I spent many years of my life in Spain and I dare to say, that the best books about this country are written by foreigners, especially by English speaking authors. The first place is due to James This book is now very dated having been written during the Franco regime. Spain has obviously gone through major transitions in the past 45 years. That said, there is no book about Spain that I James A.
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Has anyone read James Michener's Iberia before or after visiting Spain? I'm thinking about tackling it before a trip next May. Haven't read that one but his other books are great. I've also read many of Edward Rutherfurd's books ie.
Paris, London before trips and it is so helpful to read it and then go see it! Rutherfurd has a similar writing style with historical, sweeping epic stories.
Iberia is very different from Michener's historical novels. It is not fiction, but rather a loving and detailed account of his experiences there, combined with quirky historical details. A great read, and a great introduction to Spain. I read it before a trip to Spain in , then reread it before a return trip in Then I bought a paperback copy and tore out the relevant sections for our our trip Toledo, Barcelona, Sevilla, Cordoba to read on the train as we traveled between destinations.
It will add much to the trip to have read the book before you travel. Emphasis is on 'modern' Spain as I recall When you return, Don Quixote might be on your list The geography described in the book will come alive I recently loaded Iberia on my IPad. I have read most of it already, but I am bringing it along on my trip that begins in Madrid next Monday and I intend to read the appropriate chapters when i am in those locales.
Read Iberia to gain a better understanding of the cultural composition of the many different people within Spain. Read it to establish benchmarks on what you find while visiting sites he visited and strive to set your mind from the perspective he viewed during his journeys. Keep in mind the author was an orphan who grew up in PA and set about hitchhiking across the USA at a very young age and the depth of his intellect and comprehension was breathtaking.
He was a great listener, easy to approach and was the original "back door" traveler. Haven't read this one but I looked it up and he had me at the first sentence! Sound like a great read I am headed to Spain this weekend and I started reading Iberia last week and plan on taking it on the plane. I am enjoying it. I read his Hawaii when I went there and it greatly added to my enjoyment of the trip.
Go for it! I read "Iberia" before a recent 3 week trip to Spain, and found it very insightful. The latest edition of "The New Spaniards" was also worthwhile reading before the trip. If you are planning a visit to Barcelona, Robert Hughes book is worth reading although sometimes his opinions get in the way.
I really enjoyed "Homage to Catalonia" by George Orwell. It's a first person account of his time in Spain during the Civil War.
He went to Barcelona as reporter to cover the war, joined one of the communist brigades, fought against Franco's troops, was wounded in action and finally fled the country. I thought it gave great context for a war that shaped Spain. Orwell actually joined one of the anarchist militia units in But I certainly agree that this is a great book to read in advance of a Spanish trip. Please sign in to post. Thanks everyone for your input. Iberia will be my next read.
Look Inside. Aug 25, Minutes Buy. Spain is an immemorial land like no other, one that James A. Michener, the Pulitzer Prize—winning author and celebrated citizen of the world, came to love as his own.
Michener contributes a gigantic guidebook and, via some pages in relatively small print, has seen and reviewed Spain. The book is a staggering paiella of information culled from history, conversations, literature and Michener's stays there for over thirty years. There is no plan, no itinerary per se, just wanderings, retracings and musings. He moves through a cathedral, defines a few Spanish words, discusses Toledo ware. He recommends books and instructs the reader on how to make a gaspacho. He talks about the Inquisition, the Don Juan literature, the Civil War he is glad now that he didn't join up since he realizes that the Communists took over the Republican side very early , the effect Swedish girls have had on sexual mores, Carlos V, flan, bullfighting the one long and comprehensive section—Michener has observed about bullfights , the change of seasons in a great swamp, Compostela.
Iberia , by James A. Michener original title: Iberia: Spanish Travels and Reflections , is a detailed and illustrated exploration of Spain as it was during the mids. The author takes a measured, literary view on such subjects as the Moorish occupation , Islam , Catholicism , Francisco Franco and other controversial subjects. Michener shows to be very prescient, as in his talk of national cycles of rebirth p.