The Shadow of the Wind Reviews


'If you thought the gothic novel died with the 19th century, this will change your mind. In Zafón's hands, every scene seems to come from an early Orson Wells movie. One gorgeous read.' STEPHEN KING

'For the first time in 20 years or so as a book reviewer, I am tempted to dust off the old superlatives and even to employ some particularly vulgar cliches from the repetoire of publishers' blurbs. My colleagues may be shocked, but I don't care, I can't help myself, here goes. THE SHADOW OF THE WIND is a triumph of the storyteller's art. I couldn't put it down. Enchanting, hilarious and heartbreaking, this book will change your life.' DAILY TELEGRAPH

'Zafón's book is tremendously enjoyable... his story is impressively well-rounded. Humour, horror, politics and romance are skilfully deployed and... the overall effect is hugely satisfying. Zafón, a former screenwriter, is particularly good at contrast and pacing: the book's 400 pages whip past with incredible speed.' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

'What makes this novel so irresistibly readable is the emotional energy generated by the ups and downs of a big and varied cast of memorable characters. His conviction of the importance of literature in real life comes shining through. Walk down any street in Zafón's Barcelona and you'll glimpse the shades of the past and the secrets of the present, inscribed alike in the city's material fabric and the lives of its citizens.' Michael Kerrigan GUARDIAN

'Gripping and instantly atmospheric, this literary mystery opens in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a maze-like library of obscure tomes hidden away in Barcelona's Old City, where the hero, Daniel, is taken as a boy... But he little realises the evil which it will unleash and the devastating impact it will have on his life.' MAIL ON SUNDAY YOU MAGAZINE

'For bibliophiles there can be few more enticing-sounding places than the 'Cemetery of Forgotten Books'... THE SHADOW OF THE WIND has been a publishing phenomenon in Spain and throughout Europe... Combining all the best elements of crime fiction with an investigation of the power of literature to shape our lives and imaginations, it is one of the most original and compelling stories of the past decade.' NICK RENNISON WATERSTONES QUARTERLY

'A potent mix: a coming-of-age story set in Barcelona's post-war years, an edge of fantasy, a tragic love story, and a labyrinth of mystery.' Ben Page THE BOOKSELLER.

'Zafón makes sure there's a robust serving of amor, and enough magic, murder and madness to keep even the most reluctant reader engrossed. Diabolically good.' ELLE MAGAZINE

'Everything about THE SHADOW OF THE WIND is smooth. The language purrs along, while the plot twists and unravels with a languid grace... Zafón's novel is atmospheric, beguiling and thoroughly readable.' OBSERVER

'Set in the author's native Barcelona in the years after the Spanish Civil War, this gripping novel has the feel of a gothic ghost story, complete with crumbling, ivy-covered mansions, gargoyles and dank prison cells.... this is just the sort of literary mystery that would have found favour with Wilkie Collins.' DAILY MAIL

'Good old-fashioned narrative is back in fashion... his tale [has] a dramatic tension that so many contemporary novels today seem to lack. This is highly-sophisticated, fun reading that keeps you gripped and tests the brain cells all at the same time. What more could you ask for?' THE SCOTSMAN

'This epic novel spent two years on the Spanish bestseller list. It's easy to see why.... Zafón is planning to write another three books around the same theme , and if they keep the pulse pumping and the pages turning as reliably as this fantastic piece of fiction, he will have a publishing phenomenon on his hands.' SUNDAY HERALD

'The translation by Lucia Graves is excellent, mixing formality with poetry... The twists of the story which fold in on itself again and again like complicated origami, eventually reveal a simple shape. Love and deception are at the heart of the literary mystery - aren't they always?' SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY

'This is such a racy, enthralling tale that it is easy to see why it spent two years on the bestseller list when it was first published in Spanish and Catalan... clever and expertly told... an extremely good read.' THE HERALD

'The book is written by someone witty and knowing enough to spoof himself while still being able to raise the hairs on the back of your neck... Carlos Ruiz Zafón's zest is infectious... He swathes his story with atmospherics... Barcelona becomes a place of doors opening into dark interiors of the mind... Behind all this is a fierce satirical energy against the tyrants and philistines of history... A game it may be, but somewhere in the shadows are the Caprichos of Goya.' THE ECONOMIST (US AND UK EDITION)

'Gabriel Garcia Marquez meets Umberto Eco meets Jorge Luis Borges...Ruiz Zafón gives us a panoply of alluring and savage personages and stories. His novel eddies in currents of passion, revenge and mysteries whose layers peel away onion-like yet persist in growing back... we are taken on a wild ride that executes its hairpin bends with breathtaking lurches.' NEW YORK TIMES

'wondrous... ultimately a love letter to literature, intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero.' ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

'A rousing adventure that reads as if Jorge Borges were writing in the mode of Umberto Eco's 'The Name of the Rose.' US ELLE MAGAZINE

'If you love AS Byatt's 'Possession', Marquez's 'One Hundred Years of Solitude'... Eco's 'The Name of the Rose'... or Paul Auster's 'New York Trilogy'... then you will love THE SHADOW OF THE WIND... 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.' THE WASHINGTON POST

'Set in post-war Barcelona, Zafón's tightly plotted thriller is sharp, sexy, gothic (perhaps even a little ghoulish), powerfully atmospheric, often funny and utterly unputdownable THE SHADOW OF THE WIND is more than a book about a book - it's an inspired homage to the book, a celebration of writing, and an exhortation to read.' THE AUSTRALIAN

THE SHADOW OF THE WIND will keep you up for nights - and it'll be time well spent. Absolutely marvellous.' *starred review* KIRKUS REVIEWS.

Chosen as best recent book to take on holiday: 'Carlos Ruiz Zafón's wonderfully chock-a-block novel THE SHADOW OF THE WIND starts with the search for a mysterious author in Barcelona in the aftermath of the Civil War and then packs in as many plots and characters as it does genres - Gothic melodrama, coming-of-age story, historical thriller and more. It is a deeply satisfying, rich, full read.' Michael Prodger Deputy Literary Editor, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH