Eliciting comparisons to Orwell's Homage to Catalonia, Pritchett's meditative work on Spain is comprised of a string of sketches, woven around the author's musings on the Spanish character. Having lived in Spain for four years during the 1920s, Pritchett is well placed to deliver such a report, and his resulting narrative is both well informed and delightfully written.Victor Sawdon Pritchett (1900-1997) was born over a toyshop in 1900 and, much to his everlasting distaste, was named after Queen Victoria. A writer and critic, his is widely reputed to be one of the best short story writers of all time, with the rare ability to capture the extraordinary strangeness of everyday life. He died in 1997.
A long generation after Franco, the book really didn't much explain the Spanish character to me; the country has changed too much. Travel narrative section at the end was the strongest, while I fast-forwarded through all of the discussion of bullfighting (yuk!) and most of that concerning the character of Don Juan. Audio narration was okay, although Jackson's Spanish accent wasn't the greatest.
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