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4.0 out of 5 stars41
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on 13 December 1996
Probably the best English language book on the subject. Although the book deals with bullfighting as it existed during the 20's and 30's in Spain, it's observations about the art are still valid today. A must read for anyone who wants to understand bullfighting or Hemingway's facination with the subject and Spain.
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on 13 April 2013
I've just been to my first bullfight, thought it graceful, brutal, balletic, macho, exquisite, bloody, yet had no idea what it was all about. I bought this book, about which I'd heard much, hoping to find out. The pictures alone are compelling. It was written in 1939 before horses were protected by padding so in Hemingway's time, the horse would die first. It looked a far more primitive and riskier business that it did in Seville last month. I think I regret the passing of the real-ness of it all but not of the pain all concerned must have experienced at different points in the performances.
It is odd that a developed country like Spain still allows bullfights to continue and yet it allows us a brief peek into a world nearly over forever. Hemingway was fascinated by it - I think I am too.
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on 13 February 2013
I enjoyed the reference to the artistry and fundamentals of traditional bullfighting. The downside to this classic work was references and profiles of matadors who have been deceased for almost a century. Obviously such detailed accounts of individuals was more relevant at the time of publication, but perhaps a little dated and lacking in relevance now. Still, an absorbing and well written treatise in the expected (considering the subject matter) masculine style of Hemingway. For those interested in bullfighting then this is a pertinent introduction to the grisly - yet understandably artistic and passionate spectacle that, from further research, will have probably be a thing of the past by the end of this century.
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on 4 February 2010
This is one of the most enlightening books on the much debated sport(?) of bull fighting. I would urge anyone who is about to visit a bull fight to the read this first. It gives the reader a complete insight to the psyche of the Spanish aficionado and especially how the bull fight proceeds and what is happening around you during the actual bull fight. It a little laborious in the early chapters while it explores the origins of bull fighting, but later on it really becomes interesting. You will probably find that, like my copy, it will be retained in your library as a reference book.
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on 15 May 2014
A detailed look at a controversial subject, delivered in Hemingway's unique style. Uncompromising, interesting, though a little long in places. If you don't like bullfighting, this is not for you; if you have no opinion on it or are undecided, this is an interesting analysis of the sport, the people in it and the culture surrounding it... a culture soon to be lost.
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on 1 October 2009
This is one of those books that should be part of anyone's collection especially anyone who lives or is thinking about living in Spain. It is brutal but fascinating. I have read it before but lost my copy; it can be horrifying to read in places and in others it like a description of some kind of ballet.

Oxy Moron
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on 22 June 2014
Read again after a number of years. Still has the power to pull you in to the world of bullfighting in its golden age at the time of Hemingway. Now a shadow of its former greatness, this book gives you a real feel for the blood and guts.
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on 27 October 2011
I'm sure that this was a classic when it came out - I've no doubt it showcased a new and innovative style of writing. However, the book has not fared well over time.

Too much of the book seems to rely on your knowledge of the bullfighting stars of the day - reading the book now there are great swathes that I skipped over as these matadors and picadors meant nothing to me.

Also, the book seems to have no beginning, middle or end. I was about half way through before I even worked out the full order in which a bullfight takes place.

However, there are some fascinating snippets that made reading the book worthwhile.

As for the ultimate question or whether or not it would make me want to see a bullfight after reading Hemingway's book - the answer is a resounding yes.
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on 10 June 2015
Me gustó mucho este libro. Me enseñó mucho sobre la forma de arte que es el toreo. No estropeado por el tiempo

I really liked this book. Taught me a lot about the art form that is bullfighting. Not spoiled by time
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on 5 September 2013
This is a great book and a must read for anyone with any interest in Spanish bull fighting.

Extremely well written as you would expect from such an author.
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