I finished reading The Shadow of the Wind last night, and I’ve been thinking all day (between doing normal things, of course) about how I need to write a post about it, and wondering what on earth I’m going to actually write… I’ve already mentioned in a previous post that it’s magnificently written, but, now that I’ve finished the novel in its entirety, I feel like it deserves something more elaborate.

I found my copy of Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s masterpiece at a Lifeline Bookfest at the start of this year. It’s in pretty good condition, and I was amazed that anyone could just give it away (even if it is for charity). Now that I’ve actually read it for myself, I’m even more amazed that the previous owner gave it away. I have every intention of keeping this one forever (although I am open to lending it out to friends).  Continue reading

forget me not

These last two weeks, I’ve been reading The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. I feel like people have been recommending Shadow to me for so long, it’s really about time I got around to it. But I’m only about 200 pages in, so no spoilers please.

Anyway, anyone who has read it, or knows anything about the work of Ruiz Zafón will know that Shadow is magnificently written, and full of beautifully poetic prose. If I spent all day trying to mark or note down every line I liked, it would take me forever to finish reading it. Since I haven’t been writing down notable quotes, I actually feel like I’m really powering through this. I mean, considering how slowly I usually read, this feels almost too fast; but it’s just such a page-turner, and maybe I’ve just been in more of a reading mindset lately (?)

All of that aside, there is one quote that I wanted to share:

“He would have liked to know that somebody wanted to keep him alive, that someone remembered him. He used to say that we exist as long as somebody remembers us.”
– Nuria Monfort, speaking of Julián Carax (Chapter 20)

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The Angel’s Game

I finished reading “The Angel’s Game” (by Carlos Ruiz Zafon) a couple of days ago, and have been pondering about the ending and the way that the story played out … and I’m still kind of confused. I tried to Google reviews and summaries and stuff, but to no avail – everyone seems just as bewildered. Although, to be fair, I didn’t really try very hard to find deconstructions, etc. I finished the book at night and was kind of tired.

But all that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the novel. I will admit that I was a bit apprehensive about reading a translated text (the original is in Spanish), as I thought it might lose some of the deeper meaning, magic and emotion. But it was fine. The edition I read (which was translated by Lucia Graves – not sure if there are other translations out there? probably not…?) was so well written. I wouldn’t go as far as one reviewer and say that it read as if it was originally in English, but it was pretty good, and exceeded my expectations.

For a novel that I didn’t find mindblowing or life-changing, I feel like I could write a lot about it – mostly positive, too. It was really different to anything I’ve ever read before (or remember reading, anyway). While there are certain genres and authors I’d probably never tire of, it’s always refreshing to read something that’s just different – the storyline, the characters, the setting, the language. It was all kind of inspiring in a way.

I liked that the novel was about an author. Can’t say that I’ve read many novels about authors, although I’m sure there must be a fair number of them out there. Amongst all the rhetoric and fanciful speeches and whatnot, one of my favourite quotes from “The Angel’s Game” was from Andreas Corelli – something along the lines of “You may think that you understand the lyrics to a song, but it’s the music that makes you believe it.”

Despite how well the novel was written/translated (I still reckon it probably sounds/reads better in Spanish – but that’s beside the point), I did feel like the story was a bit slow at parts – mostly around the middle. And there were a lot of random side characters. Well, ok, all of the characters played some part, but it was a bit hard to keep track of them all. (Not sure if that was affected by how I read it in between/amongst other books and whatnot… Might have been better if I’d managed to read it in a more consistent fashion over a shorter space of time, but it’s too late for that.)

The story did start to pick up some serious pace in the third and final act, though. I’d say it was actually quite thrilling. The ending was still a bit bizarre. I’m not sure that I fully understand it, but it’s not something that I’m losing sleep over either.

All in all, I did enjoy reading “The Angel’s Game”. I probably wouldn’t widely recommend it, but I reckon that if you’ve got a passion for reading and/or writing, it’ll most likely be a worthwhile read.