A stunning literary thriller in the tradition of Umberto Eco.
The discovery of a forgotten book leads to a hunt for an elusive author who may or may not still be alive...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 work 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.
A page-turning exploration of obsession in literature and love, and the places that obsession can lead.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 560 pages
- Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
- Publication Date: 05/10/2005
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780753820254
Showing 1 - 5 of 46 reviews.
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Review by trench_wench
Oh, have you ever read a book and hoped it would never end because it's so wonderful? This is one of those.It was a real page turner, and the plot moved along really well, with some great plot twists that left me gasping out loud on public transport. It was pure, unashamed FUN FUN FUN! Pure readability, probably helped by a skilful and respectful translation.Everyone should read it!
Review by southpaw
I loved this book; it's rich, humourous yet intelligent characterisation, the way the author has bound together a changing and difficult time in Spanish history with a sense of ageless, mysterious history, the well paced and drawn twists and turns.If I have any criticism, it would be that the plot strays occasionally into the realm of 'family saga', but the quality of the writing lifts it way up above the Barbara Taylor Bradford genre. I winced at the moment you discover the nature of the connection between Daniel and Beatriz (unnecessary and clunky in my opinion). Yet, overall, I was uplifted, spellbound and enormously satisfied with the work.
Review by judye
Reminded me of Phantom of the Opera in Barcelona. Twin plots - past and present in wonderful gothic horror style. Good without being great. Highly entertaining and engrossing. My copy had photos and a map that I enjoyed flicking through.
Review by r.orrison
I'm often given book tokens as gifts (people know I love books), and I usually use them to take a chance on authors or genres that I wouldn't normally buy for myself. Sometimes I get a dud, and sometimes a gem. This book is a gem. The title of the first chapter is "The Cemetery of Forgotten Books" and it just got better and better from there.
Review by Stensvaag
A good read! Interesting plot, with the gradual addition of new characters as the young narrator seeks to unravel the mystery behind the methodical destruction of one writer's novels. I look forward to visiting Barcelona one day and viewing the many locations referenced in the novel.
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