Sorry guys, I know I suck for neglecting this blog for three weeks. I’m not going to make any excuses because I should be able to carve out some time to write every week, regardless of what’s going on. In case you’re wondering how things went with the interview…I’m not really sure. I’m still waiting to find out what their decision is, but I’ll keep you posted if I hear anything.
Anyway, let’s talk about books! In particular, Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.
This book was epic. There is so much happening in this story that it would be impossible for me to summarize everything I love about it. I think this is one of those books that I could read again and again and pick up on something that I missed the first time.
Plot: The story begins in post Spanish Civil War Barcelona, 1945. One day, 10-year-old Daniel Sempere wakes up screaming because he can’t remember his mother’s face. Daniel’s father, a rare book shop owner, decides to cheer Daniel up by bringing him to the secret Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Daniel’s father tells him he must choose one book to adopt and keep alive for life. Daniel is instantly drawn to a book called The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax. He loves the book so much, he tries to find other books by Carax, only to discover that there are hardly any copies left in existence—someone has been tracking down and burning copies of all of Carax’s books. Daniel begins an investigation that spans years and leads him through a complicated web of secrets, lies, love, betrayal and death.
It is important to note that this is just as much a coming-of-age story as it is a deliciously tantalizing mystery. As Daniel investigates the deep, dark secrets of Julian Carax’s life, he learns his own lessons about life, love and the pains of growing up. Zafón really intertwined these two stories beautifully; as gripping as the mystery of Carax’s life is, I never found myself thinking that Daniel’s own story was getting in the way. I really enjoyed following his personal journey as he grew older, fell in love and learned what it means to be a responsible adult.
Of course, I cannot write this review without mentioning my favorite character—Fermín Romero de Torres! Fermín serves as the comic relief throughout the story and is one of the most hilarious characters I’ve ever come across. He has a quick tongue, a tendency dive into spirited political discussions and an insatiable love for the ladies (in a mostly gentlemanly way, of course). I’ll give you an example of one of Fermín’s nuggets of wisdom that he bestows on Daniel:
“The trouble is that man, going back to Freud—and excuse the metaphor—heats up like a lightbulb: red hot in the twinkling of an eye and cold again in a flash. The female, on the other hand—and this is pure science—heats up like an iron, if you see what I mean. Slowly, over a low heat, like a tasty stew. But then, once she has heated up, there’s no stopping her. Like the steel furnaces in Vizcaya.”
Take note of that, dudes 😉
Anyway, this book is masterfully written and jam-packed with as much epic awesomeness as a batch of ooey, gooey, fresh-out-of-the-oven magic bars. Mmmmm.
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
I can’t wait to read more of Mr. Zafón’s books!