Ruiz Zafón, Carlos "The Shadow of the Wind" (Spanish: La Sombra del Viento) - 2001
This novel certainly deserves to be on my list of favourite books ever. I don't know why I actually love it so much but I do. Usually, I try not to read a famous bestseller immediately as everyone raves about it and then I am disappointed. But something attracted me to this book, I just had to read it. And then I had to finish it as soon as possible. Hardly got any sleep in those days ...
This is one of the best books I ever found. It is intriguing, exciting, has all the parts a good book should have, an interesting story, a historical background, a description of a great city. And, most important, it's a book about a book, how someone can get involved in something after reading a story. A wonderful book by a very promising author.
We discussed this in our book club in October 2006.
Find more books by this great author here.
From the back cover: "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."