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Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through Spain and Its Silent Past Paperback – March 4, 2008
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“[Tremlett] paints a rich, multicolored canvas of one of Europe's most fascinating nations.” ―Entertainment Weekly
“This well traveled journalist…knows his subject as he ventures through the past to explain the present personality of a country so varied that even in modern times its complicated medieval legacy is part of everyday life.” ―Washington Times (Ann Geracimos)
“Tremlett has written a smart and highly readable book that mixes incisive political history with sophisticated cultural reporting.” ―Seattle Times (Robin Updike)
“[An] incisive and engaging book….[Tremlett's] sober analysis of how the Madrid train bombings of March 11, 2004...exposed deep fissures in Spanish society is the best report I've read on the subject….[A]n invaluable book. Indeed, since it appeared in Britain last year, 'Ghosts of Spain' has become something of a bible for those of us extranjeros who have chosen to live in Spain. A country finally facing its past could scarcely hope for a better, or more enamored, chronicler of its present.” ―New York Times Book Review (Sarah Wildman)
“ [An] affectionate, deeply informed tour of the country…. a highly informative, well-written introduction to post-Franco Spain. Mr. Tremlett's taut recounting of the 2004 train bombings in Madrid makes especially timely reading, with the suspects now on trial.” ―New York Times (William Grimes)
“Mr. Tremlett['s]...affectionate yet critical intimacy with the country helps to make this book much more than an ordinary journalistic survey….Extended residency has...allowed Mr. Tremlett to gather off-beat stories distinctly revealing of his adopted land.” ―Wall Street Journal (Francis X. Rocco)
“[A] provocative and vividly written book that is part history, part political and social commentary, and part love letter….This book should be in all public and academic library collections on Spanish history and culture.” ―Library Journal
“Tremlett…went native almost immediately upon his arrival in Spain twenty years ago. He wants us to see, hear, touch, and taste exactly why….there are pages here on almost every exemplary, cautionary, and symbolic aspect of Old Spain and New.” ―Harpers (John Leonard)
“[A]n evocative, often poignant sojourn through the as-yet uncleared psychic mists of the civil war.” ―Star-Tribune (Michael J. Bonafield)
About the Author
Giles Tremlett is the Guardian's Madrid correspondent. He has lived in, and written about, Spain for the past twenty years.
Top Customer Reviews
I like Spain and its history. This is one of the very best insights into modern Spain. Highly recommended.
But I abandoned the book a quarter of the way through: I couldn't bear the repetition, sometimes from page to page or even paragraph to paragraph. It's as if the writer laid out his outline, pinned each collected anecdote and tale to the appropriate branch over a long period of time, then wrote the book one short bit at a time, each piece complete in itself. The problem is the next story might be completed with the same commentary as the last. The result is page after page of parallel anecdotes resulting in insights which, as good as they are, don't have to be repeated a dozen times. The Spanish have been united in an unspoken pact to forget the past, we are told, again and again and again and again. And again and again.
The first hundred pages of the book - as far as I got - would have made an excellent fifty pages but so much of the filler is repetition that annoyance eventually overwhelms the pleasure of reading. The rest of the book may not suffer from this odd repetitive twitch but I didn't have the patience to find out. I'm giving the book three stars for the material but in terms of the reading experience, it's a frustrating, two star book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Deep analysis of the unresolved traumas of a civil warPublished 1 month ago by steen friberg nielsen
a real insight into the Franco days and the aftermath of "forgetfulness2 and "reinvention" of a nation. Read morePublished 2 months ago by L. Mcalpine
A very interesting insight into the complex history of Spain.Published 3 months ago by Spanish Phill
Excellent overview of Spain's culture, politics, and distinct differences in different areas. A must read for serious visitors to the country.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
What a cool book. I am preparing for my first trip to Spain and this book is great orientation and is giving me a lot of context and history. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Bob
After spending 3 weeks in Spain over 2 visits (with a plan to return soon) I have come to love the country and wanted to learn more about it. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Douglas Skillins
Great information, well written and engaging, though at times too wordy (needed another round of editing).Published 8 months ago by Walrus
I have learned a lot about the Spain, politically, culturally and emotionally. The Spanish are an interesting and very diverse people; some of whom do not want to be one nation but... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Diana Nordlund