The Shadow of the Wind

  • by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • Narrated by James Wilby
  • 6 hrs and 45 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's 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 works 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.


What the Critics Say

"One of the most engaging, funny, moving, lyrical books." (Irish Examiner)
"Superbly entertaining." (Washington Post Book World)
"Carlos Ruiz Zafon has written a masterful novel of hope, mystery, and love, made more superb on audio." (AudioFile)
"Part detective story, part boy's adventure, part romance, fantasy, and gothic horror, the intricate plot is urged on by extravagant foreshadowing and nail-nibbling tension. This is rich, lavish storytelling." (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not my usual read

I "read" it all the way through only because of the wonderful narrative by Mr Wilby. The story was not gripping and very average.
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- Avril Gordon

Not quite!

Daniel lives with his father in a flat above their second hand bookstore in central Barcelona. They are close and reasonably happy despite the shadow cast over them by the loss of their beloved wife and mother. One day the father takes the son to the “Cemetery of Lost Books”, a hidden and secret archive which contains at least one copy of every book ever printed. Daniel is instructed to select one book of which he will be the keeper, and in being so he will keep alive the book, the memory of the writer and a sense all who have ever handled and read it. After selecting his book a complex train of events, centered on the mysterious writer Julian Carax, is set in motion. There is the search for the writer, an unlikely friendship, unrequited love, forbidden teenage romance, brutal and corrupt authority, mystery and suspense. Set in Barcelona on the eve of the Spanish civil war, this novel is a snapshot of time that is about to be ground into the dust by the jackboot of totalitarianism. Through the writers well honed descriptive powers we get a clear sense of the city, the prevailing Spanish culture of the time and a taste of the civil war which is about to erupt. There are some wonderful moments in this novel, but at times it lacks a real authenticity, a certain hollowness pervades the narrative and this prevents it from becoming a great story. However, we need to weigh this reviewers opinion against the fact that this novel is highly regarded and was an international best seller. Judge for yourself.
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- Andrew

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-19-2006
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Group Limited