The BBAW theme for today is highlighting a book that you have read based upon the recommendation of a book blog. As it so happens, one of my favorite books of the summer came highly recommended from all over the book blogging community. Conversations with various people on Twitter prompted me to buy the book, but I saw this book reviewed on several book blogs as well. I knew as soon as I read the daily themes that I would hold on to this review for today. What I didn’t know at that time was that this would be even that much more special to me because this review is
!!!!!!!! MY 200th REVIEW !!!!!!!!
since beginning my book blog! What started as a goal to read a mere 52 books in 2007 is now so much more. I thank all of my readers and fellow book bloggers for their recommendations and their support. I do not think I would have read and reviewed as many books in such a short time (for me, not Swapna – LOL!) had it not been for this community of readers.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
I love Gothic literature. When Daniel was taken into the Cemetery of Forgotten Books by his father, I knew that I would love this book as much as I loved The Angel’s Game. My instincts were correct. Daniel selected The Shadow of the wind by Julian Carax during that visit and thus began a love of reading and an unrelenting search for more books by Carax, which were nearly impossible to find because someone was systematically burning all of Carax’s books. Daniel is prepared to do whatever is necessary uncover the mystery surrounding this book. He finds that simply by having the book in his possession puts him and those with whom he is close in danger from sources he would never before have imagined.
I think that the Cemetery of Forgotten Books is one of my favorite literary locations. It is a safe harbor for books that may otherwise be forgotten. Who among us would not want to lose ourselves among seemingly endless corridors filled with books that are otherwise lost to the world? Knowing you could save only one book to bring back with you into your life, how would you choose? Once you’ve made your choice, imagine how much your heart would pound as you read it. What book could be as special to you? Imagine if someone tried to buy it from you. Would you let them? What if someone tried to take it from you by force, if necessary, with the express purpose of destroying it? Would you fight for it? If so, you understand Daniel’s character and you’ll be invested in his story like no other.
Although Daniel is the main character and I enjoyed him very much, I loved Fermín Romero de Torres. Fermín is the vagab0nd that Daniel saved from the street. He is quirky and unreliable. He could be Daniel’s salvation or Achilles heal. He adds laughter mixed with anxiety. Fermín is the reason why I could never watch a film adaption of this book. If his character was marred in any way, I would be crushed. He is one of my all-time favorite secondary characters in literature. Off the top of my head, I cannot think of any other character to match his place in my reader’s heart. He makes me glad to be human.
If ever there was a Gothic author who appealed to book enthusiasts, it is Carols Ruiz Zafón. Both The Angel’s Game and The Shadow of the Wind are gripping Gothic mysteries. Where David from The Angel’s Game is an author, Daniel is a reader. For both, there is danger in every corner. The peril in which they find themselves because of reading and writing amplifies the importance of both in this world. If such things were without power, they would never be at risk from characters like Fumero or Andreas Corelli. So, if I ever make my way to Barcelona, I will see the Barcelona of Daniel and David. I, a woman who doesn’t normally give in to the supernatural or fantastical, will keep alert for the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. If I find it, I may never return.
In case you’re not familiar with it, Fyrefly created a custom Google search of Book Blogs. It is an invaluable too. If you’re interested to see what book bloggers out there are saying about The Shadow of the Wind, click here for that exact search. If you’ve never used this tool and would like to take it for a test drive, here is the link to the search itself.
To buy this book, click here.