The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Originally published in Spain in 2001, The Shadow of the Wind is the story of a young boy's search for a disappeared, mysterious author set against the backdrop of post-Spanish Civil War Barcelona. The novel was translated to English by Lucia Graves and having sold 15 million copies is one of the best-selling books of all time.
Reviewer: Lewis Jones
"The Shadow of the Wind is a triumph of the storyteller's art. I couldn't put it down. Enchanting, thrilling, hilarious and heartbreaking, this book will change your life. Carlos Ruiz Zafón, who is 40 and Spanish, has done that exceedingly rare thing – he has produced, in his first novel, a popular masterpiece, an instant classic."
Reviewer: Michael Dirda
"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."
Reviewer: Richard Eder
"The melodrama and complications of ''Shadow,'' expertly translated by Lucia Graves, can approach excess, though it's a pleasurable and exceedingly well-managed excess. We are taken on a wild ride -- for a ride, we may occasionally feel -- that executes its hairpin bends with breathtaking lurches."
Reviewer: Laura Miller
"“The Shadow of the Wind” has an innocence that doesn’t prevent it from being thoroughly enthralling; at heart, the novel is a story of star-crossed lovers, bold young heroes, their lovably eccentric sidekicks and a cruel, dastardly villain. There are no fiendishly clever twists or secret codes, but Ruiz Zafón doesn’t need them. He sweeps you along with the sheer riverine force of his sincerity and passion."
Reviewer: Peter Green
"Beautifully translated by Lucia Graves, it's a compulsive page turner: Never mind the improbabilities; the reader gets hooked by Daniel's strange odyssey and the innumerable offbeat characters he encounters along the way."
Reviewer: Michael Kerrigan
"...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....The undoubted flaws in The Shadow of the Wind do, ironically, stem from an overvaluing of words at the expense of things."
Reviewer: Robert Colvile
"The medley of genres (mildly supernatural thriller, against-the-odds love story and period coming-of-age saga) never quite fuses into a satisfying whole....Zafón's novel is atmospheric, beguiling and thoroughly readable, but ultimately lacks the magic its early chapters promise."
Reviewer: Jennie Yabroff
"For such a hefty book, "The Shadow of the Wind" contains very little direct action, and surprisingly few scenes. Much of the page-count is taken up relating second- and thirdhand family histories, with the relevant bits coming only after much stage setting and ancestry delineating....The combined effect of the foggy setting and soggy writing is of being lost in a swamp."