Iberia: Spanish Travels and Reflections

Iberia Spanish Travels and Reflections From the glories of the Prado to the danger and dazzle of the bullfights master storyteller James A Michener magnificently captures the stunning kaleidoscope that is Spain Here is a rich and enduring

  • Title: Iberia: Spanish Travels and Reflections
  • Author: James A. Michener Robert Vavra
  • ISBN: 9780394429823
  • Page: 457
  • Format: Hardcover
  • From the glories of the Prado to the danger and dazzle of the bullfights, master storyteller James A Michener magnificently captures the stunning kaleidoscope that is Spain.Here is a rich and enduring tribute to a fascinating country, an immemorial place that has become Michener s second home In the fresh and vivid prose that is his trademark, Michener not only reveals tFrom the glories of the Prado to the danger and dazzle of the bullfights, master storyteller James A Michener magnificently captures the stunning kaleidoscope that is Spain.Here is a rich and enduring tribute to a fascinating country, an immemorial place that has become Michener s second home In the fresh and vivid prose that is his trademark, Michener not only reveals the celebrated Spain of warrior kings, painters and cathedrals, he also shares the intimate, often hidden Spain he has come to know where the fishermen of the salted shores, the toiling peasants of the inland fields and the congeniality and passion of all of Spain s living souls conspire with the dark weight of history to create this mysterious, contradictory and wildly beautiful land.Look for other titles by James A Michener available from Random House AudioBooks including Alaska, Texas, and Caribbean.Philip Bosco s extensive credits include appearances in the films Trading Places, Three Men and a Baby, Suspect, Working Girl, and The Silence of the Lambs.

    One thought on “Iberia: Spanish Travels and Reflections”

    1. I did a second (different) review of this book a while ago - /review/show - with lots of pictures. It wasn't as well liked as this one I did originally. So I thought I'd resubmit this one in case some readers might find it useful. The book is still in print, and though it must be dated to some extent, I have a GR friend who moved to Spain in the last year, and has said he has found it useful to have as a suggestion for travels and things to see.- - - - - - - - - -I'm pretty certain I read most o [...]

    2. Spain was a theocracy, and I had lived in Israel and Pakistan, which were also theocracies, and the problems of such governments tend to be the same, whether the theocracy is Jewish, Muslim, or Catholic.Father Jesus Precedo Lafuente. [chapter: Santiago de Compostela]I've written a prior review in which I give more of an overview of the book, here: /review/showMy second reading of this book, begun last year, is being terminated today (at least for the foreseeable future). I've decided that I'm no [...]

    3. In a sense no visitor can ever be adequately prepared to judge a foreign city, let alone an entire nation; the best he can do is to observe with sympathy.Travel writing is like love poetry. All travelers and lovers are convinced that their experiences are unique, and therefore worth writing about; while in reality most travel stories and love poems express nearly the same basic sentiment, over and over, with only minor variations. Both genres are easy to write and hard to read, which is why far [...]

    4. He was probably in his 60s when he wrote most of this, travelling with his wife, but he writes a bit like a little boy, discovering rules and lists like an effervescent, naive American, or German-style logician. He says writing is hard for him, but he manages to write these tremendously long and simplistic books, possibly because he is so sequential and seldom cross-references or reduces facts. So yes, it is fascinating to learn second-hand that the famous cave paintings of bulls never depict a [...]

    5. Michener is, of course, a giant. Bridges at Toko-Ri was one of the first books I ever read. Somehow, I only read a few of his after that, Tales of the South Pacific, Chesapeake, and Texas. So, I’m no expert. But I can say this book taught me more about Spain than I learned visiting it or from a bunch of years of Spanish. Here is some of what Michener shows us:The Spanish system of surnames. Extremadura, poor, hard-scrabble region bordering Portugal, where Balboa, de Soto, Cortez, and Pizarro a [...]

    6. I decided to dive into this over the holidays, as part of an ensuing and voracious quest to soak up as many dimensions of Spanish culture as possible. I've long been a very appreciative fan of Michener's historical epics - this tome is no Chesepeake, Hawaii or The Source, however, all of which offer exhaustive and near encyclopedic treatments of their respective subjects. This autobiographical work, drawing on Michener's personal experiences in the Iberian peninsula between the 1930s and 1960s, [...]

    7. Este libro es una lectura obligada para quien desee conocer España desde el punto de vista de un turista ilustrado es una excelente introducción a la cultura, geografía y temperamento ibéricos.

    8. I thought this book all would be was Michener's travel through Spain, but no its more than half about the history, which is really boring to me, especially the way it was written into his travel by selection, so I could not get into the book. But I should have expected the history mixed in with his travel, since in all his fictional books about different locations it is basically a history of the location from the beginning of time on how the land was created to the present time.

    9. I enjoyed this book very much, even though I'm not normally a fan of this author. Typically long-winded, and very anecdotal compared to his other works. I think that this was a more personal book, with stories of what he saw and learned from his encounters, made me like it more.It reads like a travelogue, and, since I want to go to Spain, I enjoyed hearing about it. In fact, that's how I "read" this: I listened to the unabridged audio in my car. It was an interesting experience in driving throug [...]

    10. This is a fascinating book. Most definitely a product of the times (late 1960's) and not at all impartial (though occasionally pretending to be), Iberia is a deep reflection on Spain from an outsider who loves the country. Sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, sometimes borderline offensive - it's still enjoyable and a great jumping off point for your own research into different aspects of Spain and Spanish life. It's also really really really long, but I thought it was a relatively quick read - [...]

    11. fascinating saga the world of Spain as it was 50 years ago. The history of the second half of the 20th century is beyond comprehension Michener did an awesome job of presenting it in vivid narrative.

    12. I wanted to like it, but it was tough. alternated between dull and fascinating vignettes. Not the usual michner story. Not sure why I finished it but I did, and now on to something else in the growing bedside pile.

    13. Trained Brain Explains Spain without StrainI'd never been to Spain, but after reading Michener's mammoth work on the country, I wished I had gone long ago. I have this sneaking feeling that the place has changed out of all recognition since he published this 795 page tome in 1968. Perhaps it has become more like the rest of Europe or even more like the rest of the world than it was during the latter part of Franco's long rule. Is it still "Spanish", whatever that may mean ? Maybe, but not the sa [...]

    14. I liked getting to know Mitchner's personality and individual quirks as he discusses his relationship with Spain and adds some commentary on his interpretation of events. He was very knowledgeable about the arts, architecture, music and bull fighting. He throws in Spanish history. I was wondering what kept him from writing a novel on Spain. It seems he had a lot of the history, geography, and culture to write a novel. Maybe he was too close to the country to be able to weave a story line. Or may [...]

    15. It is good to know a different perspective from what the official documents usually say. It is a civilian point of view in 1968. I am sure many things have changed since that moment. My background naturally hates his personal opinions about the architecture in Southern Spain. So if yours contradicts as well, try to be objective and selfless. Everyone has the right to say his opinion. It is a simple book about traveling around Spain. I admire very much his descriptive abilities as it summoned me [...]

    16. LOVED this travelogue. Michener uses his great flowing writing style to discuss each Spanish city. I loved the detailhe tells each city's culture, history, lifestyles, monuments, streets, dwellings.I did not finish this wonderful book ONLY because it was just TOO much to take in without being in Spain. We will make a trip to Spain with this book and live every page.

    17. Generally detailed if out of date, it still is written well and provides lots of food for thought. It makes one want to visit Spain if not already done so, or revisit if one has already had the pleasure.

    18. IberiaLove all of James Michener's books! I plan on reading every one of his books. He transports you to wonderful places.

    19. A great book - written some time ago about his travels all over Spain.He has some great insights into Spanish history and culture.

    20. Loved most Mitchner. Tried this one, but put aside at p117. Too protracted, impersonal. Couldn’t get into it.

    21. I've read many books on Spain in preparation for a three-month visit, and none is better than Michener's. Although written 50 years ago, it is timeless. (In fact, after reading so many books on the Spanish Civil War, it was fascinating to read Michener's take on Franco's Spain 30 years into his dictatorship.) Michener's love of the country is obvious, his desire to understand the culture impressive, his research exhaustive, and his storytelling engaging. The reader is left with an understanding [...]

    22. If you have ever been to Spain or planning to go to Spain, you really should read this book. In fact, if you even think you want to go to Spain and wonder if it's worth going, then you should read this book, because it will give you the nudge you need.IBERIA is a stunning achievement by a rather prodigious writer who not only explains the grand moments of Spanish history (e.g. from the prehistory, to the Romans, the Visigoths, the Moorish Empire, the Reconquista, the Spanish expansion to the New [...]

    23. I love Michener, but I have tried this travelogue several times and I just cannot get into it.I feel disappointed. Obviously, Michener had a love for Spain. I long to read a classic Michenerian historical fiction of Spain that walks me through the glories and horrors of it's years. Each time I pick up this book, that is what I seek. The rise and fall of the Spanish empire and how this history ties into the people and state of Spain today. Unfortunately, for this work, Michener chose a travelogue [...]

    24. Excellent detailed, thoughtful account of travel in Spain. Includes history, art, architecture, religions, various people, animals, foods, politics. Great to read before going to Spain.

    25. The genres section of suggests that this book is fiction. It is not. It is the account of Michener's many visits to Spain which he oviously loves and it is the account of its history which he has obviously studied. Michener had many aspects to his writings over the years starting with his experiences in World War II in the Pacific. The novels gendered at that time were many and included "Tales of the South Pacific", Sayonara, Bridges of Toko-Ri among many others. Another aspect of Michener's wo [...]

    26. I've read a number of Michener's [place-name] books to date, and they're generally entertaining story-driven novels that incidentally teach you history and the important characters that existed and whatnot.Iberia apparently predates all of that, and it's Michener going on and on about his personal travels in Spain, and his love of the country. It's not actually terrible, but it is thick, repetitive, and quite honestly rather on the dull side (abandoned about 300 pages in, out of a thousand)Also, [...]

    27. My husband I read this aloud during our commute to and from work in preparation for a trip to Spain. This was a really fun read for me because it gave me a perspective on Spain and travel in general that is pre-internet. It was really interesting to visit some of the places that Michener wrote about in the 1960's and see how they changed or remained timelessly the same in 2015. Additionally this book gave me glimpses into the Spanish psyche in a way that helped me to better understand my father [...]

    28. Rich in detail and covers a wide range of subjects, from history and art to food and economics, much of it communicated in the words of people the author met. And yet even aside from being dated - I can only wonder just how much the book was a bit of a slog and started to seem repetitive after a while. Michener does a wonderful job of evoking detail, but there are just too many of them. And at times I found myself wondering whether he believed the outlandish opinions he was quoting or not. Letti [...]

    29. A wonderful book! I read it about 25 years ago, then reread it last month and enjoyed it even more, as in the meantime, I've travelled the length and breadth of Spain. He's just so spot-on about everything concerning the country, and his love for all things Spanish just oozes from every page. He's one of that vanishing breed - travel writers in the mould of Herodotus & Co. He doesn't just breeze in and out of a country, making rapid value judgments and classifying the people into his own men [...]

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