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.
"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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Fascinating Story, Awful Performance
- Dave H.
Nuanced perspective on a challenging subject
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.
I disagree with reviewers who disliked the performance. The reader was well suited to this book and I thought he added much to it.