“All true stories begin and end in a cemetery”: Review of Shadow of the Wind

shadow of the wind*Warning: be prepared for some serious gushing*

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Wow, just wow. This book is in a whole other league of brilliance. It is a rare book indeed that captures the soul of storytelling and can remind you why you started reading in the first place. Shadow of the Wind is one of those rare finds that speaks to the heart of readers, captures the essence of what it is to be drawn into the world of a book and somehow reminds you of what it was to fall in love with reading in the first place:

“Few things leave a deeper mark on the reader, than the first book that finds its way to his heart.”

But it is not just a book that reminds you of all the pleasures of reading. There are layers and layers to the story that I was not expecting. Above all, this is a mystery built on layers and layers of exquisitely woven narrative. Unravelling the secrets of the plot is half the fun.

“It’s a story of love, of hatred, and of the dreams that live in the shadow of the wind.”

Beyond the plot, the cadence of the writing is incomparable. It moved me beyond words- and that is saying something. Whilst it is a slow-burner, Zafon masterfully draws the reader into an evocative vision of Barcelona- a vision that captured the rhythm and sensation of the city wonderfully. At the centre of this vision, the characters shine. Characters that capture not only the spirit of readers, but the very essence of writers as well:

“His soul is in his stories. I once asked him who inspired him to create his characters, and his answer was no one. That all his characters were himself.”

Undoubtedly, this is one of the most immersive, lyrical, beautiful books I have read in a long time. You know when you’ve found a perfect book because you devour it as fast as possible, and yet you want to savour it and make it last forever. My one disappointment with this book was that it had to come to an end. And when it did end, I was left with one of the worst book hangovers I’ve had in a long time. But then, it is almost a perfect irony that a book about obsessing over a book should bring out such obsessive tendencies in me. As Zafon said so eloquently:

“Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.”

So if you fancy finding the obsessive reader in yourself, I really recommend this book.

Rating: 5/5 bananas

half bananahalf bananahalf bananahalf bananahalf banana

Gosh, a huge part of me wishes there was a book hangover hotline to call when a book takes over your life! What was the last case of book hangover you had? Commiserate with me in the comments below!

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65 thoughts on ““All true stories begin and end in a cemetery”: Review of Shadow of the Wind

  1. sarinalangerwriter says:

    I think this is on my Goodreads list already but I’ll check!! It doesn’t sound like my usual read but I’m more than happy to read something different if the book is worth it, and this sounds very worth it!

    A book hangover hotline sounds perfect. Somebody start one? Please?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Nicole.Ilene says:

    AAAH, I’m so glad you loved it! You captured everything about this book perfectly and described exactly what I always feel when I read this book. You make me want to read it again haha 🙂
    I also really enjoyed the two companion novels The Angel’s Game and Stranger in Heaven. I’ve been waiting to read his other novels too

    Liked by 3 people

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Thank you!! I really did!!! I’d heard so many good things- and that’s such a lot of pressure for a book, I really didn’t think it would live up to expectation, but it really did!!!
      Oh thank you so much!! I really want to read his other work now 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. sublimereads says:

    Ooohh this sounds intriguing. 😉 And your review is nicely done!! But to be honest, because I’m a bit picky that way, I’m not too much of a fan of the cover. I try not to judge but I feel like it just doesn’t express the same, I guess, emotions that you liked about it!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. coridoesbooks says:

    Loved this review! Going to add it to my list on Goodreads. (: The last book hangover I had was from the Captive Prince trilogy and don’t I WISH there had been a book hotline for that. I just wanted to read it and experience it all over again!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Read Diverse Books says:

    This book has been in my TBR for YEARS!! YEARS! I have always wanted to read it, and I know I will love it because everyone else does. Literally everyone else adores this book.

    I really need to make 2016 the year I finally read Shadow of the Wind.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Elise says:

    I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the
    layout of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two pictures.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

    Like

  7. Facebook says:

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon every day.

    It will always be exciting to read articles from other writers and use a little something from their
    sites.

    Like

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