Into the Arena

  • by Alexander Fiske-Harrison
  • Narrated by Paul Thornley
  • 10 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2011.
In this remarkable and controversial book, Alexander Fiske-Harrison follows the tracks of a whole bullfighting year in Spain. He trains and takes part in the sport himself. He gives us memorable portraits of bull-fighters and bulls, of owners, trainers and fans - of a whole country. Fiske-Harrison offers a fully rounded and involving portrait of an art as performed for centuries and of the arguments that dog it today.


What the Critics Say

"An engrossing introduction to Spain's 'great feast of art and danger'." (Sunday Times, London)
"An engrossing introduction to bullfighting." (Financial Times)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fascinating Story, Awful Performance

This is a wonderful book exploring the world of bullfighting and the moral issues both for and against the art. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning about how it works, or anyway who has read Hemingway's books about it.

However, the narrator is awful. For some reason, he seems to be doing an impression of William Shatner throughout the book, pausing at strange times and making every sentence seem like the dramatic climax. Because of that, you often get distracted from what the author is trying to say.
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- Dave H.

Nuanced perspective on a challenging subject

What other book might you compare Into the Arena to and why?

If you're interested in the subject matter I would highly recommend Hemmingway's Death in the Afternoon. This is a great companion to that classic. Into the Arena is nicely written, addressing the fight from a first person perspective while fleshing out some of the history. He considers the morality of the practice without resorting to Hemmingway's habit of dismissing detractors as pansies. Overall it does justice to the art of bullfighting with a measured, thoughtful tone.

Any additional comments?

I disagree with reviewers who disliked the performance. The reader was well suited to this book and I thought he added much to it.

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- Kukhri

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-21-2011
  • Publisher: Audible Studios