We recently had our first book club meeting after the summer. We discussed ‘Shadow of the Wind’ by Carlos Ruiz… I was a bit reluctant to start reading this 550 pages thick book… so let me tell you what I thought about it!
The Shadow of the wind – Summary (no spoilers)
Here’s the summary I could read on ‘Goodreads‘:
‘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.
The Shadow of the wind – My thoughts on this book (no spoilers)
As I said I was a bit reluctant to start reading this book as it really is a very thick book (about 550 pages) and I had heard that it was very descriptive…
So when we drove to Groningen (which is a 3 hour ride for us) in the midst of August, I thought this would be good opportunity to start reading. I read about 150 pages that day and I was immediately absorbed by the story!
I must say that there were parts where I struggled to keep going as it tended to get long-winded several times, but I endured and in the end I was really glad I did and that I could put this piece of literature on my ‘have read’ list.
I was a bit disappointed with how the story finished. For pages the story went on and on and on, but the final 30-40 pages seemed a bit rushed all of a sudden. And to be honest… I wouldn’t have mind another ending, but I won’t go further into this as that would give away spoilers!
If it wasn’t for our book club, I would never have picked out this read, let alone finish it! But in the end I am so glad that I read it and I would certainly recommend it to people who like intriguing, descriptive literature!
The Shadow of the wind – The book club
Here are some of the questions we discussed:
- Did you like this book?
- Most of us really liked the book even though it was long-winded at times. We all agreed that the writer has done a marvelous job and the story was really ingenious!
- The author didn’t want this book to be categorized in one particular style. He wanted it to be a thriller, a novel, coming of age, fantasy, a frame story,… do you think he succeeded?
- We all thought he succeeded in this! We couldn’t really put a stamp on it… it was a thriller… yes, but it also was a bit romantic at times, and we certainly know the meaning of ‘frame story’ now!!
- What did you think about the writing style?
- Personally I thought the writing style was very descriptive, but still comprehensible. I didn’t get lost in the story. I did think however that the language was quite formal… would a young boy really talk like that??
- Would you like to see this book made into a movie?
- Apparantly the writer doesn’t want this and frankly I can’t blame him… It would be wonderful movie no doubt, but I guess a movie could never capture this book very well… The magic would be lost!
- What about the many plot twists?
- We all agreed that there were many plot twists, but that kept the story going. On moments where the book became a bit long-winded, it was saved by another surprising plot twist!
The Shadow of the wind – Score
Personally I gave ‘The Shadow of the wind’ 8,5/10. I couldn’t give it a 9 as I had struggled on several occasions to keep reading…
The average score of our bookclub was 8,25/10.
Our next read will be ‘And the mountains echoed ‘ from Khaled Hosseini… so stay tuned if you want to find out more about this book!