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Roads to Santiago: Detours and Riddles in the Lands and History of Spain
     

Roads to Santiago: Detours and Riddles in the Lands and History of Spain

by Cees Nooteboom
 

A modern-day pilgrimage through Spain in a cultural meditation no sophisticated traveler should be without.

Roads to Santiago is an evocative travelogue through the sights, sounds, and smells of a little known Spain-its architecture, art, history, landscapes, villages, and people. And as much as it is the story of his travels, it is an elegant and detailed

Overview

A modern-day pilgrimage through Spain in a cultural meditation no sophisticated traveler should be without.

Roads to Santiago is an evocative travelogue through the sights, sounds, and smells of a little known Spain-its architecture, art, history, landscapes, villages, and people. And as much as it is the story of his travels, it is an elegant and detailed chronicle of Cees Nooteboom's thirty-five-year love affair with his adopted second country. He presents a world not visible to the casual tourist, by invoking the great spirits of Spain's past-El Cid, Cervantes, Alfonso the Chaste and Alfonso the Wise, the ill-fated Hapsburgs, and Velazquez. Be it a discussion of his trip to the magnificent Prado Museum or his visit to the shrine of the Black Madonna of Guadalupe, Nooteboom writes with the depth and intelligence of an historian, the bravado of an adventurer, and the passion of a poet.

Reminiscent of Robert Hughes's Barcelona, Roads to Santiago is the consummate portrait of Spain for all readers.

About the Author:

Cees Nooteboom, one of Holland's most popular and most translated authors, has written eleven volumes of travel articles and essays. His previous books include The Following Story, winner of the 1993 European Prize, Rituals, and In the Dutch Mountains. He lives in Amsterdam.

Editorial Reviews

Colm Toibin
An exemplary travel book, the result of 40 years wandering in provincial Spain...In Spain, the Romanesque churches stand in out-of-the-way places, they are graceful and understated...If novelists were churches, Nooteboom would be Romanesque. Nooteboom ranks with Gerald Brenan, Ian Gibson, and Robert Hughes as outsiders who have written great books about Spain this century. His book has the odd capacity to make you change your life, or at least consider doing so. These journeys, this way of traveling-slow, meditative, solitary, full of knowledge-this is how we all should travel.
The Washington Post
NY Times Book Review
This book invites the reader to share the excitement, experiences, even food, that the author has encountered while weaving his way, slowly and deliciously, toward the tomb of St. James...It is here, in out-of-the-way places most tourists miss, that Mr. Nooteboom lingers, chatting with peasants, contemplating local works of art, savoring simple culinary delights and thinking, always thinking...Nooteboom appears as something of a Dutch Rousseau, a solitary traveler caught in an extended reverie, a dreamer for whom every monument, every work of art transforms itself into a memory palace that unlocks Spain's history.
Library Journal
In this series of essays, Nooteboom (The Following Story, LJ 8/94), one of Holland's most popular and translated authors, ventures through what he calls his "adopted country," from Barcelona to Santiago. Detours are what Nooteboom delights in, and true to form he takes the reader through detours of monasteries; art galleries; La Mancha in search of Don Quixote and Dulcinea; the Prado museum in Madrid, where he waxes eloquently about Velzquez and Nooteboom's favorite, Zurburn; and churches and courtyards in cities and villages once protected by their geography and now isolated in the empty plains of the Meseta. The strength of Nooteboom's book is in his lyrical descriptions of Spain, a country he believes has never been quite a part of Europe. Some knowledge of European history is required to appreciate his work fully. Recommended for large public and academic libraries or where there is demand for literary travel books.David Schau, Kanawha Cty. P.L., Charleston, W. Va.
From the Publisher

"Invites the reader to share the excitement, experiences, even food, that the author has encountered while weaving his way through [Spain] slowly and deliciously . . . Mr. Nooteboom lingers in out-of-the-way places most tourists miss."-The New York Times Book Review
"Nooteboom plunges fervently into the fabric of Spain itself."-San Francisco Chronicle

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780151001972
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
05/01/1997
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.40(d)

Meet the Author


CEES NOOTEBOOM was born in 1933 in The Hague. He has published nine novels and over a dozen collections of travel writing, including Roads to Santiago. He lives in Amsterdam and Spain.

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