14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Missed the mark,
This review is from: Guernica (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have a great love of the Basque country, and I visit often and know Guernica and the surrounding area fairly well, so I was really looking forward to reading this.
Unfortunatly I was disappointed. It's hard to put a finger on quite what is wrong with this book, but I think the main problem is it doesn't feel Basque. It feels like, well, it feels like what it is- an american's idea of the Basque country, and it feels wrong. The story is littered with jarring americanisims (cookies? strollers? I don't think so) and has it almost coming across as a disney tale. The story meanders along, with page after page of anecdotes, none of which seem to join together leaving you waiting perversely for the bombing you know is on the way. I had no connection with any of the painfully simplistic characters and the writing was borderline workmanlike so that even the bombing of Guerncia left me unmoved. Simple errors, like calling the Basque region 'Pays Basque' (the french name in spain?) rather than the Basque name of Euskal Herria stood out particularly badly.
This isn't a desperately bad book, and maybe as I know the basque area well it leaves me looking for more than I should, but there's a missed opportunity here for an good read. Gora Euskal Herria, but this story should be better told than this.