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Bullfight Paperback – 1 Sep 1994

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press; Reprint edition (1 Sept. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252064372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252064371
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,298,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"A balanced, readable, and unprejudiced account of a disappearing cultural phenomenon." -- Times Literary Supplement

From the Back Cover

This accessible account explores how and why men risk their lives to perform with and kill wild bulls as part of a public celebration, describing and analyzing the corrida in a way not previously attempted in English.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought as a gift.

I am told it is a great book!!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All You Need to Know and a Little Extra 19 April 2005
By John A Lee III - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book because I wanted to find out what "bullfighting" is all about. The images I had seen were confusing and any explanation I had heard was decades old. This book gave me all I was looking for and a bit more.

The book is written by an anthropologist as an academic work but that does not mean it is not useful to the masses. A full explanation of various taurine events, known collectively as "bullfighting" in English, occurs in the first two chapters. I am confident that having read it, I could attend one of these events and have a good idea of what is going on.

The author makes a point I have heard before. These events are not sports in the way the English world thinks of them. Neither are they art as we are used to it. Instead, they are are unique type of event which draws on both. The author explains this better than I ever could.

Fully half of the book is devoted to examining these taurine events in a cultural context. A person who wanted only to learn about "bullfights" could read the first half and never have a desire to go on. That person would have admirably accomplished the objective at hand but would have missed out on a wealth of more information, cultural and societal, which was fascinating. The book would have worth the price to examine either the fights themselves or the cultural context. Getting them togetehr is icing on the cake.

My one critisicm of this work is that it focuses almost exclusively on these events in Spain. I think Mexico is mentioned only twice in the entire book. There is no discussion of how these events differ in Mexico and the rest of Latin America, if indeed they do. The topic is not addressed so I don't know.

If you know nothing about the world of the Corrida and want to learn, this is probably your best bet.
5.0 out of 5 stars Ole ! 4 Jun. 2015
By ZWXXYZ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent explanation of the culture of Spain, and bullfighting. (Corrida de toros). This book is about bullfighting in Spain, but much of what is in this book can apply to Mexico. Someday, we will have bullfighting in the United States.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thorough account with admirable neutrality; easy to read and no hype 6 Feb. 2010
By Gromer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
There are a lot of poorly written English-language books on bullfighting. With the sole exception of Alison Kennedy's "On Bullfighting", the other books out there are written by guys who are already pre-sold on the glamor of the matador life and write with the mawkish enthusiasm of a teenaged fan, so much so that you can't really understand what is going on, they're just gushing. This is the first book I've come across that truly tries to explain the rules, the industry, the historical trappings, what a torero is supposed to be as perceived by his community - very educational, and with minimal hype and minimal gushing. Although his viewpoint is as an anthropologist/sociologist, this book isn't as dry as other academic treatises on the subject. Suitable for the lay reader or the tourist. Read this first, before you read everything else (read this before Hemingway!) if you want to really understand the details and find out what it's all about.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Essential Guide 7 Jun. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Marvin's account and explanation of the bullfight is the best account of the Corrida de Toros available in English. The author draws upon his own extended experience of the bullfight first hand, as an anthropologist that arrived in Andalusia to try to understand the importance of the bullfight in this culture. In his book, Marvin explains the history, symbolism and mechanics of the bullfight with intimate detail. Do NOT make up your mind about the Spanish bullfight before trying to understand it on the terms of the culture in which it is found. Save your self time wading through other books on this cultural phenomenon that is so misunderstood by other cultures. Read "Bullfight" first. It may not change your opinion but it will offer you an explanation and another way of seeing!
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