This Spanish bestseller set in post-war Barcelona is a curious combination of mystery, romance and thriller. The story follows Daniel, the son of a bookshop owner, who is introduced to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and asked to choose one volume. Daniel selects a novel called “The Shadow of the Wind” and becomes obsessed with tracking down the other works of its reclusive author. He learns that a mysterious stranger has been buying all the copies this author’s books and destroying them -even setting fire to a warehouse owned by the publisher. Daniel gradually unravels the tragic story of the author, which develops strange parallels with his own life.
What the Armchair Critics Thought:
This was a densely plotted, page-turner of a book, which we all enjoyed. The translation by Lucia Graves was seamless and eloquent. The eccentric characters seemed to have been transported from the pages of Dickens, as was the gothic storyline with its mistaken identities, mysterious strangers and unrequited lovers. We also enjoyed the author’s love of books, reading and the power of a well-told story which shone through on every page.