A book within a book
There are so many layers, and levels, and intertwining stories within this book. The main story is begins in 1945 with a ten-year-old Barcelona boy, Daniel Sempere, being taken to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, by his bookseller father, to choose a book, which he must keep alive.
Daniel chooses The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax. The book and the mystery surrounding its author, who appears to have suffered his fate in a duel in Paris, soon infatuate him.
Against the background of post-war Europe, and the fascist [Franco] state of Spain, Daniel grows up and discovers more and is horrified to find that somebody is seeking all of the writings of Carax, and burning them.
The tension builds throughout the book, and the ending is far from disappointing. There are powerful messages, which have frightening echoes in the modern world. Political censorship is one of the intriguing threads. It can be as subtle as it can be obvious. There are also threads of evil, eroticism, psychic control, politics, real and fake friendships, and so much more. Apart from all of that, it is original.
The book is so well written and translated. I wish that my Spanish was up to being able to read the original.
Recommended to everyone, and it is one of those rare books that I would put on a pile to read again!