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Camino Book "Great Westward Walk" now in English!

Discussion in 'Pilgrim Books' started by Rebekah Scott, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. Rebekah Scott

    Rebekah Scott Camino Busybody Donating Member

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    https://www.amazon.com/dp/8461792874/?tag=casaivar-20

    You probably saw ads for "El Gran Caminante" all over Spain if you walked in the last three or four years. The Spanish Camino best-seller is much more than another pilgrim diary -- it's a skillfully written, witty, and sometimes infuriating account of a Basque Spaniard's walk from his home in Zumaia down the Basque Interior Way, and onward from Sto. Domingo to Santiago. The writer was "Bolitx," beloved blogger and online commentator, whose knowledge of camino ephemera and storytelling skill I have not seen anywhere else. This book was his opus -- he died of ALS three days after completing it, at age 41.
    I translated the book into English, and it's now available via Amazon and at selected retailers in Spain.
     
  2. amorfati1

    amorfati1 Veteran Member

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    ah rebecca - grazie tanto! my heart has been camino-tucked so many times this spring - and at times i am in tender tears just seeing fotos of the camino or hear a reference made by someone.
    this book just got kindle-d (not that i haven't plenty of other books to read) - but i felt i 'need' to have this close by to be soothed whenever needed, with another tale of the camino -
    Thank you so much for alerting us to that tale - and bravo for the translation effort (have translated books myself i know what is required of that particular task) -
    very best wishes - saluti - claudia
     
  3. Margaret Butterworth

    Margaret Butterworth Active Member

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    Why can't we get a free sample of this book from Amazon? This is the first time such an offer isn't available, as far as I can remember. I always like to try a few pages before I actually buy a book.
     
  4. movinmaggie

    movinmaggie Veteran Member

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    I was just about to place an order for another book, so will add this one. Thanks for posting it.
     
  5. SYates

    SYates Camino Fossil AD 1999 Donating Member

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    Now: http://egeria.house/
    You can, you just need to change from paperback to Kindle version first on the page ;-) Here is the direct link https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0721J4P1R/?tag=casaivar-20 Buen Camino, SY
     
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  6. jmcarp

    jmcarp Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Thanks, Rebekah, I just ordered the Kindle version and look forward to reading it.
    OT, tell Paddy I've been reading and enjoying his columns.
    Jim
     
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  7. Margaret Butterworth

    Margaret Butterworth Active Member

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    Thanks, I've now received the free Kindle sample. It is an extraordinary generous, lengthy sample, with lots in it to think about: wonderful, wonderful writing (and not a bad translation either by our own Rebekah!)
     
    alexwalker likes this.
  8. NualaOC

    NualaOC Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Rebekah, I'm reading this at the moment and can't put it down. It's pretty special - I've never read anything quite like it. Well done on the translation; it must have been a very difficult undertaking.

    I often make notes of my favourite quotes from books, but I had to give up on this one as there were just too many. One that made me laugh: 'Blessed are the absolutely carefree, because they can see freedom, the kingdom of heaven and eternal life. The rest of us are screwed!'
     
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  9. Margaret Butterworth

    Margaret Butterworth Active Member

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    I have read many accounts by pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago. This has to be the best! The writing is evocative and inspiring, and the translation masterful. How could this man have so many adventures? How could he remember so many details of fellow travellers and their conversations? How could he carry on walking whilst suffering from the worst blisters and the worst weather? My own Caminos seem insignificant in comparison, yet The Way continues to call me back. Tragically, the author has passed away now and cannot write another word or take another step.
     
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  10. OTH86

    OTH86 Active Member Donating Member

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    Thank you, @Rebekah Scott for mentioning completion of your translating of this book when two Danish women and I stayed at the Peaceable Kingdom in June! I'm slowly working my way thru Bolitx's Camino with maps at my side - at least until Santo Domingo!
    This book has sent me on towards pilgrimage-ing - what is it? Am I? Have I been? Do I need to do this again - "for my spirit"?
    Rebekah, I have no doubts you've "done it justice"!!
    Thank you so much for all you have done and continue to do!
    Terry
     
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  11. Rebekah Scott

    Rebekah Scott Camino Busybody Donating Member

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    All of you who buy the book from Amazon, please take the time to write a review of it on the Amazon page. It bumps us up on the search-engine listings, and marketing a book like this to English-speakers, based as we are in Spain, is difficult at best. Thanks to you all!
     
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  12. Mike Savage

    Mike Savage So many friends to meet . . . so little time Donating Member

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    So many books, so little time . . . This is the second book I bought today.o_O
     
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  13. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

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    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    Also so many Caminos, so little time ;)
     
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  14. philip a tobin

    philip a tobin irish scouse

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    Done.
     
  15. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member

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    I found the Kindle version on amazon.ca, but it doesn't offer the paperback. On Amazon.com, the paperback is available. Can someone explain? I realize it might relate to shipping to Canada, or publishing rights for sale to Canada, or something like that, but wondered if anyone else can explain. I don't order much on Amazon, so I haven't experience in this.

    I think I'd rather have the paperback than the Kindle.
     
  16. SEB

    SEB Veteran Member Donating Member

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    @C clearly, I had problems on the UK Amazon website with the only non-kindle copy selling at several hundreds of pounds. I then clicked on the author's name and other versions were revealed. Hope this works for you on the Canadian site.
     
  17. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member

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    No. That didn't reveal any more options.
     
  18. Stivandrer

    Stivandrer Active Member Donating Member

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    I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
    - or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
    you´d better buy the book...
     
  19. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member

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    I'm trying!
     
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  20. Mike Savage

    Mike Savage So many friends to meet . . . so little time Donating Member

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    I made the mistake of starting this book last night before bed. I didn't want to put it down! Needless to say I am a little tired today and looking forward to bed time so I can read some more!
     
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  21. Rebekah Scott

    Rebekah Scott Camino Busybody Donating Member

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    I'm sorry you're having trouble. I will let the publisher know there's some problem with the Canadian part of things.
     
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  22. SYates

    SYates Camino Fossil AD 1999 Donating Member

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    Now: http://egeria.house/
    If all else fails, I can buy it here in SdC (yes, in English) and ship it to you ;-) Or perhaps @ivar would like to stock it? Buen Camino, SY
     
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  23. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Thanks! First I'll wait a bit to see if things get sorted out online, but I may take you up on that offer. :)
     
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  24. SYates

    SYates Camino Fossil AD 1999 Donating Member

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    Even better idea I can order it on Amazon.com but put your address in as the shipping address, that will work! Buen Camino, SY
     
  25. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Actually, I can do that but it wants me to switch over to amazon.ca and I'm not sure it would work with the address in Canada. I'll wait a bit and see if the paperback becomes available here. Or I'll plan to pick it up in Spain next spring :p.
     
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  26. SYates

    SYates Camino Fossil AD 1999 Donating Member

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    I have ordered before books from Amazon.com and shipped them as a gift to Canada, the trick is not to switch over, but just put in a different shipping address ... BC SY
     
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  27. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Great. I think I will try that!
     
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  28. jmcarp

    jmcarp Veteran Member Donating Member

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    What a great read! Rebekah did a masterful job of translating. Here's the review I posted on Amazon:
    --------------------------------------
    The Great Westward Walk: From the Front Door to the End of the Earth
    By Antxon (Bolitx) González Gabarain (Translation by Rebekah Scott)

    For more than eleven hundred years pilgrims have been walking across Europe to the tomb of Saint James in the city of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. During that time, many books have been written describing this journey. However, because of the recent re-birth and popularity of the network of pilgrimage routes collectively known as the Camino de Santiago, there has been an explosion of new books, memoirs, journals, and blogs published which recount the authors’ experiences along this road. As a veteran of this journey, I have read and enjoyed many of them. But for me, The Great Westward Walk: From the Front Door to the End of the Earth stands head and shoulders above the rest for one reason – the depth of the author’s understanding and insight into the history of the Camino de Santiago. He has the uncanny ability to make the Camino come alive, as if it were a living thing, and that by walking this pathway, he becomes one with its essence. And, oh yeah, he’s a fantastic wordsmith as well.

    Antxon González Gabarain was a native of Spain’s Basque region; he lived his life along one of the major variants of the route, and walked several of the others starting in various places across the Iberian peninsula. This book focuses on a journey in 2008, when he one day walked out the door of his home in the northeastern corner of Spain and followed the Ruta del Túnel (the Tunnel route) to Santo Domingo de Calzada, then on to Santiago via the Camino Francés (the French route). As I read this book, I could sense that the soul of the Camino was in his DNA as he masterfully wove the day-to-day experience of this, his final walk on the Camino, with anecdotes from the history of the ancient pilgrimage route, from his own life, and from his previous experiences on the other routes to Santiago. It seems to the reader that with each of the million-plus steps he takes on this journey, he both leaves a piece of himself in the dust and mud of the trail, while at the same time he picks up a piece of the lingering spirits of those that preceded him.

    Ask anyone who has walked the Camino de Santiago about their experience, and all agree that it was an inward journey as well as an outward one, and that somehow their life has been changed as a result. However, few authors have been so aware of and attuned to their personal experience and able to describe it in such a beautiful and soulful manner as González Gabarain. For him, the Camino Francés in particular (which he calls the “Great French Way”) has a “strange, powerful current” that possesses a soul of its own which is made of “the sky, wind, and wide-open space.” It becomes a transcendental experience in which he shares the footsteps and feelings of the hundreds of thousands – perhaps by some estimates, millions – of pilgrims who have trod this path over the centuries. While he may not have consciously realized as he walked that this journey would be his last, he certainly knew it by the time he wrote the poignant epilogue which described the end of his journey at Finisterra, out past Santiago where the land meets the sea. Here is where he envisioned his immortal soul sailing westward across the vastness of the great unknown like the wake of a ship sailing on the ocean beyond the cliffs, the booming surf, and the lighthouse at the end of the earth.

    This book is definitely not a guidebook or a how-to book for one planning to walk the Camino de Santiago. In fact it is probably best read after one has completed this walk and seeks greater understanding and appreciation of what they have seen and felt, and what the meaning of that experience is and continues to be in this journey we call life.

    I highly recommend this book, not only because of the way it captures the spirit of the Camino but also because it’s simply a great piece of literature.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
    kirkie, Pingüigrino, OTH86 and 8 others like this.
  29. Kanga

    Kanga Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    I've just downloaded this to my kindle. Woowoo! Might not see me on the forum for a few hours.
     
  30. ivar

    ivar Administrator Staff Member Donating Member

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  31. Stivandrer

    Stivandrer Active Member Donating Member

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    I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
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    well done - it is a good read...
     
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  32. kirkie

    kirkie Active Member Donating Member

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    Rebekah, I'm very sorry, I started a new thread that really would have been better in yours. I posted a link to a Spanish review of the original that I had found excellent. I hope to get to the task of ordering both today, and look forward to reading them soon. By rising to the appeal of "Bollitx"'s father, you have made it possible to reach a much wider readership population. All the best, Kirkie
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017

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