35 minutes ago
Monday, July 6, 2009
The Answer, My Friend, Is The Shadow of the Wind
As noted in my previous post, The Shadow of the Wind is one of those books I recommend without reservation, to family, to friends, and yes, even to complete strangers.
It's a rich, multi-layered novel that is totally engrossing. Written by Carlos Ruiz Zafon in a lavish, at times extravagant style, and reminiscent of the best of 19th century romanticism (wink, wink Victor Hugo), this is one of those stories that you hate to finish.
Peopled by larger-than-life characters, the tale unfolds over the course of several years, as the narrator attempts to locate a mysterious author whose books are being systematically burned and destroyed, so that only a few copies of his works are left.
The influence of Victor Hugo is obvious, and the author doesn't try to hide it. Quite the opposite, in fact. And while certainly Zafon pays homage to Hugo, he still manages to offer something truly unique.
My hat's off to the translator as well, who no doubt took the extremely poetical language of the original text and was able to offer its "equivalent" in English, without turning the story into a melodrama.
Zafon also recently released a prequel, The Angel's Game. I'll be reading that one as soon as the wife finishes, which won't be long, as she's a natural speed reader.