Any novels set in Spain?

(27 Posts)
MerryMarigold Mon 23-Jun-14 21:05:59

Good ones not tat. But accessible ie. not too massive or using old fashioned English.

For a Spanish friend learning English.

Umlauf Mon 23-Jun-14 21:11:22

I love a good Spanish setting! Ones Ive enjoyed are:

The Carlos Ruiz Zafon ones, especially "the shadow of the wind"

Guernica by Dave Bolling which is set in the Basque Country

Winter in Madrid by C.J Samson, about the civil war.

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway, also about the civil war, set in Andalucia.

Ghosts of Spain, written by a journalist, which is an Englishmans view on recent Spanish history and how it has shaped the country's "personality." An interesting read for a Spaniard as it is a completely different way of seeing their country.

Robert Wilson has done a good crime series set in Seville.

CharlesRyder Mon 23-Jun-14 21:15:03

Another vote for Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Great 'tales'.

KatherinaMinola Mon 23-Jun-14 21:15:51

The Sun Also Rises (aka Fiesta) is also set in Spain.

MerryMarigold Mon 23-Jun-14 21:22:31

Thanks so much. Ah yes, I remember "The shadow of the wind" being totally gripping. It's great, I have such a bad memory, I can actually read books every couple of years and I've pretty much forgotten the whole thing! That Ghosts of Spain sounds v interesting. Hi ho hi ho, it's off to Amazon I go.

Beehatch Mon 23-Jun-14 21:28:45

Not a novel but 'As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning' by Laurie Lee is a fantastic travelogue of his walk through Spain in the time leading up to the Civil War. It is also currently being serialised on Radio 4.

MerryMarigold Mon 23-Jun-14 21:30:35

Oh that sounds great, to read and listen at the same time.

chicaguapa Mon 23-Jun-14 21:33:09

The Scent of Lemon Leaves is good.

DrankSangriaInThePark Mon 23-Jun-14 21:36:29

Was going to say Ruiz Zafon, but would imagine it would be very odd for a Spanish person to read a Spanish language novel translated into English!

Do NOT ever get anyone to read The Return. Utter codswallop set in the Spanish Civil War. Ian Hislop really should take the typewriter off the missis.

The New Spaniards is very good. (We had to read The Spaniards back in the 80s at uni, this is the updated version)

A very very funny travelogue style book is Zhen Khyu Maestro, initially a self published e-book by an English teacher in Spain.

Beehatch Mon 23-Jun-14 21:40:22

I've just remembered another 'Driving over lemons' and the sequels. Again not fiction, but a beautiful recount of a Brit living a rural life in Andalusia. Just had a look and he has a website: drivingoverlemons.co.uk/

George orwell's Homage to Catalonia. Brilliant book! Would be very interested to know wht a Spanish person made of it as it's about the civil war.

BestIsWest Mon 23-Jun-14 21:53:30

I second all of Umlauf,s suggestions. Ghostsof Spain is excellent.

CorusKate Mon 23-Jun-14 21:56:26

Mister Roberts by Alexei Sayle is set in Southern Spain, is short, and written very accessibly.

SkiSchoolRun Mon 23-Jun-14 21:56:47

The Seamstress' Daughter

CorusKate Mon 23-Jun-14 22:02:16

Apologies for the shitty grammar - I'm sure it was comprehensible, anyway grin

MerryMarigold Tue 24-Jun-14 03:25:21

I've ordered Ghosts of Spain, 2 copies (used) so we can read it together. I did want Laurie Lee but it was too expensive blush. We will probably move on fairly quicker to another book, so thanks so much for the suggestions.

SelectASweetBreadTwist Tue 24-Jun-14 03:43:04

I'd be surprised if you couldn't find a copy/copies of Laurie Lee in paperback at a second-hand bookshop. I think it was published by Penguin for a long time.

AdoraBell Tue 24-Jun-14 03:45:52

Shamelessly marking thread to find later, sorry nothing to addblush

MerryMarigold Tue 24-Jun-14 07:51:59

Select, Amazon usually have loads of second hand. The I've I got was 1p plus 2.80 post. Laurie lee was 6.00ish plus post. Will keep looking though.

EmilyAlice Tue 24-Jun-14 07:57:55

The Seamstress by Maria Duenas. One of the best novels I have ever read. Also sometimes called something like The Time Between Stitches, which is how it translates from the Spanish.

Hasle157 Thu 26-Jun-14 00:06:56

I can second 'The Shadow of the Wind' by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I'm an English Teacher who used to live in Spain and I absolutely fell in love with it. It's a work of art x

tiokiko Thu 26-Jun-14 06:28:50

I second Mister Roberts - brilliant book.

fraggleland Wed 02-Jul-14 22:15:21

Set in Catalunya, Cathedral of the sea by Ildefonso Falcones. I loved it.

AbbieHoffmansAfro Mon 07-Jul-14 17:01:09

Laurie Lee also wrote 2 other Spain-set books, which are both very good:
A Rose for Winter and A Moment of War.

What about J.G. Ballard's Cocaine Nights? Lots of rich ex-pats acting up (and out) in an Andalusian resort.

I haven't yet read Winter in Madrid by C.J. Sansom but it's supposed to be good.

The Monk by Matthew Lewis is a mad C18 Gothic tale. Good read, but the language could be difficult depending on what level your friend is at.

It will probably be much more interesting to read novels by British writers about Spain than reading Spanish novels in translation, I suspect.

But if not, I have really liked City of Marvels, The Year of The Flood and The Truth About the Savolta Case, all by Eduardo Mendoza and The Lone Man by Bernardo Atxaga.

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