Cover image for The shadow of the wind
Title:
The shadow of the wind
Author:
Ruiz Zafón, Carlos, 1964-
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Sombra del viento. English
Publication Information:
New York : Penguin Press, 2014.
Physical Description:
511 pages ; 20 cm
Summary:
A boy named Daniel selects a novel from a library of rare books, enjoying it so much that he searches for the rest of the author's works, only to discover that someone is destroying every book the author has ever written. Barcelona, 1945-just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his eleventh birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother's face. To console his only child, Daniel's widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona's guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again. Daniel's father coaxes him to choose a volume from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the novel he selects, The Shadow of the Wind by one Julian Carax, that he sets out to find the rest of Carax's work. To his shock, he discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written. In fact, he may have the last one in existence. Before Daniel knows it his seemingly innocent quest has opened a door into one of Barcelona's darkest secrets, an epic story of murder, magic, madness and doomed love. And before long he realizes that if he doesn't find out the truth about Julian Carax, he and those closest to him will suffer horribly. As with all astounding novels, The Shadow of the Wind sends the mind groping for comparisons- The Crimson Petal and the White? The novels of Arturo Peacute-Reverte? Of Victor Hugo? Love in the Time of Cholera ?-but in the end, as with all astounding novels, no comparison can suffice. As one leading Spanish reviewer wrote, ldquo. The originality of Ruiz Zafoacute's voice is bombproof and displays a diabolical talent. The Shadow of the Wind announces a phenomenon in Spanish literature. An uncannily absorbing historical mystery, a heart-piercing romance, and a moving homage to the mystical power of books, The Shadow of the Wind is a triumph of the storyteller's art.
General Note:
Originally published in Spanish as La sombra del viento by Editorial Planeta, S.A., Barcelona.
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780143126393
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

From A to Z, the Penguin Drop Caps series collects 26 unique hardcovers--featuring cover art by Jessica Hische

It all begins with a letter. Fall in love with Penguin Drop Caps, a new series of twenty-six collectible and hardcover editions, each with a type cover showcasing a gorgeously illustrated letter of the alphabet. In a design collaboration between Jessica Hische and Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley, the series features unique cover art by Hische, a superstar in the world of type design and illustration, whose work has appeared everywhere from Tiffany & Co. to Wes Anderson's recent film Moonrise Kingdom to Penguin's own bestsellers Committed and Rules of Civility . With exclusive designs that have never before appeared on Hische's hugely popular Daily Drop Cap blog, the Penguin Drop Caps series debuted with an 'A' for Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice , a 'B' for Charlotte Brönte's Jane Eyre , and a 'C' for Willa Cather's My Ántonia . It continues with more perennial classics, perfect to give as elegant gifts or to showcase on your own shelves.

Z is for Zafón . Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer's son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in what he finds in the "cemetery of lost books," a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind , by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author's other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax's books in existence. Soon Daniel's seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona's darkest secrets--an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.


Author Notes

Carlos Ruiz Zafón is the author of six novels. His work has been translated into more than forty languages and published around the world, garnering numerous international prizes and reaching millions of readers. He divides his time between Barcelona, Spain and Los Angeles, California. He is the author of The Shadow of the Wind, The Angel's Game, The Prince of Mist, The Midnight Palace, The Prisoner of Heaven and The Watcher in the Shadows.

Lucia Graves is the author and translator of many works and has overseen Spanish-language editions of the poetry of her father, Robert Graves.
Jessica Hische is a letterer, illustrator, typographer, and web designer. She currently serves on the Type Directors Club board of directors, has been named a Forbes Magazine "30 under 30" in art and design as well as an ADC Young Gun and one of Print Magazine 's "New Visual Artists". She has designed for Wes Anderson, McSweeney's , Tiffany & Co, Penguin Books and many others. She resides primarily in San Francisco, occasionally in Brooklyn.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Call it the "book book" genre: this international sensation (it has sold in more than 20 countries and been number one on the Spanish best-seller list), newly translated into English, has books and storytelling--and a single, physical book--at its heart. In post-World War II Barcelona, young Daniel is taken by his bookseller father to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a massive sanctuary where books are guarded from oblivion. Told to choose one book to protect, he selects The Shadow of the Wind0 , byulian Carax. He reads it, loves it, and soon learns it is both very valuable and very much in danger because someone is determinedly burning every copy of every book written by the obscure Carax. To call this book--Zafon's Shadow of the Wind--0 old-fashioned is to mean it in the best way. It's big, chock-full of unusual characters, and strong in its sense of place. Daniel's initiation into the mysteries of adulthood is given the same weight as the mystery of the book-burner. And the setting--Spain under Franco--injects an air of sobriety into some plot elements that might otherwise seem soap operatic. 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, very much in the tradition of Rossing's Ex Libris 0 (2001). --Keir Graff Copyright 2004 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Ruiz Zafon's novel, a bestseller in his native Spain, takes the satanic touches from Angel Heart and stirs them into a bookish intrigue ? la Foucault's Pendulum. The time is the 1950s; the place, Barcelona. Daniel Sempere, the son of a widowed bookstore owner, is 10 when he discovers a novel, The Shadow of the Wind, by Juli n Carax. The novel is rare, the author obscure, and rumors tell of a horribly disfigured man who has been burning every copy he can find of Carax's novels. The man calls himself Lain Coubert-the name of the devil in one of Carax's novels. As he grows up, Daniel's fascination with the mysterious Carax links him to a blind femme fatale with a "porcelain gaze," Clara Barcelo; another fan, a leftist jack-of-all-trades, Fermin Romero de Torres; his best friend's sister, the delectable Beatriz Aguilar; and, as he begins investigating the life and death of Carax, a cast of characters with secrets to hide. Officially, Carax's dead body was dumped in an alley in 1936. But discrepancies in this story surface. Meanwhile, Daniel and Fermin are being harried by a sadistic policeman, Carax's childhood friend. As Daniel's quest continues, frightening parallels between his own life and Carax's begin to emerge. Ruiz Zafon strives for a literary tone, and no scene goes by without its complement of florid, cute and inexact similes and metaphors (snow is "God's dandruff"; servants obey orders with "the efficiency and submissiveness of a body of well-trained insects"). Yet the colorful cast of characters, the gothic turns and the straining for effect only give the book the feel of para-literature or the Hollywood version of a great 19th-century novel. (Apr. 12) Forecast: Appealing packaging (a weathered, antique-look jacket), prepublication bookseller events and an eight-city author tour should give this an early boost, though momentum may flag down the stretch. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Young Daniel stumbles into intrigue when his father introduces him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. A best seller in Spain (and nearly two dozen other countries) by a Barcelona-born author living in Los Angeles. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

1. A secret's worth depends on the people from whom it must be kept. My first thought on waking was to tell my best friend about the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Tomßs Aguilar was a classmate who devoted his free time and his talent to the invention of wonderfully ingenious contraptions of dubious practicality, like the aerostatic dart or the dynamo spinning top. I pictured us both, equipped with flashlights and compasses, uncovering the mysteries of those bibliographic catacombs. Who better than Tomßs to share my secret? Then, remembering my promise, I decided that circumstances advised me to adopt what in detective novels is termed a different modus operandi. At noon I approached my father to quiz him about the book and about Julißn Carax-both world famous, I assumed. My plan was to get my hands on his complete works and read them all by the end of the week. To my surprise, I discovered that my father, a natural-born librarian and a walking lexicon of publishers' catalogs and oddities, had never heard of The Shadow of the Wind or Julißn Carax. Intrigued, he examined the printing history on the back of the title page for clues. "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 Barcel= can help us...." Gustavo Barcel= 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, Barcel= 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 Barcel= 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, Barcel= would lower its price, or even give it away, if he felt that the buyer was a serious reader and not an accidental browser. Barcel= 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 cafT on Calle Montsi=, where Barcel= 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 cafT's charms. Stone dragons guarded a lamplit fatade 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 AlbTniz, Federico Garcfa Lorca, and Salvador Dalf. There any poor devil could pass for a historical figure for the price of a small coffee. "Sempere, old man," proclaimed Barcel= 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. "Barcel= 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 Barcel=, who enjoyed flaunting his generosity in public, insisted on treating us. "How old is the lad?" inquired Barcel=, inspecting me out of the corner of his eye. "Almost eleven," I announced. Barcel= 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. Barcel= 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," Barcel= 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 fatade and his verbosity, Barcel= 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 Barcel= 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. Barcel= 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. Barcel= 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." Barcel= 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. Barcel= 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. Barcel= 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. Barcel= 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." Barcel= sighed and peered at me closely. "Let's see, junior. What is it you want?" "What I want is to know who Julißn Carax is and where I can find other books he's written." Barcel= 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 Julißn 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 Julißn 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." "Fine." 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. Barcel= 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. --from The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Safon, Copyright © 2004 Carlos Ruiz Safon, published by The Penguin Press, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., all rights reserved, reprinted with permission from the publisher." Excerpted from The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.