Steve's Reviews > The Tomb in Seville: Crossing Spain on the Brink of Civil War

The Tomb in Seville by Norman Lewis
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's review
May 15, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: exploration-travel, history, letters-memoirs-essays, non-fiction
Read in July, 2005

The Tomb in Seville, is a real literary treat. Norman Lewis has a precise eye, the kind that reminds you of Hemingway's impressive In Our Time vignettes. Like Hemingway, Lewis couples finely drawn (and pregnant) images and events to a clear and understated prose. Such a combination recalls the best efforts of Rebecca West, Graham Greene and, going back, Turgenyev. To some extent I found The Tomb in Seville superior to Orwell's Homage to Catalonia, though the comparison is somewhat uneven. I think, looking back, we now view Orwell's effort as part of his indictment of Communism. Lewis' effort, which precedes the events of Orwell's book, is more limited in scope (and better written).

Mention is made in the Introduction of this being Lewis' final book. But mention is also made of an earlier Spanish effort. Considering the slightness of the book, I have to wonder if Seville is more or less notes and outtakes of that previous effort. If so, these are quality notes and outtakes, and further testament to a fine writer.

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