The protagonist, Daniel Sempere is the son of a bookstore-keeper. At the age of 10, he finds a rare book by one Julian Carax in the "Cemetery of Forgotten Books". After finishing it, he finds out that there's someone who is trying to destroy all existing copies of Carax's books. This is how begins a complex plot that lasts about 10 years, and involves lots of mysteries and original characters.

"Original" is a good summary of this book. On one hand a typical thriller, but on the other hand not quite. There is something special about this book, about the way it is written. It's not a deliberate page-turner like many modern fiction novels aspire to be, although it could be, since it's obvious from the start that the author has the skill to make it so. Instead, its plot unfolds in a more relaxed tempo, spanning over a longer period of time.

There are many exciting characters in this book - like Fermin. This guy made me laugh quite a lot, he's a hysterically funny guy. Inspector Fumero is also a very unusual and interesting character, in his own wicked way. Another character is probably the city of Barcelona, where all the plot takes place and that's described beautifully.

I like books about books, so "The Shadow of the Wind" was a delight in this aspect. Additionally, I felt there's a certain closed loop in it - the enigmatic resemblance of Carax's and Sempere's lives. The difference is that Carax's life turned extremely tragically, while Sempere's ended well. There's a strange kind of emotionality hidden in this concept, and I found it very moving.

To conclude, this is a very good book. I can't say it's perfect - the author seems a bit inexperienced and there are some omissions and inconsistencies. However, in the whole, I loved reading it and hence recommend it.


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