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The Shadow of the Wind

by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

This book is full of every delight that a novel could possibly offer. A mystery, a strange adventure, a tender coming of age drama, set in a city dense with people and tragedy and weather. The book is full of powerful ideas, glittering humour and packed with startling characters. It takes you to a real place, and lets you right in to its heart.

Extract

That evening in early summer, as I walked back through the somber, treacherous twilight of Barcelona, I could not blot out Clara's story about her father's disappearance. In my world death was like a nameless and incomprehensible hand, a door-to-door salesman who took away mothers, beggars, or ninety-year old neighbours, like a hellish lottery. But I couldn't absorb the idea that death could actually walk by my side, with a human face and a heart that was poisoned with hatred, that death could be dressed in a uniform or a raincoat, queue up at a cinema, laugh in bars, or take his children out for a walk in the morning, and then, in the afternoon, make someone disappear in the dungeons of Montjuic Castle or in the common grave with no name or ceremony.
Translated by Lucia

Parallels

Le Grand Meaulnes by Alain Fournier
The Leopard by Guiseppi de Lampedusa
The Magus by John Fowles
 

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