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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SOUTH FROM GRANADA BY GERALD BRENAN
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...
Published on 23 Sep 2002 by Mr J K Mallabone

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40 of 48 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars South From Granada
If you're looking for a travel guide of the Sierra Nevada, then this book isn't it. It's Gerald Brenan's account of his experiences of village life in the Alpujarra (near Granada) just after the 1st World War.

It's well written, and his descriptions of people, village life and intrigue are excellent. What he wrote about local food and customs is interesting,...
Published on 19 Jan 2003 by DicKip


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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SOUTH FROM GRANADA BY GERALD BRENAN, 23 Sep 2002
By 
Mr J K Mallabone "Mallie" (Gloucester, Gloucestershire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Facinating Reading, 16 Jan 2003
By 
Ken Murray (UK) - See all my reviews
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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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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true taste of old Spain., 25 Jun 2007
By 
C. Lamb (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
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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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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visceral travel literature, 15 Feb 2006
By 
Mr. D. M. Swanson (Highbury Corner, London) - See all my reviews
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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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40 of 48 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars South From Granada, 19 Jan 2003
By 
DicKip (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
If you're looking for a travel guide of the Sierra Nevada, then this book isn't it. It's Gerald Brenan's account of his experiences of village life in the Alpujarra (near Granada) just after the 1st World War.

It's well written, and his descriptions of people, village life and intrigue are excellent. What he wrote about local food and customs is interesting, but I found less compelling.

If you're visiting the area, then you should read this book to capture some of the atmosphere, which may still be found today, although perhaps not now quite as primitive as described by Brenan.

He also captures glimpses of the Spanish character, which he describes well and which are very useful to anyone new to the area.

A rewarding read, which was enough to make us hire a car from Granada and go and see for ourselves - we were not disappointed.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars south from Granada, 14 Jan 2011
This review is from: South From Granada (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
I bought this book after being recomended it while on Holiday in the Alpujarra. It is a very enjoyable book to read, never hard work to understand, and I can happily pick it up and enjoy a few pages when I have the time. The book gives a very interesting account of the Alpujarra region in the early 1920's, how Gerald managed the traveling with very few roads, where he stayed and detailed pictures of daily life for the local people. I would recomed it to anyone who loves this region of Spain and has an interest in History.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I preferred Laurie Lees books about Andalucia, 11 Dec 2011
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gerard Brenan, South from Granada., 20 Aug 2011
By 
R. Palmer (England, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: South From Granada (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Superb book, read all Chris Stewart's books, so far about 4 times each. Got Gerard Brenan's South from Granada, nearly finished second read of it in about one month.
I understand more clearly now a lot of the customs still surviving in Andalusia!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars South From Granada, 12 Jan 2011
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This review is from: South From Granada (Penguin Modern Classics) (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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars South from Granada by Gerald Brenan, 5 Feb 2009
This review is from: South From Granada (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
I bought this as a present for a friend. I read it a few years ago. Excellent account of living in Alpajarras area of Andalucia in 1920s Spain.
Highly recommended for those interested in social history and as a well written personal experience.
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South From Granada (Penguin Modern Classics)
South From Granada (Penguin Modern Classics) by Gerald Brenan (Paperback - 29 May 2008)
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