In searching my shelves the other day for a children’s book I had previously enjoyed, I came across The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. I looked over the notes on the back cover and couldn’t remember having read it before. Intrigued, as well as trying to shorten my “unread” book list, I decided it was just the diversion from children’s novels and medieval mysteries that was needed at this time.
Set in Barcelona, Spain ( a place I long to visit and spend at least a week learning its layout and finding its art and architectural treasures) in 1945 and as I began to read it all sounded very familiar, not just as having read it but with vivid scenes and faces as if I had also seen a movie by the same name. There is a short movie (41 minutes) available on YouTube which I will watch when I finish reading (or re-reading) the novel but for now I’m just enjoying the language and descriptions in the story. As I progress, I’m finding that not everything seems familiar and so I’m anxiously working my way through to find how it ends.
I visited the author’s website and learned a bit more about him and his books (he has 6 others besides this one), some for adults and some for teens and young adults. I was delighted to find that he has a map that can be downloaded and used to trace the protagonist’s footsteps through Barcelona where many of the street names and places really do exist while others have been invented for the story. This will definitely go with me when I finally take that dream trip. I also found that in addition to being a best-selling author in more than 40 languages (The Shadow of the Wind sold more than 15 million copies world-wide), Ruiz Zafón is also a composer, having written the music for the film himself which is also available for free download from his website or you may listen online. I found it to be quite beautiful.
I am sometimes surprised at all the different covers for different editions of the same book. When looking on Amazon for the link (on the title above), I could not find the same edition I have which is a Penguin trade paperback. I really like it because of the hole cut out on the cover and the figure in the foggy gas-lit scene behind it.
I’m currently about a quarter of the way through the story and will definitely review it when I’m finished. Hopefully later this week or early next week. I’m on the road visiting my Dad again, so have brought some shorter tomes with me as diversions: Red Midnight by Ben Mikaelsen (of Touching Spirit Bear fame) and The Fall of the Amazing Zalindas, a Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars teen novel by Tracy Mack and Michael Citrin. What with this being a holiday weekend in Canada (Thanksgiving on Monday), I may not get as much reading done as I hope. Stay tuned!