The Shadow of the Wind is a well-written, well-crafted book and I can understand why it has received such acclaim and been so popular. However, I am unaccustomed to reading these types of books and I found there were too many dysfunctional characters for me to fully enjoy the story. There are many scenes of lustful sex and revengeful violence which I found excessive. Nevertheless, it is an intriguing story.

The main character is Daniel, and the story reminds me of a biography. Through the book we find out much about his childhood, school days, early adolescence, and young adulthood. The story is also a mystery as Daniel’s life overlaps in surprising ways with an author whose book he chances upon when he is ten. As Daniel investigates the mysterious author, he finds his life and those he cares about, are in danger from an assailant with unknown motives.

Carloz Ruiz Zafon is an amazing storyteller. He drips information to the reader in a way that keeps them addicted. He describes Barcelona and its people in a fresh, vivid, and succinct manner. He creates drama and tension, and though he leaves many clues, he keeps you guessing until the end. He also does a good job of tying up all the loose ends which is very satisfying.

Overall a good read, if you can cope with the sex and violence.

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