A book that drills down into the Barcelona and Catalan experience. From the back cover "It also explores the history of the Catalan nationalism, the tragedy of the Civil War, the Franco years, and the transition from dictatorship to democracy." He also covers local festivals that visitors may want to include in their plan. Well done. But, please note: no photos, illustrations or maps. If you are interested in more than a walk along the Ramblas and a visit to Sagrada Familia - highly recommended. Joel S.
If you are going to visit Barcelona and want a sense of what the city is all about, this book is a must. It is not a tour guide, although it touches on many of the landmarks. Rather it is a guide to the history, art and artists, architecture and architects, and to the customs and personalities. It will enrich your stay.
This is a wonderfully well written and insightful book about the amazing city of Barcelona. It's a little dated because writers write a a certain time and life keeps moving on. Nevertheless, his insights are thoughtful and well presented. The chapter on Gaudi and several other timeless personalities are very enjoyable.
What a beautiful traveler's guide to Barcelona. it's obvious that Colm Toibin loves this city. I lespecially enjoyed the chapter devoted to Gaudi. When I finally visit the city, this book will be in my backpack.
Well written account of the author's time in Barcelona and the rest of Catalonia which demonstrates a unique sensitivity to issues of national identity. Worthwhile reading for outsiders trying to make sense of the wonderful part of Europe that is Catalunya-the land of Casals, Miró, Dalí- and understand their artistic and cultural milieu.