The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zaron


Mark Haddon

"One of those rare novels that combine brilliant plotting with sublime writing..."

Sunday Times



The reason for me first picking up this book was because of the positive reputation which was beginning to attach itself to the novel.  It did not disappoint.  The book sets up the story line within the first few pages but the twists and turns along the way always leave you guessing and wanting to find out more right until the last few pages.

The protagonist, Daniel Sempere, is first introduced as a young boy and as such, I had an empathy with him from the beginning.  The story does not focus solely on the exploits of the young Daniel as we watch him grow into adulthood.  Rather, the cast of the book is varied and throughout the story Ruiz Zaron sends us back in time or into the minds of other characters through flash backs and letters.  The stark descriptions of life in Barcelona during the ages from the Civil War through to the World War add to the sombre atmosphere of the story.  It is riddled with mystery and sadness but moments of humour and happiness prevent it from becoming too 'depressing'. 

The book ends on a slightly happier note than one first expects, with retribution coming to those who deserve it.  Fitting to the book however, the book does not have a completely rosy ending but one which is realistic enough for me to almost believe the story was real.



Reviewed on 18/09/2005 by Angela


Reviewed item details

ISBN:  0753819317

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