Book Review: ‘Ghosts of Spain’ by Giles Tremlett

Giles Tremlett is Madrid correspondent for the Guardian newspaper, and his authoritative voice brings to life the secret history of Spain’s Civil War. Ghosts of Spain was the first book I read about the pacto de olvido, the pact of forgetting. Tremlett puts this pact into context by explaining how Spanish history is riddled with division: religious, political and geographical. Why do the football supporters of Real Madrid and Barcelona hate each other quite so much? Why, it is rumoured, there are no signs to Barcelona from the Madrid ring road [I think this is more of a legend these days].

Why is Andalucía the ‘poor man’ of the autonomous regions? Did the Islamist Madrid bombers hope to return Spain to its Moorish roots? This is an easy book to read on a difficult subject. After this, I would read anything Tremlett writes about Spain. This is my old hardback [below].  Ghosts of Spain - Giles Tremlett 30-4-13 5 to remember
autorizado/a – authoritative
la voz – the voice
secreto/a – secret
el contexto – the context
los hinchas – the football supporters

If you like this, try:-
‘Death’s Other Kingdom’ by Gamel Woolsey
‘The Spanish Temper’ by VS Pritchett
‘Driving Over Lemons’ by Chris Stewart

‘Ghosts of Spain’ by Giles Tremlett [UK: Faber]

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
GHOSTS OF SPAIN by @gilestremlett #books #Spain via @Spanish_Valley

6 thoughts on “Book Review: ‘Ghosts of Spain’ by Giles Tremlett

  1. Alastair Savage

    I read this book just after I arrived in Spain 7 years ago, and it answered a lot of my questions about the region too. For example, why does no one ever speak about the civil war? Tremlett is also the Spain correspondent for the Guardian newspaper in the UK and he is a good source of information about what’s going on down here.


    1. Alastair Savage

      As far as I know, he hasn’t, but this book was such a huge effort that he probably doesn’t have anything left in the tank!


  2. Pingback: Book review: Granada, A Pomegranate in the Hand of God | Notes on a Spanish Valley

  3. Pingback: Book review: Midnight in Europe | Notes on a Spanish Valley

  4. Pingback: Book Review: ‘The Story of Spain’ by Mark Williams | Notes on a Spanish Valley

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