Publisher: Penguin Books
Published Date: January 25, 2005
My Rating: 4 out of 5
It was sometime last week when I was at Hyderabad airport to catch my early morning flight to Bangalore. That was when I saw this book in the Fiction section. I already knew Nags was reading the same and curiosity built since then. Out of habit, I read the excerpt behind the book and found it very intriguing. For the next 15 mins, I found myself completely engrossed in it and almost miss my flight. Here is a jist of what is it all about:
"Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the 'Cemetry of Forgotten Books', a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles. To this library a man brings his 10-year old son, Daniel on one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book and from the dusty shelves pulls The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax. But as Daniel grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind".
The point that intrigued me the most is how the author managed to bring Julián Carax's and Daniel's characters to life which follow very similar trajectories, where one ends in tragedy and other in happiness. As you turn each of the pages, you can almost feel & smell the streets of Barcelona and how lives of many innocent people were shattered due to the war. Yet, there is every fathomable human experience one can think of in this book - love, friendship, compassion, lust, eccentricity, fear, hatred, jealousy and above all the gripping suspense which will make you want to read further. A true page-turner, I must say..
If there is anything I would rather change about this book is - it is just too long and sometimes the narrative can be slow. Nevertheless, the author manages to weave an intricate story and you will instantly fall in love with its rich language and vulnerable characters.
until next time,
Book 1- India: In the Convent of Little Flowers written by Indu Sundaresan
Book 2 - Spain: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Book 3 - Botswana: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith