The Shadow of the Wind
A New York Times Bestseller
Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets--an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.
“ Anyone who enjoys novels that are scary, erotic, touching, tragic and thrilling should rush right out to the nearest bookstore and pick up The Shadow of the Wind. Really, you should.”—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post
"Wonderous... masterful... The Shadow of the Wind is ultimately a love letter to literature, intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero."—Entertainment Weekly (Editor's Choice)
"One gorgeous read."—Stephen King
Praise For The Shadow of the Wind…
—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post
"Gabriel Garcia Marquez meets Umberto Eco meets Jorge Luis Borges for a sprawling magic show." --The New York Times Book Review
"Wonderous... masterful... The Shadow of the Wind is ultimately a love letter to literature, intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero." --Entertainment Weekly (Editor's Choice)
"One gorgeous read." --Stephen King
Penguin Books, 9780143034902, 512pp.
Publication Date: January 25, 2005
About the Author
LUCIA GRAVES is the author and translator of many works and has overseen Spanish-language editions of the poetry of her father, Robert Graves.
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
Julián Carax’s and Daniel’s lives follow very similar trajectories. Yet one ends in tragedy, the other in happiness. What similarities are there between the paths they take? What are the differences that allow Daniel to avoid tragedy?
Nuria Monfort tells Daniel, “Julián once wrote that coincidences are the scars of fate. There are no coincidences, Daniel. We are the puppets of our unconscious.” What does that mean? What does she refer to in her own experience and in Julián’s life?
Nuria Monfort’s dying words, meant for Julián,
There are many devil figures in the story—Carax’s Laín Coubert, Jacinta’s Zacarias, Fermín’s Fumero. How does evil manifest itself in each devil figure? What are the characteristics of the villains/devils?
What is “The Shadow of the Wind”? Where does Zafón refer to it and what does he use the image to illustrate?
Zafón’s female characters are often enigmatic, otherworldly angels full of power and mystery. Do you think Zafón paints his female characters differently than his male characters? What do the women represent in Daniel’s life? What might the Freud loving Miquel Moliner say about Daniel’s realationships with women?
Daniel says of The Shadow of the Wind, “As it unfolded, the structure of the story began to remind me of one of those Russian dolls that contain innumerable ever-smaller dolls within.” Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind unfolds much the same way, with many characters contributing fragments of their own stories in the first person point of view. What does Zafon illustrate with this method of storytelling? What doe the indivdual mini-autobiographies contribute to the tale?
The evil Fumero is the only son of a ridiculed father and a superficial, status-seeking mother. The troubled Julián is the bastard son of a love-starved musical mother and an amorous, amoral businessman, though he was raised by a cuckolded hatmaker. Do you think their personalities are products of nature or nuture? How are the sins of the fathers and mothers visited upon each of the characters?