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Publisher's Summary

Spain is an immemorial land like no other, one that James A. Michener, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and celebrated citizen of the world, came to love as his own. Iberia is Michener's enduring nonfiction tribute to his cherished second home. In the fresh and vivid prose that is his trademark, he not only reveals the celebrated history of bullfighters and warrior kings, painters and processions, cathedrals and olive orchards; he also shares the intimate, often hidden country he came to know, where the congeniality of living souls is thrust against the dark weight of history. Wild, contradictory, passionately beautiful, this is Spain as experienced by a master writer.

©2015 James A. Michener (P)2015 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"From the glories of the Prado to the loneliest stone villages, here is Spain, castle of old dreams and new realities." (The New York Times)
"Massive, beautiful...unquestionably some of the best writing on Spain [and] the best that Mr. Michener has ever done on any subject." (The Wall Street Journal)
"A dazzling panorama...one of the richest and most satisfying books about Spain in living memory." (Saturday Review)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great history

Listened to this book before an 8-day trip to Spain. Helped a lot. Lots of great backstory on history of Spain.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Michener's Masterpiece

Michener's masterpiece takes the reader through an epic journey through Iberian history and experience. Iberia is a must read for any history enthusiast.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
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OK

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Interesting but not great

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Became a travelogue and so it petered out.

What about Larry McKeever’s performance did you like?

He's got a perfect voice

Could you see Iberia being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Not.

Any additional comments?

If you want a travel guide you might like it.

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Stilted delivery, truly dated content

What did you like best about Iberia? What did you like least?

I read other books by Michener long ago (_Hawaii_ is the only one I can recall) and thought his mode of really digging into a locale's formation and development was really interesting and engaging. I'm going to Spain and thought Michener's approach might inform our trip. I've never _listened_ to one of his books but audio often works for me for dry content. Here, though, the narrator sounds like he is reading and it's distracting. Also the time frame in which the work is set starts after WWII and the material does not age well. "A woman's slip, four dollars in America" is a sample (slightly paraphrased) statement. It's jarring. As to insight into what the culture of Spain is like _now_, I have zero confidence I'd find it in this book. I've listened to the first chapter and have no interest in continuing on.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Something more interesting and relevant, I fervently hope. I'll probably go back to fiction.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

He had an old fashioned sound to his voice, if that makes sense. Maybe it was his accent or his style of reading. It was ponderous.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Nope.

Any additional comments?

It's the author's (and the narrator's) job to pull me in and pull me along. I am no longer interested or willing to work hard at extracting content from a book. I'm not a philistine, but there are millions of books out there, and I only have so much time.

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Outdated and no storyline.

As a Travelogue it is out of date to the modern reader. There were some interesting tidbits along the way but this book is not why most readers pick up a Michener book....To be carried away with a storyline that reveals history. This is an outdated observation list by a great author and reminds me of boring high school history classes taught in the 1970s. I love the authors other books and read this one too help me understand Spain because I am living in Spain for a couple of years and wanted to know if it's past and how it effects the present. With no storyline I was left with a list of events that took place and his opinion or his observation of someone else's opinion. Too much time needed to read it (listen) to be worthwhile in my opinion.

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great travelogue

I learned a lot as bout Spain in the 1960s and Franco and catholicism and the revolution

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Great Introduction to what life was like in IBERIA

What did you love best about Iberia?

I really enjoyed this book as i was traveling through Spain. It gave some historical narrative that i found fascinating, along with extreme differences from what Michener view as Iberia to what it has become today.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Iberia?

This book had a lot of memorable moments in it, but I would say his stories of historical perspective gave me the most inspiration to keep digging and researching more as I was traveling around Spain.

What about Larry McKeever’s performance did you like?

At first I wondered if I could make it thought this book because of his dry way of reading, however now he has become the voice that I associate with Michener, and after a while I started to enjoy hearing his voice as it read the book. Now I am looking for other books by Michener that Larry McKeever reads.

Any additional comments?

Great read for anyone interested in Spain its culture and an over all perspective on the country and the area known as Ibiera

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Monolithic

The book wasn't terrible, it was just dated overall. Some parts were great reflections on Spanish cities and countryside, other parts reported on Spanish life in the 50s and 60s. Those parts don't really stand the test of time. It would be an appropriate book for any student of Spain, European history, or Michener fan.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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A Travelog, not fiction

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone interested in travelling mid-20th century Spain

What do you think your next listen will be?

Anything else.

Which character – as performed by Larry McKeever – was your favorite?

There were no characters

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No, it is completely dated and useless unless you time travel

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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zzzzz, more a very long travelogue

typical Michener in that there are detaiks, details and more details. slogged through all of it in prep for my first visit to Spain. some insights but likely better options available

0 of 1 people found this review helpful