So many have likened THE SHADOW OF THE WIND to a few other books (McCrae's A TOUR OF SOUTHERN HOMES AND GARDENS was one, though I don't know why-another was ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE), that I had to check it out. Turns out that, while it does have excellent writing styles like those novels, the similarities end there. The plot is great: When Daniel is still a child, his father takes him to the Cemetary of Forgotten Books, a mysterious labyrinthine library filled with books from well-known novels to those that have faded into obscurity. He chooses a novel called "The Shadow of the Wind" by Julian Carax, a writer of dark melodramas that never sold more than 100 copies. In the two decades since Carax's novels appeared in the 1920s and 1930s, they had gained a cult following in Barcelona, where Carax was raised and Daniel lives with his widowed father. Daniel vows to protect and cherish the novel so that it won't be totally forgotten. The plot is dense, the characters are very well developed, and the book is gripping from the very first page, such that you won't put it down until you have read the last sentence on the very last page. you cant get enough of the story, you keep on reading until your eyes are dry and hurt, but you wont put the book down. this is one of the books that I will likely read a second and maybe a third time. honestly, I think this is the best book I have ever read, certainly one of the best five books. the sad thing is, once you finish it, you are certain that the next book you will read will not be as good, and the one after neither. It is a jewel. Must also recommend THE THORN BIRDS as another great read.