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Book Review

Introduction/General information about the book


Title: The Shadow of the Wind

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Date first edition: May 2001

Genre (fantasy, humour, science-fiction, mystery, biography, non-fiction, etc): mystery,

science ction


Describe the time and place of the story: The novel takes place in Barcelona, Spain in 1945. It
is set in the years after the Spanish Civil War.

Comment about the setting (examples: the setting makes story exciting, the setting has an
important effect on main character, the setting is/is not exciting or new, the setting
increased my knowledge of something): The setting plays a large role in the plot because that
represents the condition of Barcelona during this period of dicult time. The characters and the
story are inuenced all the time by the Spanish civil war. For example, Daniel (the main
character) lost his mother during the war and it forged his personality. It will also inuence his
choices during the novel.

Main character

Main Character: Daniel Sempere

Describe this character: The protagonist of the novel, Daniel is a young boy whose father owns a
bookstore and whose mother died when he was ten. He is a child when his father makes him discover

The Cemetery of the Forgotten Books: he will choose in this place the book The Shadow of the
Wind. He sets out to investigate the mystery behind the author and his burnt books. We shall
follow him(it) until the adulthood.

Other characters
*Another character: Julian Carax

(2 minimum 6 max.)

Details: He is the author of The Shadow of the Wind. Daniel tries to solve the mystery of what
happened to him.

*Another character: Fermin Romero de Torres

Details: He met Daniel accidentally while he was homeless. He speaks his mind and its what
relieves the atmosphere and adds a little of humor. He says many philosophic things what contrast
with its familiar language

*Another character: Francisco Javier Fumero

Details: He is the antagonist of the novel, and is a corrupt ocer police. Hes an opportunist man
who fear neither God nor man.

*Another character: Peneloppe Aldaya

Details: She is beautiful and described as an angel of light. She fell in love with Julian at rst sight
but she is Julians best friends sister and has a very strict father. She becomes pregnant so his
father sequestered her until dead.

*Another character: Beatriz Aguilar

Details: She is the sister of Daniels best friend. She is closely supervised by his father and brother.
She soon became Daniels love interest.





What is the author trying to say in this story? What is his lesson in life?
Is there a moral to this story?
The main theme of this novel isthe power and importance of literature and how it can connect
people and change lives.The Cemetery of the Forgotten Books is a place which becomes almost
religious because the writers leave in it a part of their soul to to transmit it to other people. There is
also the library of Daniels father which is the refuge of the protagonist throughout the story. The
author also uses this story to leave a message of political order. Indeed, her characters display
specic anarchist beliefs. It is a dicult time for Spain and the government is more and more
undesirable, the corruption is very present (eg: Fumero).

This is a story about what ? (Courage? Working hard? Doing the right thing? Greed?
Importance of friends? Jealousy? Love? Caring? Happiness? Sadness? etc)
In this book there is of course love (as almost always in books), but also a lot of courage, weaknesses
and wounds of the past which are reopened.

This book showed me/I learned from this story:

This book showed me the atmosphere of Spain in this period but also the torment of the writers. I
was able to plunged in hearts of spirits ravaged by time and grief.



The Action: Summary of what happens in the story (list up to 6 events that happened in
the story - keep them in order):

- Daniels father bring him in The Cemetery of Forgotten Books (a secret and protect place)

- The young boy chooses, as the custom wants, a book: The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax

- Captivated by this book, Daniel decides to nd other books of this unknown author but somebody
is burning all the Julian Caraxs books.

- He begins his quest of the cursed writer

- His search is going to urge him to discover little by little Julians life

- He is confronted at the same time with the problems of his own life



Evaluation of the book

What did you think of the book? This book is captivating, almost bewitching. Carlos Ruiz
Zafon plays wonderfully on time distortion. Julian Carax and Daniel Sempere walk on the

same sidewalk , cross the same men , undergo the charm of the same women

What did you like about the book? Carlos is a fabulous storyteller . If you have the
misfortune to read the rst three pages of his novel , you just have no chance to escape.He
takes you into a dierent world full , subtly making you discover the history of Spain in


40s .

What didnt you like about the book? In this book there are many, if not too much,
elements of fantasy writing: Russian dolls , twists , sub-grounds, fog , re ...
Was the story confusing or hard to believe?As there is a part of fantastic , the story
could not take place in the real life, but the writing is so well led that the reader is never


Was the story predictable (could you guess what was going to happen?) This story is
absolutely unpredictable because the author knows how to keep the suspense up to the end.

And even though we discover Julian Caraxs identity we still know nothing of his real story.

Was the story believable? I think that this book reaches the limit of the credibility during
the death of certain characters or Daniels love relation too much in mirror compared to

The ending was: surprising. The last page and the rst one are almost similar , a cycle is
formed. We are ready to start again !