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Roads to Santiago (1992)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0156011581, Paperback)A worthy travel book does not encourage a reader to follow in the author's footsteps in search of the "good spots" so much as it creates a sense of adventure and the desire to understand a place. In Roads to Santiago: Detours and Riddles in the Lands and History of Spain, Dutch author Cees Nooteboom seeks out the soul and spirit of Spain in a way that suggests a journey of self-discovery as much as an actual expedition. Although the stated goal is to reach Santiago de Compostela--a church in northwest Spain that was once the object of pilgrimages during the Middle Ages--Nooteboom doesn't follow a single or direct route to the village. The more serendipitous the journey, the better. Nooteboom followed many "detours," taking nearly every back road he found and making sure to avoid anything resembling a major thoroughfare or urban center. The result of his circuitous travels is this collection of moving essays on Spain's history, geography, architecture, and people.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:53 -0400)
Roads to Santiago is Cees Nooteboom's passionate and beautifully written chronicle of Spain - its architecture, art, history, landscapes, villages, and people. Traveling from side road to side road, he discovers a profound and mysterious country not found in standard tourist guides. Nooteboom is continually seduced by an unknown name on a signpost, by what might be seen on the next hill or beyond a distant mountain. His destination may be Santiago de Compostela, but he lingers in Aragon, passes through Granada, dines in Chinchon, and strolls the empty halls of the Prado. His prose, too, takes side roads, lovely digressions, sometimes literary, sometimes political, by turns ironic, erudite, melancholy.
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