Thursday, December 08, 2005

5-Minute Book Review: The Shadow of the Wind

Before I start, I would like to credit Shryh for the format. Though I am taking the title very literally so if I stop in the middle of a sentence after 5 minutes, oops.

The Shadow of the Wind (Carlos Ruiz Zafon) is one of the more fun books I've read in recent memory. I vaguely remember a sentence somewhere within its covers mentioning that Zafon is a screenwriter and his talent for pacing action certainly shows in TSotW. The grand intrigue is introduced and set up right away but there are many small climaxes to keep your attention as you work through its ~500 pages. The language (translated, granted) is accessible and immediate. You are to enjoy the story for its story, not pore over some obscure literary resonance between an implied meter and the rhythm of the plot.

The content of the intrigue will also appeal to book lovers: it is about a book and the lives that surround it. The set up is that Daniel (boy) somehow comes across a copy of a book titled The Shadow of the Wind and is immediately taken by the author, Julian Carax. As he searches for more of Carax's works, however, he finds that somebody is destroying all the copies of Carax's works. Lots of drama and action follows. Romance, action, the police, it's all here. In a way, it's a Hollywood blockbuster of a book, but in a good way. It is fun action and intrigue, not cheap action and intrigue.

And my 5 minutes are up. Recommended if you need light but engaging reading.

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