A brilliant observer in the tradition of Adam Gopnik and Paul Theroux, Edward Lewine reveals a Spain few outsiders have seen. There's nothing more Spanish than bullfighting, and nothing less like its stereotype. For matadors and aficionados, it is not a blood sport but an art, an ancient subculture steeped in ritual, machismo, and the feverish attentions of fans and the press.
Lewine explains Spain and the art of the bulls by spending a bullfighting season traveling Spanish highways with the celebrated matador Francisco Rivera Ordónez, following Fran, as he's known, through every region and social stratum. Fran's great-grandfather was a famous bullfighter and the inspiration for Hemingway's matador in The Sun Also Rises. Fran's father was also a star matador, until a bull took his life shortly before Fran's eleventh birthday.
Fran is blessed and haunted by his family history. Formerly a top performer himself, Fran's reputation has slipped, and as the season opens he feels intense pressure to live up to his legacy amid tabloid scrutiny in the wake of his separation from his wife, a duchess. But Fran perseveres through an eventful season of early triumph, serious injury, and an unlikely return to glory.
About Edward Lewine
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Published July 4, 2005
Arts & Photography, Sports & Outdoors, Travel, Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment, Biographies & Memoirs.