Wind, Shadowed

Well, I finished The Shadow of the Wind. It turned out less wierd than I was expecting, which I mark as a mild disappointment. Imagine a novel equal parts Borges and Southern Gothic, or perhaps a substantially better-written version of Arturo Perez-Reverte.

What was perhaps most odd is that the novel tells two parallel plots (one in the present, the other a decades-old story being reconstructed by the protagonist) that obeyed profoundly different narrative logics. The plot in the present is a mystery with touches of the supernatural; it winds up with a string of plot twists and lucky accidents that tie everything up nicely. The plot from the past is a tragedy that builds inexorably towards the death or misery of all involved. I can think of several better ways that the novel could have let both of these arcs reach their natural conclusions than the one the novel actually employs.

Reasonable read, not a classic.