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on 18 October 2016
I didn't finish this book, which is rare for me. I managed to get about three quarters of the way through and gave up.
It is fascinating the amount of knowledge that Hemingway has of the bullfight, the fighters, the technicalities and I can't fault him on that. However it is a dull book
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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 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 4 July 2013
I don't need to read a whole treatise on bull fighting. It was the choice of a member of my book club, who mistook it for Hemingway's novel set in a background of the the same subject. The main facts of the subject could have been encapsulated in a couple of chapters for me, and would have been of interest. He seemed to be going over the same ground again and again, i n extenso.
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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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on 3 December 1998
As I die hard fan of Hemingway, I found this one rather mediocre compared with such greats as A Farewell To Arms and For Whom the Bell Tolls. It is not his finest work. Even still, it contains curiously interesting tidbits of information about the nature of the bullfight, though it seems needlessly lengthy at times. At least worth a look.
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on 27 February 2014
Not one of his best. I am left wondering why this is said to be a great wooooork? I will have to read it again over another bottle of Spanish red.
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on 20 October 2009
I am not a cruel person. The idea of the bullfight disgusts me. However, I saw my first one over 30 years ago and I enjoyed every minute. This horrified me. I am rather embarrassed about it and have not shared the fact with anyone to this day. For those like me who cannot get their heads around why this should be, read Hemingway's 'Death in the Afternoon'. The bullfight is part of the history of Spain, the emotion of the fiesta, the deep-rooted idea of machismo, the raw emotion produced by man against beast etc etc. No-one can convey in words the very essence of the bullfight like Hemingway, and this book is the ultimate tutorial. If you think the man has it all his own way, think again. It is impossible to describe the whole concept of what bullfighting means to the Spanish, how it embodies their deepest beliefs and mythology, but Hemingway comes pretty close. Somewhat dated now (the matadors who are the 'heroes' of the book are all long dead), the book still conveys something of the excitement of the corrida, the great victories of men (and of bulls) and the very essence of the spectacle. A frustrated torero himself, Hemingway was fascinated by the idea of man against beast (he also was a fan of big-game hunting in Africa) and his respect for both man and animal is evident throughout. A great tutorial for those who don't really know what happens in a bullfight, this book gets as close as possible to what the corrida is actually all about, and tells us as much about Hemingway's own mentality as it does about the bullfight. It may not change the reader's opinion of what is essentially a blood sport, but it may give him cause to think about why such a thing still persists into the 21st century.
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on 7 August 2012
It's a very rare thing for me to leave a book part way through. Hemingway's 'Death in the afternoon' is an exception.
I try to find merit. For those interested in the breeding and rearing of fighting bulls in Spain then this could be the book for you. Details of the ranches, and types of grass available and how far the bulls must walk to find water may enthrall some. Repeated details of matadors and picadors and gored horses staggering around the bull ring with entrails hanging out may even be entertaining for some readers, along with constant repeated detail of how a pass can be made with the cape over the bull's back and finally just exactly how the sword should be pushed in to kill the bull.
On the other hand if you are unable to sleep and need a sleep inducer, strictly non addictive, then this could be the book for you too.
With rare bits of humour, it's Hemingway alright but definitely not at his best.
Recommendation: Give it a miss.
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on 3 March 2016
should have read this book years ago...good stuff thank you for quick delivery...
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