Friday, June 19, 2009

Book Review: The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind (2001)
(La Sombra del Viento)
Carlos Ruiz Zafon
translated by Lucia Graves

Carlos Ruis Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind was a reminder that I read because well-written stories, unlike many things, always tell the truth.

The Shadow of the Wind of course begins with an eerie premise: ten-year-old Daniel comes upon a book by Julian Carax, a shadowy author whose books are nearly all hunted down from bookstores and libraries and then burned by an unknown specter. What follows is a long winding gothic drama that recalls into memory the eclectic themes of Borges, the family histories of Marquez, the bibliophilia and coming-of-age themes of Caldwell and Thomason's The Rule of Four, and the cheesy twists of Thalia's noontime telenovelas.

I'm yet to read another book that could pack in so much thrills in one novel; it's almost like the ultimate perfection of 90s Filipino film making: throw in a bit of melodrama, a bit of action, a bit of romance, a bit of horror, a bit of hilarity, and everyone is made happy. (see Tatay Nic)

The book's publisher says Shadow is the "most successful Spanish novel ever"--in terms of book sales, of course.

Special kudos to my friend who recommended the book to me. Despite your abhorrence of Atwood's huge hairdo, I am beginning to trust your taste. :D

Books in the pipeline:

1. Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men and The Road (suggested by the same friend)
2. Jeffrey Eugenides's My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead
3. Anne Enright's 2007 Booker Prize-winning novel The Gathering


Anonymous said...

i was only blog-hopping when i came across your post regarding this book. can't help but reply. I also just read this recently but this has definitely become one of my favorite books of all time.

Remember this line? "Life has enough torturers as it is, without you going around moonlighting as a Grand Inquisitor against yourself." :)

Victor Gregor said...

I think I do. Hehe. Thanks for dropping by. :)

Anonymous said...

told ya definitely need to trust me on selecting your brain food.not the curly mama atwood.joke.

reas the road first. it's cormac's masterpiece, future nobel winner. =)

o goodnight na.j-a-p-a-n (you know what i mean)

Victor Gregor said...

@Anonymous: J-a-p-a-n. Haha.

Jeeu said...

Wala bang "Like" button dito hehe. Hi Vicky!

Victor Gregor said...

Jeeu! Kamusta?

Anonymous said...

hey, napadaan lang ulit. I just wanted to share that Zafon has a new book! Here's the link to the book's website:

Mukhang maraming similarities with Shadow. Pero well, i think worth it pa rin naman basahin itong bagong libro niya.

Naisip ko lang i-share. Yun lang. :)