‘Either you kill the bull, or the bull kills you’ - traditional proverb.
Chief Inspector Max Cámara hates bullfighting, but one hot afternoon in Valencia he has to judge a festival corrida starring Spain’s most famous young matador. That night he is back in the ring, and what he finds on the bloodstained sand shocks the city of Valencia to its core.
As Cámara hunts his prey through the streets and bars, firecrackers echo for the festival of Fallas, and the town hall election. The anti-bullfighting campaigners and the breeders of prize beasts fight to the death. The bullring is a test of virility, but should it be a site of national pride or shame?
Or the Bull Kills You has a brilliantly authentic setting and a great detective, with a love of flamenco and brandy. This is the first of a series of books starring the quirky and forceful Cámara - a man clearly destined to make his mark.
©2011 Jason Webster (P)2011 AudioGO Ltd
Surprisingly, to me, the thing I enjoyed most about this book was its richly depicted setting which included more information about bullfighting than I could ever have anticipated being intrigued by. Which is why it is sometimes good to read things you think you might not like. Webster, who is not a native Spaniard but has lived there for twenty years and has published several highly acclaimed travel books about the country, really does bring the city alive for the reader with quite lyrical descriptions of the city, the festival, the food and the bullfighting. The two main characters debate the merits, or lack thereof, of the sport and one fills the other in in on any history and symbolism that might be relevant to his investigation and it is these exchanges that provide that allow readers to absorb information about a subject most of them probably know little about. I really liked the way this was done, especially they way it enabled Webster to present both sides of the debate without being judgemental.
I was not as taken by the character of Max C??mara as other reviewers seem to have been which of course is a highly personal thing. Perhaps I have had my fill of alcoholic detectives who argue with their superiors and are, in the end, fairly self-absorbed (in this instance C??mara's inner life revolves around his worries over his fertility which I literally could not have cared less about).
Meadows' narration was very good, using a range of slightly different accents and genders but never going overboard, especially with the female voices as some male narrators can do.
I know there is another one on the way which will be a boon for people who like Max and want to spend time with him. Although I like the way Webster depicts Spain I'm not sure I'll bother spending more time with him
"Not my usual kettle..."
I bought this from one of the special offers so it is not my usual fare.
I found I did not like the cental character but found myself engaging with him nonetheless as there were aspects of his character he did not like either! The story was a facinating and balanced look into an aspect of modern Spain that makes many uneasy or ambivilent. The naration was good and appered to handle the Spanish well.
For me, not one I'll rave about.
"A great whodunnit set in the world of bullfighting"
"Or the Bull Kills You" is a well-paced murder mystery set in Valencia. The book begins with the murder of a bullfighter and Chief Inspector Camarra's inquiries are suffused with sufficient suspense to keep the listener's attention. The fact that the story is set in Spain and the book is peppered with Spanish sayings adds an extra layer of interest, highlighting the dichotomy of the cruelty inherent in bullfighting and the deeprootedness of the game (or the "art") in Spanish culture and tradition. Mark Meadow's pleasent voice and good narration adds much to the book. If there are any follow-up investigations from Chief Inspector Camarra, I would definitely be interested!
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.