This book was on my “To Read” list two summers ago, but didn’t make it onto this year’s list, probably because I couldn’t remember why it was on my list in the first place — that’s the problem with having so many good books out there! But, fortunately (or was it fate…), I saw it again on another blog and was reminded that I wanted to read it because it was a book about books. So brilliant, right?
So our protagonist is Daniel Sempere, a boy living in Barcelona just after the Spanish Civil War. His father, a bookseller, takes his almost-11-year-old son to a place called the Cemetary of Forgotten Books, where Daniel is told to select a book that he will adopt to make sure it never disappears and will always stay alive.
Daniel finds a book called The Shadow of the Wind, by Julián Carax, which turns out to be pretty much the best book Daniel’s ever read. When he learns that Carax’s books have been forgotten not just because of their limited publishing but because a mysterious stranger, going by the name of Shadow‘s protagonist, has been collecting and burning the novels, Daniel sets off to find out the truth behind the rumors of Carax’s life.
I very much liked this book. It is a translation from the original Spanish, so a few of the turns of phrase are a bit awkward, and a couple things don’t quite line up, fact-wise, but all in all the book has a solid plot and an excellent story. I have to say also that I had the big twists figured out from the beginning, but I still had an excellent time finding out just why those twists happened. There are so many lives intertwined in this story, and all of them are interesting.