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©1932 Charles Scribner's Sons. Copyright Renewed ©1960 Ernest Hemingway. All rights reserved; (P)2007 Simon and Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.
Still a great narrative on the bull fight...but of course...dated--but that is always good because it gives a micro glimpse of Spain in the twenties & thirties...sheer enjoyment....KBK
I like to listen to audio books whilst mountain biking.
No fan of bullfighting here. If anything I came into this with a negative opinion. I choose this book, because I felt Hemingway would do something great with it and he doesn't disappoint. Boyd Gaines delivers a fantastic read, with perfect Spanish pronunciations. It doesn't change my opinion on bullfighting much, but maybe a little on life and death.
Read as a lecture on bull fighting and bull fighters. A very lengthy discourse. i feel much longer than necessary. The discussions with the older lady were an interesting twist. Not by any means my favorite Hemingway book./
Hemingway's precise writing style adapts well to an audio book. The narrator's voice suits Hemingway's tone of intellectual machismo and handles the Spanish pronounciation of people and place names with aplomb. The book is a superb description of bullfighting between the wars. I wonder what Hemingway would have made of today's danger sports?
The only well written part of the book is the final chapter in which Hemingway writes of his memories of Spain. Otherwise reads like a poor series of newspaper reports about bull fighting.
I've read many Hemingway novels, some of them as many as 10 times over. When I finally took a shot at Death in the Afternoon, I was surprised that Hemingway wrote this. Whereas the style of his later books is very simple and almost bare, this book is over-written almost to the point where it's unreadable (unlistenable). I felt like Brainy Smurf had written it. It really amazed me that he developed a completely different style by time he wrote "Sun Also Rises." Not to say this book has no value, only that one might find it a bit cumbersome compared to a book like Farewell to Arms, which is very concise and to the point. This book is more like a tour guide in case you ever go to Spain to watch a bullfight, in which case I don't even think you can go there and watch them actually kill the bulls anymore. So maybe this book has passed its time of relevance?
"Unmissable if you have an interest in the subject"
I have always loved this book (I have four separate editions of it). If you are interested in the subject it is an essential read, if you are not it will probably bore you. If this book were written about any era it would still be wonderful, but the atmosphere of the 30's makes it even better.
If you enjoy it I would recommend buying the book (as old an edition as possible) for the wonderful photographs that breath life into the main protagonists.
The only downside for me (as is the case so often) is the narrator.
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