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Nomad's Hotel: Travels in Time and Space

3.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  164 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
After making his first voyage as a sailor - to earn his passage from his native Holland to South America - Cees Nooteboom has never stopped travelling. This is a collection of his most remarkable travel pieces.
Hardcover, 232 pages
Published February 23rd 2006 by Harvill Secker (first published October 11th 2002)
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Dec 31, 2012 Jonfaith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Especially in contrast to Facing The Congo, Nooteboom's efforts should be regarded as filet of travel observation; this haunted perspective views matters in a timeless (and seemingly effortless) manner, the arresting details are so gripping, one loses the cuddling orientation of time: most of the pieces included are 30-40 years old, but the images remain outside of history, both shared and marvelled.
Lukasz Pruski
Jan 06, 2016 Lukasz Pruski rated it really liked it
"Time differences are the prerogative of the living, at least they are when it concerns the past."

Having read several novels by Cees Nooteboom - and having fallen in love with some of them, particularly with the sublimely beautiful The Following Story - I have finally read one of his non-fiction writings, Nomad's Hotel, a great collection of travel pieces. While the notion of travel usually involves moving in space, Mr. Nooteboom emphasizes the temporal dimension of travel. The set is subtitle
Pamela (Lavish Bookshelf)
Apr 06, 2012 Pamela (Lavish Bookshelf) rated it really liked it
Nomad's Hotel was recently published in 2009, but actually the book is a collection of essays stretching over the past 40-something years of Cees Nooteboom's traveling life. This point is crucial to understanding some the events being described. For example, Nooteboom beautifully describes a visit to Iran, but the visit was in 1975. Nooteboom vividly describes an exotic location which no longer exists given the historical events in that region in the past 30 years. In doing so, Nooteboom's trave ...more
Dec 31, 2013 Stewart rated it really liked it
“Nomad’s Hotel” (2006) by Cees Nooteboom, translated from Dutch by Ann Kelland, is a collection of travel pieces by the Dutch novelist and travel writer. The places he visited in this book range from those most familiar to Europeans and Americans (Venice and Mantua, Italy; Munich; Ireland; Iran; and Zurich) to lesser-known countries (Gambia, Mali, and Morocco).
All of the chapters provided insight, but a few especially resonated with me.
The chapter “Lady Wright and Sir Jawara: a Boat Trip up t
Karlo Mikhail
Exceedingly erudite, the travel essays direct their gaze on the minutiae of gestures and street life, descriptions of buildings and paintings, and anecdotes on literary figures. As Alberto Manguel pointed out in his introduction, “Nooteboom is less a traveling writer than a well-traveled authorial presence.”

"His baggage consists less of socks and toothpaste than of Dante and Virgil who, like Nooteboom, undertook their journey with a bundle of remembered readings and beloved authors."

In Nooteboo
Mar 22, 2015 Joel rated it liked it
Shelves: travel
A book of travel essays by a noted Dutch novelist and traveler, written over a period of many years; concerning trips to various European cities, a couple post-independence African nations, Iran in the 1970s, and so forth. At his best, Nooteboom is capable of dotting his prose with observations of poetic beauty. Take, for instance, his description of the delays at an inefficiently-run airport in Africa:

"African airports call for a degree of serenity fit for the Vatican- it is perfectly useless g
Aug 12, 2010 Marion rated it it was amazing
This book of travel essays, some of which were published originally in the early 1970s,inspires reflection on the Who of our travel experiences--that is who are we when we travel? How does our understanding of ourselves change as we travel? How does travel itself change us?

The essay on Gambia, reminded me of the idealism in which development issues were presented in the 1960's with the founding of the Peace Corps, through which there was to be a forging of human understanding through development
Kendall Van Horssen
A really interesting read! It's a pretty quick read about Cees's travels around the world. Some of the essays are from before my time and some are not all that far in the past. I've read a few travel essay books and this one is by far the most unique in his approach, but it was interesting to see his vision of the world.

Would I read this book again? Maybe. Perhaps its the age of the essays or his style, I guess there's enough here that I just couldn't relate to, either because I haven't been to
Lindu Pindu
Jul 15, 2009 Lindu Pindu rated it it was ok
Shelves: travel
I got this book for its cover- different than the one posted here- and because of the author's persona. Setting out into the world without anything to lose. I do not doubt Nooteboom's wisdom, gathered with his many travels, but he is not a charismatic writer. He is also not a practical writer, as many terms are left unexplained- and when your travels concern the Middle East and Africa among others, it makes me think of either a sloppy or a snobbish writer. That being said, there are many fine po ...more
Feb 02, 2013 Mel rated it really liked it
For better or worse I sometimes wonder what it would be like to travel the world before the ubiquitous interwebs. In this collection of travel essays, Nooteboom shares his experiences from around the world, mostly from trips in the 1970s & 80s. I imagine he is one of the last of a dying breed of European adventurers decked out in khaki to explore this great, big, beautiful world. It is not without merit that he is able to see the post-colonial world with fresh eyes that seek a future solutio ...more
Sherry Gallagher
Aug 04, 2012 Sherry Gallagher rated it liked it
This was a recommended work, translated from Dutch to English, of collected reflections of travel tales by this sometimes humorous and at other times deeply reflective Dutch author, currently living in The Hague.

I would say that the sections of different travels hold snippets of pearls amidst lines that in my opinion can be deleted from the overall work. Regardless, his travels are more journeys into the soul than a descriptive travelogue of differing lands and cultures. In this I am left with
May 22, 2009 Tara rated it really liked it
Just discovered this Dutch writer and started with his entertaining collection of travel pieces. This bit from the intro essay will give you some idea of what he's about (though most of the writing is also funny): "Anyone who is constantly traveling is always somewhere else, and therefore always absent. This holds good for oneself, and it holds good for others, the friends; for although it is true that you are 'somewhere else,' and that, consequently, there is somewhere you are not, there is one ...more
Elizabeth Hunter
Aug 30, 2009 Elizabeth Hunter rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, travel
A lyrical series of essays about Nooteboom's travel, this book was an engaging set of snapshots of different places at different times, together with reflections on the nature of travel and the traveller. It was interesting to read his 1975 observation of Teheran: Something is definitely brewing in purist Muslim circles, and it is certainly also true that the tempestuous, excessively ambitious development program is stirring up forces too powerful to remain permanently under the control of one m ...more
Feb 26, 2012 Mathilda rated it really liked it
Cees Nooteboom is an accomplished Dutch novelist and world traveller. Apart from nine novels, he also wrote even more books of travel writing. NOMAD'S HOTEL, a collection of English translations of several of his travel pieces, was written between 1971 and 2002, it was published in English in 2009. Most of the places he writes about, Iran for example, does not exists in the way as when he visited there, but he leaves you with an idea of place we would never be able to see again and yet wish to b ...more
Eric Secoy
Mar 20, 2011 Eric Secoy rated it it was ok
A collection of travel pieces that was more about time than place, and most about Nooteboom, the peripatetic writer. All travel writing is filtered through the author and his experience but I'd have enjoyed more focus on description, place than himself. Not that interesting a travel companion.
Aug 26, 2010 Dustin rated it it was amazing
Nooteboom not only writes some of the best travel writing I have read, but just best writing in general. I'm not usually one for dog-earring pages and underlining text, but I found my self doing just that on a number of occasions through this little book.
Judy Frabotta
What I liked most about this book was its sleep inducing qualities. Vivid, off-sides descriptions of places I will never visit sent me off sweetly. But it wouldn't hold my attention in the daylight, I'm afraid.
May 14, 2012 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
Consistently high writing quality throughout, although as with most essay collections, some interested me more than others. Though many are a generation old, the details didn't seem dated at all. Definitely recommend!
Dec 19, 2009 Suzanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book wasn't as good as I had hoped it would be. There were a few essays that I ended up skipping because I couldn't get through them. In general he has had interesting travels.
Rafet Baran
Nov 28, 2013 Rafet Baran rated it really liked it
nooteboom'un avrupa'yı anlattığı yazılarından ziyade mali ve gambiya'yı anlattığı bölümlerden büyük keyif aldım. gezmeyi alışkanlık haline getiren bu büyük yazarı bir kez daha kıskandım.
Jun 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Some of the chapters were mind blowing and some were actually boring... I was crazy about the boat trip up the Gambia and an evening in Isfahan...The European chapters were the boring ones.
Hans-Peter Merz
Dec 16, 2011 Hans-Peter Merz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dieses Buch hat mich viele Jahre lang auf Reisen nach Afrika, Asien und Suedamerika begleitet
Jan 03, 2010 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, travel
Certain essays and certain passages rated a 4 or even a 5, but overall, too uneven to go higher.
Jan 05, 2010 Kim added it
Love his writing style, fills me with nostalgia and yearning to be in motion.
Jan 25, 2014 Agustina rated it it was amazing
La mejor compañía de viaje. Recomendadísimo.
Apr 28, 2010 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Makes me want to leave everything behind and hop on an airplane.
Aug 27, 2012 Liz is currently reading it
recommendation from Flavorpill
Jul 26, 2009 Dawn rated it really liked it
Beautiful writing.
Kristi marked it as to-read
May 29, 2016
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Cees Nooteboom (born Cornelis Johannes Jacobus Maria Nooteboom, 31 July 1933, in the Hague) is a Dutch author. He has won the Prijs der Nederlandse Letteren, the P. C. Hooft Award, the Pegasus Prize, the Ferdinand Bordewijk Prijs for Rituelen, the Austrian State Prize for European Literature and the Constantijn Huygens Prize, and has frequently been mentioned as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in ...more
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“Surely one zoo in the world should have the courage to draw the ultimate conclusion about our ancestry? A cage with Homo Sapiens in all its varying forms, perhaps then we would understand ourselves better. The question of course is whether the other animals would approve of it.
“<< Los sonidos van y vienen, pero el silencio permanece.>>
En cierta ocasión, ta vez cuarenta años atrás, en un hotel mugriento y anónimo al borde del Sahara en la frontera de Mauritania, me depertó el silencio al que se refería el anciano. Pero no fue el silencio, sino la angustia que había adoptado la forma de silencio la que me despertó. No sé cómo explicarlo, yo mismo me transformé, como un animal, en agustia. No sentía miedo de nada, porque me encontraba al límite. Recuerdo el suelo de adobe, el ruido de algo o alguien moviéndose y cómo salí afuera al encuentro del cielo oscuro y la resplandeciente quietud de todas las estrellas. Aquella noche ha quedado escrita en mí con una palabra que ya no soy capaz de leer. A partir de aquel momento opté por una vida que hoy llamo la mía, la existencia del que escribe y describe en el mundo de las apariencias, pero ¿cuántas palabras hay que escribir para ser capaz de leer la única palabra?”
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