Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Shadow of the Wind

Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Shadow of the Wind sounded intriguing when I read all about it on 50 books - I wanted something frothy and not brain-hurty, because lately, my brain hurts and I am stupid like a sack full of puddings with extra raisins. Also, I cry a lot. Anyway, it sounded like it fit the bill, and it was on the shelf of my library, so I snatched it up and ran away with it.

It is translated from the Spanish, but it keeps that flavor of Spanish – the very lovely and evocative, big and blowsy language combined with the totally profane ordinary everyday and it was a style that had me rolling my eyes a little bit now and again, but sometimes thinking that I would like to steal that turn of phrase, especially the one about dragging a shadow behind her like a bridal veil. That ruled.

The story, though – it is about a boy who finds a book, is fascinated by the mysterious author of said book, and ends up stumbling into (don't all characters in books do a lot of stumbling into?) a heartbreaking story of violence and loss that ends up affecting him as well. Great! Except the story just inched its damn way along the backstory that affects the frontstory and it felt alternately boring and frustrating and then intriguing and then boring again, and I took long breaks between my reading sessions for things like staring out the bus windows and being awesome. So then of course I forgot a lot of what was going on (see above, re: sack of puddings) and I got irritated by the way I was never ever going to know what was going on.

So at one point in the middle of this irritation, I decided I was done, and the book would remain forever unfinished, but then I flipped forward, read a little bit of juicy gossip, and raced through the rest of the book on my lunch break and a little while after, back at my desk, and sniffled a little at the ending, and was a little angry because suddenly one character was the savior of the major characters, what? That character did hardly anything but sniffle a lot. Shut the fuck up.

Anyway. I think if I had had a better attention span and was less like a sack of puddings with extra raisins in, I would have raced through this book more quickly and have enjoyed it more for that. And I might not have noticed how all the female characters swan around being beaten and wrecked by their love of a man and that their entire existences were based on the men in their lives. But maybe not.

1 Comments:

Blogger 3M said...

You said, "And I might not have noticed how all the female characters swan around being beaten and wrecked by their love of a man and that their entire existences were based on the men in their lives. But maybe not."

That's exactly how I felt about his female characters, too. Blech.

8:05 AM  

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