Roads to Santiago: Detours and Riddles in the Lands and History of Spain

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9780151001972: Roads to Santiago: Detours and Riddles in the Lands and History of Spain

An elegant and richly detailed chronicle of Nooteboom’s exploration of Spain, conducted over three decades. His ultimate destination is Santiago de Compostela. Humorous, affecting, and reflective, these essays beautifully describe the author’s journeys through this mysterious and mystical land. Black and-white photographs. Translated by Ina Rilke.

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Review:

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.

About the Author:

CEES NOOTEBOOM was born in 1933 in The Hague. He has published nine novels and over a dozen collections of travel writing, including Roads to Santiago. He lives in Amsterdam and Spain.

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