*Warning: be prepared for some serious gushing*
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
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!