceló also boasted an elephantine memory allied to a pedantry that matched his demeanor and the sonority of his voice. If anyone knew about odd books, it was he. That afternoon, after closing the shop, my father suggested that we stroll along to the Els Quatre Gats, a café on Calle Montsió, where Barceló and his bibliophile knights of the round table gathered to discuss the finer points of decadent poets, dead languages, and neglected, moth-ridden masterpieces.
Els Quatre Gats was just a five-minute walk from our house and one of my favorite haunts. My parents had met there in 1932, and I attributed my one-way ticket into this world in part to the old café's charms. Stone dragons guarded a lamplit façade anchored in shadows. Inside, voices seemed shaded by the echoes of other times. Accountants, dreamers, and would-be geniuses shared tables with the specters of Pablo Picasso, Isaac Albéniz, Federico García Lorca, and Salvador Dalí. There any poor devil could pass for a historical figure for the price of a small coffee.
"Sempere, old man," proclaimed Barceló when he saw my father come in. "Hail the prodigal son. To what do we owe the honor?"
"You owe the honor to my son, Daniel, Don Gustavo. He's just made a discovery."
"Well, then, pray come and sit down with us, for we must celebrate this ephemeral event," he announced.
"Ephemeral?" I whispered to my father.
"Barceló can express himself only in frilly words," my father whispered back. "Don't say anything, or he'll get carried away."
The lesser members of the coterie made room for us in their circle, and Barceló, who enjoyed flaunting his generosity in public, insisted on treating us.
"How old is the lad?" inquired Barceló, inspecting me out of the corner of his eye.
"Almost eleven," I announced.
Barceló flashed a sly smile.
"In other words, ten. Don't add on any years, you rascal. Life will see to that without your help."
A few of his chums grumbled in assent. Barceló signaled to a waiter of such remarkable decrepitude that he looked as if he should be declared a national landmark.
"A cognac for my friend Sempere, from the good bottle, and a cinnamon milk shake for the young one-he's a growing boy. Ah, and bring us some bits of ham, but spare us the delicacies you brought us earlier, eh? If we fancy rubber, we'll call for Pirelli tires."
The waiter nodded and left, dragging his feet.
"I hate to bring up the subject," Barceló said, "but how can there be jobs? In this country nobody ever retires, not even after they're dead. Just look at El Cid. I tell you, we're a hopeless case."
He sucked on his cold pipe, eyes already scanning the book in my hands. Despite his pretentious façade and his verbosity, Barceló could smell good prey the way a wolf scents blood.
"Let me see," he said, feigning disinterest. "What have we here?"
I glanced at my father. He nodded approvingly. Without further ado, I handed Barceló the book. The bookseller greeted it with expert hands. His pianist's fingers quickly explored its texture, consistency, and condition. He located the page with the publication and printer's notices and studied it with Holmesian flair. The rest watched in silence, as if awaiting a miracle, or permission to breathe again.
"Carax. Interesting," he murmured in an inscrutable tone.
I held out my hand to recover the book. Barceló arched his eyebrows but gave it back with an icy smile.
"Where did you find it, young man?"
"It's a secret," I answered, knowing that my father would be smiling to himself. Barceló frowned and looked at my father. "Sempere, my dearest old friend, because it's you and because of the high esteem I hold you in, and in honor of the long and profound friendship that unites us like brothers, let's call it at forty duros, end of story."
"You'll have to discuss that with my son," my father pointed out. "The book is his."
Barceló granted me a wolfish smile. "What do you say, laddie? Forty duros isn't bad for a first sale....Sempere, this boy of yours will make a name for himself in the business."
The choir cheered his remark. Barceló gave me a triumphant look and pulled out his leather wallet. He ceremoniously counted out two hundred pesetas, which in those days was quite a fortune, and handed them to me. But I just shook my head. Barceló scowled.
"Dear boy, greed is most certainly an ugly, not to say mortal, sin. Be sensible. Call me crazy, but I'll raise that to sixty duros, and you can open a retirement fund. At your age you must start thinking of the future."
I shook my head again. Barceló shot a poisonous look at my father through his monocle.
"Don't look at me," said my father. "I'm only here as an escort."
Barceló sighed and peered at me closely.
"Let's see, junior. What is it you want?"
"What I want is to know who Julián Carax is and where I can find other books he's written."
Barceló chuckled and pocketed his wallet, reconsidering his adversary.
"Goodness, a scholar. Sempere, what do you feed the boy?"
The bookseller leaned toward me confidentially, and for a second I thought he betrayed a look of respect that had not been there a few moments earlier.
"We'll make a deal," he said. "Tomorrow, Sunday, in the afternoon, drop by the Ateneo library and ask for me. Bring your precious find with you so that I can examine it properly, and I'll tell you what I know about Julián Carax. Quid pro quo."
"Quid pro what?"
"Latin, young man. There's no such thing as dead languages, only dormant minds. Paraphrasing, it means that you can't get something for nothing, but since I like you, I'm going to do you a favor."
The man's oratory could kill flies in midair, but I suspected that if I wanted to find out anything about Julián Carax, I'd be well advised to stay on good terms with him. I proffered my most saintly smile in delight at his Latin outpourings.
"Remember, tomorrow, in the Ateneo," pronounced the bookseller. "But bring the book, or there's no deal."
Our conversation slowly merged into the murmuring of the other members of the coffee set. The discussion turned to some documents found in the basement of El Escorial that hinted at the possibility that Don Miguel de Cervantes had in fact been the nom de plume of a large, hairy lady of letters from Toledo. Barceló seemed distracted, not tempted to claim a share in the debate. He remained quiet, observing me from his fake monocle with a masked smile. Or perhaps he was only looking at the book I held in my hands.--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition kindle_edition.
From The Washington Post's Book World/washingtonpost.com
Critics describing a new novel will sometimes resort to a particularly seductive formula: "If Judith Krantz had written Ulysses . . ." or "Half Georgette Heyer, half H.P. Lovecraft," or "If you enjoyed A Dog of Flanders, you'll just purr over The Cat's Pajamas." This is a seductive formula because it's easy to use (too easy, most of the time) and because it can quickly convey something of the range and complexity of a new book without going into a lot of detail.
But such shortcuts also remind us that novels, like most literature, build on earlier books as much as they do on life or on a writer's personal traumas. Indeed, one loose definition of modernism might be writing that is actually rewriting.
The Shadow of the Wind provokes such thoughts because it is a long novel that will remind readers of a good many other novels. This isn't meant as criticism but as an indication of the story's richness and architectonic intricacy. Before everything else, Carlos Ruiz Zafón's European bestseller is a book about a mysterious book, and its even more mysterious author. Try to imagine a blend of Grand Guignol thriller, historical fiction, occasional farce, existential mystery and passionate love story; then double it. If that's too hard to do, let me put it another way: If you love A.S. Byatt's Possession, García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, the short stories of Borges, Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, Arturo Pérez-Reverte's The Club Dumas or Paul Auster's "New York" trilogy, not to mention Victor Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame and William Hjortsberg's Falling Angel, then you will love The Shadow of the Wind.
"I was raised among books," writes Daniel Sempere, "making invisible friends in pages that seemed cast from dust and whose smell I carry on my hands to this day." Young Daniel's father runs a used bookstore in Barcelona; his mother died when he was 4, and he misses her desperately. One afternoon in 1945 the older Sempere informs his not quite 11-year-old son that he is taking him to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. "You mustn't tell anyone what you're about to see today." They wander through narrow winding streets, then finally stop before "a large door of carved wood, blackened by time and humidity. Before us loomed what to my eyes seemed the carcass of a palace, a place of echoes and shadows." Inside "a labyrinth of passageways and crammed bookshelves rose from base to pinnacle like a beehive woven with tunnels, steps, platforms, and bridges that presaged an immense library of seemingly impossible geometry." Daniel's father tells him that "according to tradition, the first time someone visits this place, he must choose a book, whichever he wants, and adopt it, making sure that it will never disappear, that it will always stay alive." Daniel chooses -- or perhaps is chosen by -- "The Shadow of the Wind," by Julian Carax.
Daniel loses himself in the book -- we are never told too much about its gothic-thriller plot -- and soon asks for other works by Carax, who seems to have been a Spaniard living in Paris during the 1920s and '30s. He learns that his works are virtually impossible to find. Rumor has it that over the past 10 years or so a dark figure with a limp has bought up every Carax available, and that libraries and private collections have had their Carax titles stolen. It's hinted that all the copies -- never plentiful to begin with -- have been burnt and that the man with the limp goes by the name of Lain Coubert. Daniel knows this name. In "The Shadow of the Wind" it is the one used by the devil.
About this same time, our young bibliophile comes to know a well-to-do bookseller and his gorgeous blind niece, who dresses all in white. The boy takes to visiting Clara in the evenings to read to her, naturally falling in love with the young woman. Meanwhile, he keeps trying to find out more about Julian Carax. Time passes. Then, one night, the now adolescent Daniel is unable to sleep, and he looks out into the night. "A motionless figure stood out in a patch of shadow on the cobbled street. The flickering amber glow of a cigarette was reflected in his eyes. He wore dark clothes, with one hand buried in the pocket of his jacket, the other holding the cigarette that wove a web of blue smoke around his profile. He observed me silently, his face obscured by the street lighting behind him. He remained there for almost a minute smoking nonchalantly, his eyes fixed on mine. Then, when the cathedral bells struck midnight, the figure gave a faint nod of the head, followed, I sensed, by a smile that I could not see. I wanted to return the greeting but was paralyzed. The figure turned, and I saw the man walking away, with a slight limp."
This passage occurs on page 37, and the real story of The Shadow of the Wind has just begun.
Gradually, Daniel learns that Carax was born in Barcelona, the son of a beautiful French piano teacher and the owner of a local hat shop. It's said that someone other than Antoni Fortuny was Julian's actual father but that Sophie Carax, even when beaten and abused, would never reveal his identity. When Julian grew to adolescence, he joined a group of four other boys -- one later becoming a priest, another a cold-blooded government assassin, another the financier of his books. He also fell desperately in love with the fourth boy's sister, Penelope.
Meanwhile, the reader notices that Daniel himself -- now 18 or 19 -- is oddly replicating the life of Julian. As he delves into Carax's past, he meets people who casually mention that he looks a little like the novelist. Daniel eventually discovers that Carax fled Paris after a duel on the day he was to marry a wealthy and elderly woman. His body was found in an alley in Barcelona a month later, just as the Civil War broke out. Virtually all those who befriended Carax appear to have ended up impoverished, crazed or dead. The house of his beloved Penelope has been long abandoned and is said to be haunted.
As the reader tries to figure out the links between modern Spanish history, two passionate and forbidden love affairs and an enigmatic novelist, Carlos Ruiz Zafón periodically lessens the tension of his dark melodrama by introducing humorous interludes or eccentric secondary characters. The Semperes give work to a beggar who claims to have been a secret agent and many other things. Fermin is worldly, tough, shrewd, utterly loyal and bawdy:
"For the life of God, I hereby swear that I have never lain with an underage woman, and not for lack of inclination or opportunities. Bear in mind that what you see today is but a shadow of my former self, but there was a time when I cut as dashing a figure as they come. Yet even then, just to be on the safe side, or if I sensed that a girl might be overly flighty, I would not proceed without seeing some form of identification or, failing that, a written paternal authorization. One has to maintain certain moral standards."
Zafón -- at least in the fine English of Lucia Graves -- can also turn a witty phrase: Describing a learned priest, he writes, "Years of teaching had left him with that firm and didactic tone of someone used to being heard, but not certain of being listened to." Some of the wit -- or is it symbolism? -- can be subtle: When Fermin happens to mention the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse on one page, on the next he is knocking over a set of the novels of Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, whose best known book is the once wildly popular bestseller The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Not least, like his partial model Sancho Panza, Fermin also specializes in peasant wisdom:
"Look, Daniel. Destiny is usually around the corner. Like a thief, like a hooker, or a lottery vendor: its three most common personifications. But what destiny does not do is home visits. You have to go for it."
And so, in a sense, Daniel does go for it, plunging deeper and deeper into the enigma of Julian Carax and his accursed books, and along the way risking the lives and happiness of all those he loves. It grows ever more apparent that much that has seemed random or mad or unlucky -- the burning of Carax's novels, sudden disappearances, the blighting of so many lives -- may be part of a larger insidious plan, that there are wheels within wheels.
I'd like to say more about this superbly entertaining book but don't dare to hint any more about its plot twists. Suffice it to say that -- and here's yet another critical formula -- 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.
Copyright 2004, The Washington Post Co. All Rights Reserved. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition kindle_edition.
Détails sur le produit
- ASIN : B002U3CB5M
- Éditeur : Weidenfeld & Nicolson (16 avril 2009)
- Langue : Anglais
- Taille du fichier : 2462 KB
- Synthèse vocale : Activée
- Lecteur d’écran : Pris en charge
- Confort de lecture : Activé
- X-Ray : Activé
- Word Wise : Activé
- Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 506 pages
- Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon : 47,218 en Boutique Kindle (Voir les 100 premiers en Boutique Kindle)
- Commentaires client :
À propos de l'auteur
Meilleures évaluations de France
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Coming of age.
Thus begins the child's fascination with the author of "The Shadow of the Wind", one Julian Carax. The child grows, determined to discover who was this mysterious Carax, why did he flee Barcelona, and why is some mysterious stranger determined to destroy all copies of his books and all trace of his life.
The destruction of an artist's life and works is a potent exploration of censorship and the ability of Franco's followers to fictionalise history. Carlos Ruiz Zafon has life imitating art: Daniel's life seems to parallel Carax's! Is this a case of not learning from history? One of the characters remarks that true evil requires thought and reason, but that most people who do evil are too stupid to intellectualise their behaviour: they act simplistically out of corrupted emotions ... fear, anger, jealousy, guilt, greed.
Fascism, we see, took a hold because not enough people were prepared to act to stop it. Fascism will return if people are too lazy to think, to value, to question. History can repeat itself unless people learn.
But Fascism - which tries to impose a rigid structure on the State and its people - creates intense loneliness. People live in fear of exposure, of seizure by the secret police because they dare to think differently. Daniel's is the loneliness of fear, but it's also the loneliness of teenage love - lusty, erotic, but ultimately fragile and insecure. As a teenager, how do you know you are in love? You weave your dreams and hopes, but lack the experience to compare, to know for sure. You barely understand desire, let alone love. As a teenager, history never repeats itself, because you simply don't yet have enough emotional history!
Haunted, pursued by the mysterious leather-faced man who is out to destroy Carax's work, Daniel is haunted by the women he desires, is haunted by the need to construct a sexual and emotional self beyond the boundaries of childhood. Freedom, here, is hardly political freedom, but rather escape from emotional and sexual censorship. As Daniel strides out into the world, we watch his friendships and family dissolve around him. He has to build adult relationships now, not childish ones.
This is a book which works on so many levels. The focus is primarily on the fantasy world Daniel creates, the fantasy, shadowy world of resistance to Fascism, to censorship and mind control. It is fantasy until it runs smack into reality, the reality of a mature world. Suddenly, we have a murder mystery on our hands. We have political intrigue. We have eroticism.
"The Shadow of the Wind" is an extraordinarily well-written novel. It moves at a gentle, cerebral pace - you barely notice you are on a rollercoaster ride through fantasy. Yet it is a wonderful evocation of Barcelona - not the city of tourist brochure and sunshine, but a dark, mysterious city, lived in by real people enduring real fear and oppression. The fantasy is merely a dark cloak - once you begin to peer under it you feel this is a vivid insight into the subconscious of Spain.
It is a wholly absorbing, and highly unusual, mystery which will engross you. If I have one criticism, I felt the last quarter of the novel is comparatively weak. The ending can appear a little hasty and contrived. Having created a fantasy, turned it into a dark mystery and eroticised the romance, the ending could have been better played and plotted. But overall, a lovely, thoroughly enjoyable novel which will engage you on a number of levels and leave your mind stimulated.
Meilleurs commentaires provenant d’autres pays
‘I could tell you it’s his heart, but what is really killing him is loneliness. Memories are worse than bullets.’
The Shadow of the Wind written by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and translated by Lucia Graves, was an absolutely beautiful book to read and savour. I am in such awe of the flowing, vivid and rich details in this novel, and I must applaud Lucia Graves for her skill in her translation.
The Shadow of the Wind is hard to define to one specific genre; although it is classed as historical fiction I personally felt that it was more of a bildungsroman, with a crime thriller twist to it. The story follows Daniel Sempere from a young boy, as he first enters the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and chances upon a novel written by Julien Carax. He then embarks upon a journey throughout the years to uncover the truth about the author. Through this journey, we watch Daniel and those closest to him experience loneliness, forbidden love, prejudice, and lost friendships. Barcelona is shown to be a perfect gothic backdrop to this, and I loved visualising all the descriptions.
Whilst Daniel was my favourite character, it was Fermin Romero de Torres who I found the most entertaining, as his humour really cut through the more somber chapters. He was always so eccentric and crude but he surely had a heart of gold and was just loveable.
Fumero the main villain of the book, was one to really despise. He was an awful and malicious character, whom I loved to hate!
I did find that in the middle of the book the story did start to drag a bit, the pace slowed down a bit too much for my liking. However, I didn’t mind too much as I think my favourite aspect of this book was the rich writing that was full of similes and metaphors, which were incredibly perfect. I seriously could have included so many quotes in this review. There were so many descriptions about books and the readers enjoyment of them. This is definitely a book for all book lovers
The book is set in parts as well as chapters, the parts give you an idea of the date that that part of the story is set in as it does span over a few years from Daniel being a child to going into teenage adult times. It also covers the time span of Julián and his story, so it does make it clear and there are ways you know when certain things happen for example when a character tells a story you know it is a story. As I said there is little signs of changes of time and topic or plot within the story. So it makes it easier to recognise.
As the blurb said it follows Daniel as he tries to discover the story of the author who wrote The Shadow of The Wind by Julián Carax. The story was complex, but not confusing, everything was explained and worked out through the story. The plot was so amazing and it draws you in, and you just want to turn the page over and over and before you know it you have finished the book. I have loads of things I want to say about this book but I also don’t want to put spoilers in, so I may have to do a video review and fangirl the heck out of this book.
Daniel, I immediately connected with his character especially his love for that book because I think we all have that love for a certain book so I definitely got where he was coming from with that. He was such a charming character and it was very interesting watching him grow up from a child to a teen slowly starting adulthood. His interaction with different characters completely showed what kind of person he was. Like when he goes to see Cara (Who is blind) sits and reads with her and he just does nice stuff. Always seems to get punched for it like.
Julián, he is I would say the other main character in this story and he is such an enigma and he is so fascinating and I love it. I think along with Daniel I fell in love with the man from him. Like he was so amazing and there is so much I want to say because I don’t want to spoil it. (So that’s all I can say about him because spoiler)
I loved all the characters in this book and I thought that they all had a nice part in the book and I liked them all well except the certain person who did the certain thing to a certain person. (See the spoiler problem?)
I can’t really say anything else about this book I may have to do a spoiler review on youtube. Would you all like that? Would you like to hear more about my thoughts on this with spoilers? Let me know!
Gothic, beautifully written, filled with mystery, intrigue and characters that you simply can't put down.
This is a detective story that you never know who is actually being hunted 'The Devil' or the author. A young boy who is obsessed with a book and therefore a story, a history that is unsolved and he must be the one to unravel it. Set on the streets of Barcelona against backdrop filled with corruption and dark alleys this book is one that every fan of Gothic literature must read and trust me, you'll go back for more and more.
I hated how all the women were written in this book. They were all unfortunate creatures of some description, lacking in depth of character. This was in complete opposite to the depth of character most of the men had. Hmmm. Too much focus on voluptuous breasts...if this was a romance or whatever, this might have been in context, but it wasn't here.
As if the pacing wasn't difficult enough, the way that the reveals came, in a letter (all tell and no whow). In the kindle edition, this was formatted as a book within a book...Chapter 1 this drove me crazy. The twists were somewhat clever but I'd lost my give a damn about 40% prior, so it didn't have the same shine.
Lots of people love this book, I don't know why it missed the spot but in my opinion it could have been shorter with the bore edited out. I have no compunction to continue with the series and if I never hear of Lain Courbert again, it will be too soon. I am reassured that most of my book club also struggled with this one, so it's not just me.