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Extended Audio Sample Tales of the Alhambra Audiobook, by Washington Irving Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.9 out of 53.9 out of 53.9 out of 53.9 out of 53.9 out of 5 3.90 (20 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Washington Irving Narrator: Kevin Foley Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2010 ISBN: 9781452670706
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One of the most entertaining travelogues ever written, Washington Irving’s Tales of the Alhambra is a heady mix of fact, myth, and depictions of secret chambers, desperate battles, imprisoned princesses, palace ghosts, and fragrant gardens, all described in a wistful and dreamlike eloquence. Irving, who also penned “Rip Van Winkle” and “Sleepy Hollow,” wrote Tales of the Alhambra during a stay at the legendary Alhambra in Granada, Spain. The Alhambra is a combination fort, palace, and gardens dating from the thirteenth century, filled with fantastic Arabic architecture (ornate plasterwork, ceramic tiles, sculpted marble fountains, and archways) and plenty of room for imagining the days of its former greatness, which Irving brings to life most memorably.

Even though Tales of the Alhambra is over 170 years old, it seems as if it were written yesterday. There are tales of princes, genies, lost and found loves, enchanted treasures, battles, hellish headless horses, and commentary on the Spanish landscape and nature of the Spaniards that he lives with. Full of bewitching music, the smell of roses and exotic perfumes, fiery sunsets, and the ghosts of the past, Tales of the Alhambra is a sensory treat as well.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rrlgrrl | 2/10/2014

    " I liked the short stories that were legends of the Alhambra, in particular, to explain many of the existent locations there. Some of the stories were engaging, others were slightly dull. Started this book (on Kindle) last September, and finally finished it this evening. One thing to note is that the "book" version had many of the stories in a different order than in the Kindle version. I'm not sure why. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Audrey | 2/7/2014

    " Reading it for an upcoming trip to Southern Spain. So it wasn't on the extensive reading list provided. So it was written in 1822 and may be a wee bit out of date, But I ask you how much has this ancient castle changed? So it may have been shaken a bit by earthquakes or two. Big deal!. Has the fundamental character of the Spaniards changed? I doubt it. Irving is a great traveling companion, delightfully observant, excellent writer, a travel companion par excellence. Have it on my Kindle along with Don Quixote for travel companions par excellence! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claudia Banks | 2/7/2014

    " Well written. Lots of details about the Alhambra. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeff | 1/28/2014

    " Never knew Washington Irving was so interesting until I read this book. Great background info on Spain. I really enjoy Irving's style of description! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kayf | 1/20/2014

    " I read this book before my trip to Granada, Spain last December, and I was so glad I did. I was able to appreciate more my visit to The Alhambra--a world heritage site everyone should visit before one dies--simply beautiful; the book and The Alhambra. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 solitude | 1/17/2014

    " Muslim Spain according to European traveller Washington Irving. Beautiful pictures. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fig | 12/25/2013

    " Lovely book. I highly encourage anyone traveling to southern Spain to read this before going or on your journey. Washington Irving describes the place with the eye of a jounalist and the heart of a poet. The stories really enriched my trip to Granada. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maria del Pilar | 12/14/2013

    " A beautiful Granada's view, at about the year 1829. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia888 | 12/5/2013

    " precious tales, while reading you feel like plonging in another world, perfect descriptions "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hypatia | 11/3/2013

    " Neat book. Half travelogue, half tales from the Arabian Nights. Lots of fun, and I wish I'd been able to read it *before* I visited the Alhambra. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christine | 9/30/2013

    " This book of tales added to the experience I had of visiting the Alhambra in Spring 1993. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindy | 9/17/2013

    " Definitely one of my favorite books! I've read it twice now. Once before we went to Spain and again when we were in Spain. The stories are wonderful and I will definitely read this over and over through the years. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David Eppenstein | 9/14/2013

    " I pretty much agree with the other reviewers about how charming and readable this book is inspite of its age. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Irwan | 5/29/2013

    " A romantic travel notes by a romantic traveler. Irving definitely shows how much he is in love with Alhambra and Andalusia. As I also do. Although I am just not sure whether it is still possible to be a romantic traveler in this age of commodified traveling... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nicole Miles | 5/24/2013

    " We bought this book at a book store in the Alhambra (Granada, Spain) when we visited last April, I am now finally reading it. I don't know if I would enjoy this book as much if I hadn't been there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scheherazade | 5/6/2013

    " Fascinating, considering their origin. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alexandra | 11/17/2012

    " Again, not a favourite, but the right kind of book to have read this holiday... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dani Johnson | 3/8/2012

    " I loved this--the style was simple and magical--I may be particularly biased because I actually visited the alhambra while I was reading it, but I loved it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason | 9/21/2011

    " I love this book, and I wish I had read it a second time while I was living in Granada. Great tales of all different types, and I like to believe that it's a part of Granada's oral history. Whether it is or not, who knows...well someone probably does, but I don't. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynn | 7/20/2011

    " You must make a point of seeing the Alhambra in Granada, Spain -- gorgeous! The book relates stories and legends about this fortress and the author's travels, but it was hard for me to stay engaged throughout. "

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About the Author
Author Washington Irving

Washinton Irving (1783–1859), American essayist, novelist, and historian, was born in New York to a wealthy merchant. He studied law, but because of his delicate health, his family sent him on a tour of Europe, where he collected material later used in his stories and essays. The first American author to achieve international fame, his literary career served in many ways to consolidate the cultures of the United States and Europe.

About the Narrator

Kevin Foley has more than thirty years of experience in radio and television broadcasting, commercial voice-overs, and audiobook narration. He has recorded more than 150 audiobooks, including Storm Rising by Gary Naiman, The Last Witness by Joel Goldman, and River Thunder by Gary McCarthy, for which he earned a Spur Award for Best Audiobook from the Western Writers of America. He has also won an Earphones Award from AudioFile magazine for his narration of Cognitive Surplus by Clay Shirky.