The Shadow of the Wind Discussion Questions

April 1, 2017

The Shadow of the Wind

by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jackie B’s original book review is found here.

1.       What did you think of the book as a whole? Did you like it? Love it? Hate it? What made you lean that way?

2.       When you began the book, did you have any expectations? How did this meet, exceed, or disappoint them?

3.       What genre would you define The Shadow of the Wind as? Why?

4.       Consider the title of this novel. Why do you suppose this the title Zafon chose for this book?

5.       There was much to absorb in this book; what stands out to you?

6.       The Shadow of the Wind is a story within a story within a story. Do you feel the plots and characters remained intact? Were you able to follow this? What did you like or dislike about this?

a.       In fact, Daniel describes The Shadow of the Wind, “As it unfolded, the structure of the story began to remind me of one of those Russian dolls that contain innumerable ever-smaller dolls within.” Did anyone see that as foreshadowing?

7.       What do you believe Zafon is attempting to say about books throughout this novel? Do you agree?

8.       “Books are mirrors; you only see in them what you already have inside you.” (p. 215) Do you agree? In what ways was this your experience while reading The Shadow of the Wind?

9.       Did any of the characters speak to you? Did they seem real and believable? Who was your favorite character?

10.   What do you believe is the significance of “Victor Hugo’s” Mont Blanc pen?

11.   This book was translated from Spanish. What do you think of the translation? How would you characterize Zafon’s use of language?

12.   Daniel and Julian’s lives closely parallel each other. What about this struck you? What is the significance that one ends in tragedy and the other does not?

13.   Nuria said, “Julian once wrote that coincidences are the scars of fate. There are no coincidences, Daniel. We are the puppets of our unconscious.” What does this mean? What is Nuria referring to?

14.   Why do you believe this book is set in during and after the Spanish Civil War? Could this have been set anywhere other than Franco’s Barcelona?

15.   At the end of my book, there was a walking tour of Barcelona. Did you read this? If so, did this add anything to your experience?

16.   What are your opinions to the Cemetery of Forgotten books? Did you want this location to be more or less a part of this story?

17.   Daniel says, “Once, in my father’s bookshop, I heard a regular customer say that few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds it’s way into his heart.” What book was that for you? Are there any forgotten books you would like to rescue from obscurity?

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