I read Shadow Of The Wind because it was the pick of the month for Good Reads at Shelfari.com.
I would have absolutely loved this book when I was in high school. Which is to say, I'd have loved it before I read so many other books, seen so many movies, and yes, watched entirely too many soap operas. This book has all the ingredients for a story into which any girl would willingly lose herself: love, romance, mystery, deception, revenge, hate, friendships, and on and on. Perhaps someone younger may not fully appreciate the beautiful language of this book; I know I didn't always appreciate that feature until I became older. Still, any girl would gladly burn the midnight oil to read about Julian and Daniel; Penelope, Clara, and Bea. I can't say this book held that kind of charm for me, though. I found it to be very predictable with few, if any, surprises.
Still, there is the language of the book which alone makes it a good read. The translator did an excellent job of retaining Zafon's sense of humor as well as his careful eye for detail from the beginning straight through to the end.
The story begins when as a young child, Daniel is taken by his father to The Cemetery Of Forgotten Books. There Daniel is told to choose one book for his own, so he chose The Shadow Of The Wind by Julian Carax, an author about whom he knew nothing.
Eventually Daniel wants to know more about Julian Carax since all his books have vanished, and gossip has it that someone is buying all his books so that they can be burned. Daniel becomes more and more intrigued by the mysterious Julian and takes on a personal mission to find out more about him.
Subplots involve the life and loves of Julian Carax as well as those close to him. Along with that is Daniel's own personal life story including his loves and his closest friends. At times Daniel's life and Julian's life parallel each other; but where one life is tragic, the other does have a better resolution.
I'm aware that many many people loved this book and claim it as one of their favorite reads. It just didn't have that appeal for me, but in spite of that, I'd still recommend it as a good read.