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Fascinating but uncomfortable reading
on 18 July 2001
A collection of what seems to be stories loosely sewn together to form a very long essay on the virtues of bull fighting. It looks closely at the world of the matador, explains every rule of the fight in great detail and shows his great enthusiasm for this very Spanish of sports (though it still takes place in some areas of France and Portugal).
You've got to have the stomach for this one and it is a hard book to swallow if you're remotely sensitive to the plight of innocent animals. Some of the pictures are a bit too graphic though you do get the other side of the coin with some rather frank pictures of matador's thrown over bulls horns and even in one or two cases, lying dead in the morgue.
Hemingway does have a winning style though and he is intensely readable and somehow you get swept along even when the subject is uncomfortable reading. He is undoubtedly a brilliant writer and he has a passion for the sport. If anything it's a learning experience in the hands of a master.