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Customer reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
Roads to Santiago
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:$32.64+ Free shipping

on June 1, 2017
An interesting read. I didn't buy it but somehow it reached me in France....I've done the Camino 5 times so it was good to compare my earlier learning with this book which magically reached me.
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on October 28, 2003
This is a spectacular book, written by the best kind of travel writer. Mr. Nooteboom's passion for Spain, Spanish art, and Spanish architecture is infectious. I did the pilgrimage to Santiago in September of 2003, and understanding the Camino in the larger context of Spanish history (which Mr. Nooteboom limns so admirably) was invaluable. I don't believe I would have looked for, much less appreciated the Romanesque architecture I saw along the way. Coincidentally, his love of the great Spanish painters Zurbaran and Velazquez inspired me to visit New York for the Velazquez to Manet exhibit. I consider this one of the essential books to read before you set out for Santiago de Compostela. Guide books will get you from A to B. This book will help you understand the importance of A, B, and all the points in between.
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on April 27, 1999
Spain becomes grist for the cracked mill wheel of Cees Nooteboom's mind. The book isn't really about Spain, it's about the author and his obsessive fixation with certain Spanish topics. He does this with painfully long rambling descriptions of various Spanish cultural icons that have caught his attention, drilling down to the time when they first caught his attention and the many times since then that he has pondered them. The topics themselves are interesting but almost irrelevant to the self indulgent dredging of the author's own mind. You would learn more hard facts about these topics from a museum brochure. The twin pillars of this tortuously slow moving narrative are the painter Zurban and Romanesque architecture. He drops and picks up these topics at random, throughout the book, and prattles on about them as if he is possessed with a reoccurring fever. He also slathers his book with an impressive amount of trite clichés about Spain, Spain the land of contrasts, Castille La Mancha the land of desolate panoramas, etc. He goes on ad nauseum. He also plays a little fast and loose with the few historical facts he deigns to use. He states that the aqueduct in Segovia was used until 1974; according to Segovia's municipal web site it is still in use. He states that Pizzaro left from Extremadura with an invasion force for Peru; Pizzaro left from Central America where he had been established for some years. Obviously no fact checker touched this book before publication. There are many wonderful books about Spain. This isn't one of them.
One person found this helpful
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on August 24, 2001
Am still trying to finish this book! Compared to some of the others on the subject, it's a hard read. I'll probably sell it.
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on March 7, 1999
Very interesting view of selected Spanish history and culture. Superbly written. I have been reading lots of books from Spain and about Spain in the last 10 years, but this is certainly one of the best.
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on June 4, 2016
Very informative.
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