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South From Granada (Penguin Modern Classics) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Length: 336 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Product Description

Review

The best of Brenan's books: he has a true and proper knowledge of the culture he describes' -- Cyril Connolly, Sunday Times

`A brilliant interpreter of Spain to the rest of the world'
-- The Times

From the Publisher

Published for the first time in Penguin Modern Classics, WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY CHRIS STEWART. Describing the essence of a remote rural area before the Spanish Civil War, this book explores the festivals and folklore of the Sierra Nevada, the rivalries, romances and courtship rituals, the village customs, superstitions and characters. It includes chapters on Granada in the Twenties, food and the Phoenicians, the cheap brothels and archaeological remains of Almeria, the mountain scenery and even a visit from Virginia Woolf.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1271 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (29 May 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0033806NC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #69,821 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book has to be a must for anyone living or travelling in the southern most parts of Spain. It clearly paints a picture of the life and times of a nation and its people, who in a short period of time have moved from a society living in part, a medievial life style, through to civil war, and the threshold of the modern state Spain has become today.
Brenan tells a tale of village life,and of the people who lived there, and records their folk-lores, customs and history; and also of the visitors to his home, Virginia Wolf, Dora Carrington, Lytton Strachey and Augustus John, and of their connections within the Bloomsbury group.
The places are real, they are still there, and through this book a modern day visitor can travel back in time and with just a little imagination, recreate those the scenes and passions of 80 years ago; of Yeger, the village for severn years his home, and of the cities of Granada and Almeria and the mountains of the Sierra Nevada.
It is a delightful book full of colour and once started you may find very difficult to put down.
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Format: Paperback
This is a true classic from Gerald Brenan. After WW1 the author was close to breakdown, desperate to experience poetry and literature and the recipient of a small war pension. His solution was to travel to a remote village in the South of Spain, take 2000 books and soak in the atmosphere and learn how to love once again. His journey is understated, educated, intelligent and human.

It is no picture book. It is a true snapshot taken through the eyes of a would-be Bloomsbury boy who had experienced the Empire, the Somme and physical illness and who then decided to actually pay attention to the world sarrounding him.

Brenans description of the personalities, geography, love affairs and society he encounters are glorious to me. There is no vanity or laziness in the writing. As his lifestyle is stripped to necessities so is his writing. Yet it is free and beautiful and evocative in many places. So many modern travel writers try to recreate life as a gaudy, filter-enhanced, postcard picture of the places they are subsidised to visit. Gerald Brenan captures a clear, gentle, colour snap of his life spent in Yegen during a period of time when black and white was all the camera could capture. Perhaps that is the reason it seems to have been so important for him to record it faithfully.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Intoxicating account of Mr Brenan's arrival and adventures in the Alpujarra, Andalucia in the 1920's. After all these years, his observations and humour still strike a chord. Even if you are visiting the Costa Del Sol on for the sun or golf, read this for an insight to the "real" Spain and its history - just few miles inland.
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Format: Paperback
I preferred Laurie Lee's books about Andalucia, they have more insight and written better. Gerald Brennan seems to be the typical stiff Brit abroad; just observing the natives and not attempting to mingle means you get a very expat view of Andalucia. He mixes with the Brits and describes their days together which doesn't tell you much about Spaniards or Spain.
He also describes the flaura and fauna way too much for me; I would prefer if he had met some spanish families and described what they talked about; life of the typical Spaniard, etc.
But readable, just don't expect too much.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book. I am three quarters through it by bedtime reading and whilst I can put it down at the end of each chapter I am looking forward avidly to the next. Gerald Brenan moved to Spain in 1920 with very little money and rented a local village house high in the Alpujarra between Granada and the Costa Del Sol to give himself time to study how to write. He learnt well and writes in a matter of fact way about everyday life in the village. The book appears to have been edited in the 1950's and reads like a modern travel book but without any hyperbole and no recommendations for accommodation or food etc. He found the people fascinating and their subsistence ways strange. He was quite an anthropologist and gives great insights into their customs and their courtship routines from a time before tourism. He is occasionally visited by folk from England notably the Bloomsbury set including Lytton Strachey who hated the whole trip and Virginia Wolfe and Bell who loved it. He has a witty style which shows up in his descriptions of people and their frailties. I would be happy to find more of the same from Gerald Brenan.
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Format: Paperback
As other reviewers have said, this is a trip back in time...you don't need to remember that as you read the book...it is perfectly and exquisitely obvious, but you do need to remember it when you reflect on what you have read...
whatever you may feel like criticising, do just read and enjoy this masterpiece...it may mildly disappoint the super-critical, and if it does then I suspect that is the fault of the reader, not the author. Read, enjoy, rejoice in having chosen this book...and keep it, to read again.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book before spending three weeks in Granada with the weekends in the Alpujarras. I have never been better prepared by a piece of fiction for a holiday. The prose is superb, and the stories are enticing. Naturally, excessive tourism has changed the areas that Brenan discusses, but the spirit of the book can still be seen. This book can bring some of the magic of the area to armchair readers, or is the perfect complement to an Andalucian break. Beats the Lonely Planet Guide any day of the week!
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