my brother chose my book: episode three


G’day friends, it’s been a while. How are you?

Me? I’m…okay. Grief is fucking strange my dudes. But all we can do is move forward, i guess. 2020 has seriously challenged me in almost every way that it can. Have a told y’all that i have to completely change my research for my PhD? As a result of COVID, I am not able to go into schools for fieldwork which is what I was supposed to do…right now, actually. Thus, I have to change my research focus. I am hoping that I can use most of what I have already written and just transform it slightly, so please keep your fingers crossed for me!

Today, i thought i would do one of my favourite series on my blog which is the ‘my brother chose my book’ posts.

Pretty simple. The title says it all. If you want to read the first two blog posts in this series, click here and here.

I’m going to be completely honest, this post is incredibly incredibly delayed. My brother, Adrian, chose this book in the beginning of June, I think. Two months ago! I’m a failure of a book blogger!

I can’t seem to find the video for him choosing this book which I am so mad about! Because I specifically remember filming him picking out this book specifically!!!

Anyway, back to the point.

My brother actually chose a book that I have been wanting to read for so long. It was The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. And it was wonderful.

Thoughts

I won’t lie, I was slightly intimidated before reading The Shadow of the Wind – only because I have not ever seen anyone say a bad thing about it. Everyone seemed to either enjoy it or absolutely freaking adore it. I was terrified that it wouldn’t live up to the hype, or the expectations that I personally had.

I should not have worried. At all.

It was perfection.

If you don’t know, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is a story about stories. It follows Daniel in Barcelona 1945, a bookseller’s son who finds some solace and adventure in a book by an author no-one seems to know. A book, called ‘The Shadow of the Wind’ by Julian Carax, that Daniel found in a super secret library his father took him to, the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. What follows is a story that interweaves Daniel’s life with that of Julian’s, as Daniel tries to find Julian Carax’s other works but shockingly discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every single copy that exists. Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Barcelona 1945: young Daniel Sempere is taken to a fabulous secret library called the Cemetery of Forgotten Books where he is told he must ‘adopt’ a single book, promising to care for it and keep it alive always.

Entranced by his chosen book, The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax, Daniel begins a quest to find the truth about the life and death of its mysterious author. He starts to fall into a game of mirrors, reflecting strange discoveries about obsession and love, and how they are entwined within the shadow world of books.

There are honestly no words to how much this book shattered my soul. I think I might talk about the writing first, because it was the writing that pushed itself into my soul. Zafon writes in a way that, at first, I wasn’t used to. Zafon’s writing is very description heavy, it tells instead of shows. For some, this type of writing may not be their preference and would detract from their enjoyment of the overall story. Personally, I adored the way Zafon wrote. I was able to completely immerse myself with the story, with Daniel and his environment. Zafon puts such detail and complexity in his writing that it feels real. The amount of times I had to stop myself from looking up Julian Carax in Google because it honestly felt so real to me. I fell in love with Zafon’s Barcelona, I fell in love with the characters and their relationships with each other. I can honestly say that there was not one aspect of the novel that I didn’t enjoy.

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Zafon is an artist with the way he crafts his storytelling. The detail, sometimes the microscopic detail, that is given is woven so tightly with the actual storyline, that seemingly innocuous detail becomes incredibly important later on. It was fantastic to try and tie all these details together in an attempt to figure it all out!

I should also mention how much I loved the character of Daniel. I adored growing up with Daniel and the way we, as the reader, was able to learn about Daniel’s character as the story continued on. Daniel was so wholesome and the way he loves his father, for instance, was so gosh darn heartwarming.

The mystery aspect of this novel was amazing. Again, Zafon’s ability to so wonderfully create suspense as well perfectly constructing the almost gothic setting, added so much more to the story.

I think my rating for this book is pretty obvious but I gave it 5 stars. This book has become one of my all time favourite novels – it completely blindsided me and I fell in love with it.

If you take away anything from this review, take away this: just read The Shadow of the Wind.

That’s all for today, my friends.

I am going to try and be a bit more consistent with both the blog and my social media’s. 2020 has been pretty chaotic and terrible which has meant that I’ve kind of been hiding slightly and being hardly present on twitter and nonexistent on my blog. So here’s hoping.

I hope you are all taking care and being safe.

Until next time, happy reading!

Lots of love,

allie

xx


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