It was great! The story was amazing and gripping... and the discs crapped out about halfway through the book! AGH! I was only an hour out of Denver and I desperately wanted to finish.
Before unpacking even, I made an emergency trip to the bookstore to exchange my defective audio for a proper book that I could sit down and finish. It was well worth it and I was hard-pressed to tear myself away and deal with moving necessities!
I would put this book in what I call the modern gothic category. Gothic lit as a whole subscribes to some pretty basic style and structure guidlines. Books like Jane Eyre and The Monk are classics of the genre. There has been a recent upsurge in new gothic lit, however, and I am eating it up. Shadow of the Wind was probably my first, followed by titles like Ghost Writer by John Harwood, The Historian by Kostova, and Thirteenth Tale by Setterfield - all amazing books that I highly recommend.
Readers will find that this is probably a love it or hate it genre. The pacing is a bit slower than most fiction - they're meant to be savored rather than gulped up in one sitting, just like the classics. The action and the suspense are definitely there, but I have heard that some find them slow and tedious. I think this is unfortunate, but to each his own.
Shadow concerns a young boy living in Barcelona in the 1950s. On his tenth birthday, Daniel is taken by his father, a bookstore owner, to a place where forgotten books are kept. Daniel is told to pick one book and that he will be the guardian of that book for the rest of his life. The title Daniel chooses is The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax. He devours the book in one evening and begins searching for more of Carax's work. He finds that Carax is a shadowy almost mythical figure in the literary world. Not much is known about the man, but they do know that someone has been methodically destroying all of the remaining copies of Carax's work. Daniel becomes obsessed with learning more. As he grows older and learns more about the mysterious author, Daniel finds himself ensnared in a strange web of intrigue that could cost him his life.
Amazing, atmospheric, creepy, engaging - overall just a great book to get totally lost in. The whole time I was reading, I wanted more. If you find that you are the same way, take comfort in knowing that Zaphon's long awaited prequel should be due out sometime next year (I can't wait!).