Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind is kind of a DaVinci Code for book lovers. It has all the mystery, suspense and intrigue, but instead of being about art and conspiracy theories, it's about a kid named Daniel who finds a book – The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax – which he loves. But when he tries to find the author's other works, he discovers that someone has been mysteriously tracking and destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. Daniel's investigation leads him to discover a tragic web of murder, revenge and doomed love.

Overall it's a pretty good book I guess. One of the aspects I found most interesting – and most cheesy – is that it's a very gothic novel. You don't see too many of those nowawadays what with the 19th century being well in the past, but this book has all the elements – melodrama, horror, danger, dark/decaying settings, terrible secrets, tragic figures, heroes and villains, etc. Sometimes the writing is a little clunky, and I don't know if the author or the translator is to blame for that, but I found I could mostly overlook the clunkiness because of the grippingness of the story. It was pretty engrossing. I'd recommend this if you feel like reading a kind of middle-brow thriller, because as thrillers go it's a fairly literate one – very readable, too.