Because Ideas Matter...
The faculty and staff of Butler University's College of Liberal
Arts and Sciences presents
The Shadow of the Wind
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (translated by Lucia Graves), Penguin
Reviewed by Richard McGowan
Hats off to Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Shadow
of the Wind, a paean to books in an e-world of images, twits, and
Zafon tells the story of Daniel, whose
father, a bookseller, takes him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books
in post WWII Barcelona. There, Daniel can choose a book on the
condition that the book be protected as long as Daniel lives.
Daniel chooses The Shadow of the Wind, by Julian Carax, and thus
his life changes.
Daniel's life unfolds as the life of Carax
unfolds, with sultry experience, intrigue, and violence.
The translation, by the daughter of the
poet, Robert Graves, retains the sparkle and surprise of Zafon's
original Spanish. The characters are drawn in excess and at times
the coincidences astound. However, the book is a genuine treat for
such lines as these:
"The legend surrounding the place [Santa
Lucia hospice] made it sound like a cross between purgatory and a
morgue, with sanitary conditions worse than in either."
"Destiny is usually just around the corner.
Like a thief, a hooker, or a lottery vendor: its three most common
personifications." "Never trust girls who let themselves be touched
right away. But even less those who need a priest for
I found myself reading slowly, not so much
to absorb and understand the plot, but to delight in the use of
language and enjoy the metaphors Zafon provides. Booklovers cannot
go wrong to read a story about loving books. For that matter, nor
- Richard McGowan is Instructor of business ethics at Butler