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Into The Arena: The World of the Spanish Bullfight by [Fiske-Harrison, Alexander]
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Into The Arena: The World of the Spanish Bullfight Kindle Edition


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Length: 304 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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'Whether or not the artistic quality of the bullfight outweighs the moral question of the animals' suffering is something that each person must decide for themselves - as they must decide whether the taste of a steak justifies the death of a cow. But if we ignore the possibility that one does outweigh the other, we fall foul of the charge of self-deceit and incoherence in our dealings with animals.' Alexander Fiske-Harrison


In a remarkable and controversial book 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.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3424 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books (26 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847654290
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847654298
  • ASIN: B005IYT9X2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #604,494 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 10 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating account of contemporary bullfighting 15 October 2013
By dhsullivan - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I bought this book in preparation for a trip to South America to attend my first bullfight. Reading the book was invaluable. The writing is superb. In addition to an engaging first-hand account of his training as an amateur matador, the author offers a sophisticated analysis of the moral aspects of bullfighting that presents a different perspective than that which we typically encounter in the United States (and, judging by some of what the author writes, the United Kingdom as well). I understood various aspects of the bullfights I saw far better than I would have without reading this book -- even after reading Hemingway's Death in the Afternoon and The Dangerous Summer.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outstading good book 9 January 2015
By jes petersen - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
A super book about bullfight (or bull-dance ?). Bullfight is (perhaps) difficult to understand; it is not a sport but an art-form. And it is important for a reader from a no-bullfighting-culture ( I am danish) that AFH. gives the question about ethics so much place in the book.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Character Development Than Even Most Novels! 21 August 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Into The Arena is one of the better pieces of non-fiction literature I have ever read. Fiske-Harrison develops both major and minor characters from the world of Spanish bullfighting in a way that makes you truly imagine being there. I found myself Googling the histories of many matadors depicted in the book because they are depicted in a way that makes you want to know more. Each is presented as a fascinating protagonist of both bullfights described as intricate dances and of a personal, colorful, and unique life. The reader is drawn into relating to the matadors as both heroes and artists, egotists and humble, fallable, philosophical, humans, facing their fears. The breeders of bulls, support team, and aficionados are similarly depicted in a round way that draws the reader into their culture. Alexander Fiske-Harrison himself makes a worthy protagonist, managing to paint himself as the type of person most of us probably consider ourselves to be and can therefore sympathize with. He alternates between confidence, joy, melancholy, questioning, and a pantheon of other feelings, generally finding the dynamic balance of a mature and philosophically curious person in a complex world.

I highly recommend Into The Arena to anyone who is interested the interplay of art, brutality, history, and human nature. The book obviously discusses animal rights issues in detail, but to me it is more about how human beings interact with our planet in general, including the animals who live here with us, how we interact with death (of both ourselves and the animals), and what constitutes art.

Read it-- you will soon find yourself researching tickets to Spain and the bullfighting schedules for Cayetano or El Fandi-- after you realize that they are actual characters, today, and not only the wonderfully developed characters of a memorable book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent account 22 October 2013
By N. Peritore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
the author had the courage to actually face the bulls on the ring, and so no facile or self righteous critiques of the taurine festival infest this book.very well done.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Insight into the world of bullfighting 7 July 2013
By S. H. Jensen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I chose to read this book after experiencing my first live bullfighting. I wanted to know more and I wanted to explore both the historical background and the current issues surrounding bullfighting. This book completely lived up to the expectation. Fiske-Harrison paints pictures and describes the drama so you feel you are standing right there with him. He also describes all of his own thoughts, doubts and fascination regarding bullfighting and for me as a novice it was very interesting to be able to mirror my own thoughts in his. I would recommend this book for anyone interested in knowing more and thinking more about bullfighting.