Review: Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind

Carlos Ruiz Zafón

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[xrr rating=3.5/5 imageset=grenade label=Manliness:][/xrrgroup]



Fire. Murder. Spies. And Love. When Daniel Sempere is taken into the hallowed crypts of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, he has no idea that he is about to become involved in a mystery whose tapestry is woven with these threads. The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a bastion where books are kept safe and secret, is known only to a select few. Those invited into the fraternity of its walls are given the opportunity, upon their first visit, to take a book from the place. Daniel, shown the secret by his father, chooses the book (or does the book choose him?) The Shadow of the Wind by Julián Carax. He reads the book, and loves it so much, he sets out to look for more. This search leads to the discovery that there are no other books to be found. Not because Carax did not write them, but because they have been mysteriously collected and destroyed by a man who seems to be a part of the shadow world himself.

What follows is a story within a story. Carlos Ruiz Zafón masterfully takes his reader on a journey through the underbelly of Barcelona, Spain, just after the Spanish Civil War. Daniel Sempere searches throughout the city for anything he can discover about Carax, and as Carax’s story unfolds, so does Daniel’s. Along the way he meets broken men, beautiful women, and dangerous foes. Some help him and some he helps. This is a book that will be particularly enjoyed by a reader who loves the Gothic genre, but it is also a mystery with a supernatural twist that can register with any man. The writing is poetic and driven. The descriptions of characters and places may be very involved, but they weave themselves into the reader’s mind in such a way that at times, he will feel the dread of shadowy figures over his shoulder, or swear he can smell the wafting odor of burning paper.

With such a mystery as this, it would be a crime to give away too much. Simply trust that this is a read worth your time. And it has the added bonus of bringing you an international flare. The Ultra Manly Reader is, afterall, Ultra Cultural.

About john

After an unfortunate run in with a narwhal forced early retirement from his life as a pirate on the Seven Seas, John turned his attention to his second love, Mountain Watching. He is currently fighting to prove that Mount Huascaran has moved 3 feet to the left in the past year, and that one night he saw it crying. When he is not watching mountains, John can be found practicing for the National Caber Toss competition, having staring contests with jaguars, or helping little old ladies cross busy streets.

Currently Reading:
"River of Doubt" by Candace Miller
"The Buried Giant" by Kazuo Ishiguro
"Station Eleven" by Emily St. John Mandel
"S." by Doug Dorst and J.J. Abrams
"Hamilton" by Ron Chernow
"Storm Front" by Jim Butcher
"Lisrael" by Garth Nix


  1. 5 stars! really? you’re saying this is as good as a book can be? i mean, it was a good read, but 5 stars? really?

  2. I mean, this is on my Top Ten list, but 5/5 is a serious statement. I’d give it at 4.5/5 and a grenade quotient of 4/5.

    absolutely love this book. I think. I’ll go read it again…

    • How can you have a book on your top 10 list, but not think its the best possible? As a rule of thumb, any book on my top ten gets full stars.

    • go into libary order could go to wreeastonts bookshop which should b in your town centre..go ask jeeves he will 100% find advice to make free money whichi belive u can get. look around yourself motivate urself have confidence and a slight level of arrogance then you watch how money comes 2 in touch..AzReferences :

  3. I stand by my rating. I thought long and hard over it. This book goes on my Top Ten list. All of which I would give a 5 rating to.

  4. i guess it all depends on if your top ten are all equal ranked books or not. for me, i might give the top 3 or 4 books a 5/5, but 6-10 are in the 4.25-4.75 range probably. i struggle giving anything a “perfect score” because i want to allow the possibility that it could be surpassed.


  1. […] pick this book up because you are looking for the quality or depth of writing a book like Shadow of the Wind or Gilead. And if you want to read about true-life events, I suggest Devil in the White City or […]

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