Saturday, July 2, 2011
Chapters/Cole's/Smithbooks staff picks are a good place to start if you have a problem with finding something to read. I don't, have a problem finding books to read that is, not that I don't have problems, I do. I have noted though that I often read books that are Heather's Pick. I don't know Heather, I do know she does pick some good books. This time I choose her pick of The Shadow of the Wind.
This novel is about a writer, one Julian Carax, whose novel The Shadow of the Wind touches young Daniel who sets out on a quest to find the author's other works only to discover someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has ever written. Thus we the reader enter into a novel of intrigue, mystery, sinister times and secrets, deep deep secrets. All is revealed in the end (page 480), and then there is the little Dramatis Personae bringing the reader to the finale on page 487, full circle.
This book is not only about a writer, but about a time in Spain's history, just after the war. The novel begins in 1945 and ends in 1966. The time period makes this novel more sinister and mysterious, as it is a time when men wore suits and fedoras, clothing that lends itself to mystery and secrets.
I think the only way I can fully review this book is to provide Stephen King's review..."If you thought the true gothic novel died with the nineteenth century, this will change your mind. [The Shadow of the Wind] is the real deal, a novel full of cheesy splendor and creaking trapdoors, a novel where even the subplots have subplots....This is one gorgeous read." -Stephen King
In the edition of The Shadow of the Wind I have there is a walking tour for the reader to walk in the footsteps of the Shadow of the Wind. If anyone is travelling to Barcelona I would highly recommend reading this book before you go and then to follow the walking tour in the book. And even if you aren't travelling to Barcelona and want a book that is full of twists and turns, take this one along on the bus, to the beach, to the cottage or curl up on a rainy Westcoast winter's night and read to your heart's content.