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Into the Arena | [Alexander Fiske-Harrison]

Into the Arena

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.
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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.

©2011 Alexander Fiske-Harrison (P)2011 Audible Ltd

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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Detroiter Royal Oak, MI USA 03-10-12
    Detroiter Royal Oak, MI USA 03-10-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meghan SIERRA VISTA, AZ, United States 12-06-13
    Meghan SIERRA VISTA, AZ, United States 12-06-13 Member Since 2013
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    "GREAT book with a terrible narrator..."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    There is nothing I would change about the actual book and I highly recommend reading it either in the Kindle version or the actual paperback. It's extremely engaging, well-written, and factually interesting. The characters are well developed and draw you into the story as though it were fiction, despite it actually be journalistic/autobiographical.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The balance of depiction of bullfighting culture and the characters of the bullfighters with facts about bullfighting.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Paul Thornley’s performances?

    Never!! He took a book that was written in a somewhat "Generation X" voice and had a great balance between humor, journalism, philosophy, and action/drama...... and made it SO HIDEOUSLY DRAMATIC that the dramatic moments that ARE in the book lost their meaning (and the true dramatic moments in the book are very poignant normally). This narrator can't say, "The bull weighed 1,700 pounds" without sounding like the worst kind of soap opera actor....


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Definitely. This would be an awesome movie.


    Any additional comments?

    Kudos to the author and my sympathies that they picked this narrator (he might be a good stage actor in very dramatic roles-- tragedies, maybe). Another version should be made....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Celeste Shoreline, WA, United States 01-21-12
    Celeste Shoreline, WA, United States 01-21-12 Member Since 2009

    Glad I got over being too snobby to listen to audio books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ole!"
    Where does Into the Arena rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was so sad when it was done. His accounts of his interactions with modern matadors as well as his research into the history of bullfighting were fascinating. If you interested at all in the bullfight this is a must!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • David
    Stockholm, Sweden
    12/16/12
    Overall
    "Unique view into a secret "art""

    Everyone have an opinion about bullfighting. This book brings the reader on an an journey into the secret, mythical world of the arena. I like approach and honesty of the contents. The language is good and I like the philosophical seasonings.

    I think this book will suit a broad audience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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