The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

I fell in love, recently. With a man who crafts beautiful sentences and has quite a way with words.

A man who I will never meet.

But who tells me stories that completely enthrall and trap me.

His name is Carlos.

His book, The Shadow of the Wind, was one of the best I have read recently. Truly and utterly fantastic.

It’s about a boy, Daniel, who discovers a one-of-a-kind book deep in the “Cemetery of Forgotten Books.” As he reads, he becomes enchanted with the author and tries to find out more. As he searches, however, he overturns a mystery involving love, loss and murder. The book had me guessing and wanting to read more and more.

I would stop to read passages out loud, simply because they sounded so pretty. What’s better, it was written in Spanish. So, I was reading a translation. He had a fantastic translator, because most times there is something a bit off in translations, like they are missing the point a little.

Not in this case.

Truly stunning, especially for anyone who loves literature.

The reviewer at Entertainment Weekly, said: “The Shadow of the Wind is ultimately a love letter to literature, intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero.”

I agree. Completely.

I took notes on passages I loved throughout the book. Here they are for you. They are not chronological, instead in the order of how much they meant to me. Enjoy.

Once, in my father’s bookshop, I heard a regular customer say that few things leave a deeper mark on the reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart. Those first images, the echo of words we think we have left behind, accompany us throughout our lives and sculpt a place in our memory to which, sooner or later — no matter how many books we read, how many books we discover, or how much we learn or forget — we will return.

Oh man. This is from one of the first few pages. After this, I was hooked.

A story is a letter the author writes to himself, to tell himself things he would be unable to discover otherwise.

You’re speaking to my heart, Carlos.

Books are like mirrors: you only see in them what you already have in you.


Women have an infallible instinct for knowing when a man has fallen madly in love with them, especially when the male in question is a complete dunce and a minor.

Ah, the power of feminine wiles…

Going over all this in my mind, it occurred to me that perhaps the paper-mâché world I accepted as real was only a stage setting.

Of course, I like this because I lead a performance-based life. But also, I have been in that situation where you feel as if you are masquerading and playing a part. And that part isn’t who you really are.

It was a well-known fact that the richness of buttery foods led to moral ruin and the confusion of the intellect.

I’m screwed.

As Freud tells us, women want the opposite of what they think or say they want, which, when you consider it, is not so bad, because men, as is more than evident, respond, contrariwise, to the dictates of their genital and digestive organs.

The prettiest way I’ve ever heard someone say what brains boys use to make their decisions.

Someone once said that the moment you stop to think about whether you love someone, you’ve stopped loving that person forever.

If you have to think about it, it just isn’t there.

Sometimes one feels freer speaking to stranger than to people one knows. Why is that?
Probably because a stranger sees us the way we are, not as he wishes to think we are.

Strangers don’t care where you came from, your past or your future. Just the right here, right now.

Fools talk, cowards are silent, wise men listen.

Briana sings.

Few things are more deceptive than memories.

Which is why you always think fondly of those you have lost, even if they were awful.

Death does that: it makes everyone feel sentimental. When we stand in front of a coffin, we all see only what is good or what we want to see.

See above.

Money is like any other virus: once it has rotted the soul of the person who houses it, it sets off in search of new blood.

Why I went into a low-paying profession.

When everyone is determined to present someone as a monster, there are two possibilities: either he’s a saint or they themselves are not telling the whole story.


Sometimes we think people are like lottery tickets, that they’re there to make our wildest dreams come true.

And then they don’t.

Calm down or you’ll grow a stone in your liver. This business of courtship is like a tango: absurd and pure embellishment. But you’re the man, and you must take the lead.
The lead? Me?
What do you expect? One has to pay some price for being able to pee standing up.


Three saints has my Spains. Saint Holier-than-thou, Saint Holyshit and Saint Holycow. Between us all, we’ve turned this country into a joke.

Tee hee.


3 thoughts on “The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

  1. Rikki King says:

    these are lovely.

  2. Jenny says:

    This book has been moved to the top of my reading list. I love your selection of quotes and how poetic and wise they all are (even when describing fatty foods).

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