Review: The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (2019) Assessment 9 out of 10

From the bestselling author of The Shadow of the Wind: The Cemetery of Forgotten Books 4

A wonderful novel beautifully written in translation from the Spanish original. I rarely read, still less review, works of fiction. However I loved this wonderful novel, post-modern, Gothic and retelling modern Spanish history, all at the same time.

A civil war is [not] just one fight, but a tangle of large or small fights.. Its official memory established by chroniclers on the winning or losing side….it is never the story of those trapped between the two.

Becoming a turncoat, a deeply rooted Spanish tradition, grew into an art form.”

They “were beginning to make plans for her funeral, but Alicia knew she had got out of purgatory , even if, perhaps, it was just on weekend leave.”

There are a numerous references to other books and writers, Alicia, the heroine is a dark and damaged Alice through the Looking Glass. A paean to literature, writing, libraries and story-telling, one story folds endlessly and effortlessly into the next.

A story has no beginning and no end, only points of entry”

One drinks to remember and writes to forget”.

“In literature there is only one real theme, not what is narrated, but how.

In the Cemetery of Forgotten Books“every book has a soul, the soul of the writer and of those who read it and lived and dreamed ….it.”

The book runs to 805 pages, including 10 archive photos. The haunting cover picture is an image for the book as a whole, which, If it has a fault, is overlong. Zafon just couldn’t bring himself to stop telling stories.

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