The Shadow of the Wind – a work of art – a classic film noir that you would normally expect to see on the big screen – masterfully crafted amongst the pages of this book.
It certainly has all the makings of an epic film of the old Hollywood variety – dark smokey alleyways, crumbling buildings, young love and dark dark secrets.
After the first part of my literary journey back in time to 1940’s Barcelona, in the trail of The Shadow of the Wind, I took a moment to sit in a small cafe, and with my coffee in one hand and my book in the other, I was back in that time, the dark wooden tables splashed with wine and the flickering candles illuminating every scene.
After a spot of lunch, I continued my journey across Barcelona via Calle Ferran and ended up walking along Calle Jaume I and Calle de la Princesa street in the same way that Daniel would have done. It is in this area that Daniel first saw that pen in the shop window. The Montblanc Meisterstuck that provides some touching moments between Daniel and his father.
The streets near the Church Iglesia Santa del Mar are dark , damp and mysterious but in the Shadow of the Wind, it’s the Santa Lucia Hospice where Daniel and Fermin hear the tale of Penelope and Julian from Penelope’s old nurse Jacinta Coronada.
The eerie but beautiful maze of streets, alleys and almost secret passageways are as spooky as they are fascinating. The imposing trees and balconies above your head try and look over your shoulder and touch your head to get your attention. I cowered my head as it started to rain and chased Daniel as he himself scurried along in his search for the truth.
The evening sky was heavy and imposing above and the shadows all around me chased me as I hurried my steps in order to make my way back around the cathedral and back out into open space where I could breathe once again
I took a moment then to visit Nuria’s flat and the square – ‘a small breathing space in the maze of streets” and stand beside the fountain as I imagined Daniel had done so many times before me. Daniel is searching for the truth and he enlists Nuria’s help – but the more Daniel learns about Carax, the more he realizes the similarities and parallels between his own life and that of the author. Then to the cathedral where the hatter and the character of Sophie Carax first met:
Finally coming to the end of my journey for now, I sat and enjoyed the last chapter at the cafe El Quatre Gats where he spent a lot of his time. I saw Daniel go past me as I watched the street outside the window and I saw Lain Coubert at every turn. Every flicker of light,every motion out of the corner of my eye caught my attention and was heightened by The shadow of the wind. The shadow of the wind is Barcelona and although it was a dark and eerie adventure at times, it was a literary journey that I will never forget.