- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Profile Books(GB); Main edition (March 1 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1846683351
- ISBN-13: 978-1846683350
- Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.7 x 2.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 358 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,073,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Into the Arena: The World of the Spanish Bullfight Paperback – Mar 1 2011
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An informative and breathtaking volume of gonzo journalism * Herald * The essential incongruity of an Englishman in the ring makes this book an engrossing introduction to bullfighting * Financial Times * He [Fiske-Harrison] develops a taste for the gruesome spectacle, but what makes the book work is that he never loses his disgust for it...what I really enjoyed about Into the Arena is that after nearly 300 pages I still couldn't quite decide whether bullfighting should be banned or allowed to flourish * Daily Mail * Into the Arena begins by brilliantly capturing a fascinating, intoxicating culture ... Provides an intriguing introduction to Spain's "great feast of art and danger" * Sunday Times * Entertaining ... bears comparison with Kenneth Tynan's outstanding book Bull Fever * Spectator * Whatever you think of Alexander Fiske-Harrison's account of his quest to become a bullfighter, you have to admire his guts ... His descriptions of the fights are compelling and lyrical, and his explanation of different uses of the matador's capes is illuminating ... This complex and ambitious book examines not only life in the bullring but also Spain's cultural identity and modern ideas of masculinity -- James Owen * Mail on Sunday * Transposes the spectacle into words with great success * Literary Review * A really, really good read -- John Inverdale Fantastic... it's a fascinating insight into a world we know little about but are quick to judge -- Ben East * Metro *
About the Author
Alexander Fiske-Harrison was born 1976 and is an English writer and actor. He is best known for writing and acting in The Pendulum in London's West End and has contributed to Prospect, Frieze, The Times and Financial Times.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
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.
The book is well documented and is well written. It is accurate and keeps up the attention of the reader from start to finish.
But the narration of the writer is extremely egocentric. He always try to explain how magnificent his point of view and how everyone else who thinks it differently is a moron. He is so intensive in trying to verify his point of view all the time that after a few chapter you start to get uncertain about his faith in what he is saying. It is so annoying that he simply disrupt his own subject with his self-centered interpretation. The narrator simply go on to put himself in center position. It is eerily similar to Hemingway's narration in the Death in the Afternoon. Fiske-Harrison likes Hemingway's stance as a bullfighting aficionado and his arrogant and wiseacre voice so much he adopted it to his own work.
Eventually it is worth to read if you would like to get the point of view of a bullfighting aficionado who pretends to be neutral on the subject.