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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Lewine brings the drama of a novelist and the keen senses of a journalist to his entertaining and informative account of a single season of Spanish bullfighting. Despite the gore factor, in Lewine's opinion there's nothing more civilized than a bullfight, in which the primary objective is to avoid a brutal confrontation as the bull charges, and fans scream "Olé!" in response to the matador's mastery of his cape. Traveling alongside one of these modern-day gladiators, Francisco Rivera Ordóñez, Lewine explores Fran's family history. The great-grandson of a matador who served as the inspiration for Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, Fran is also the son of another celebrated matador who was fatally injured in the ring.
Lewine illuminates the lives of the matadors and the hope and despair they face. The career of a "torero" may seem full of pageantry, artistic triumphs, and heroism, but the bullfighters must also endure long car rides, bad meals, and potentially horrific moments during the eight-month season. Their world is beautiful, ferocious, violent, and inextricably tied to Spanish culture, and in Death and the Sun, Lewine has done a masterful job of creating a story that's encyclopedic, suspenseful, and yet philosophical in its objective discourse on one of the most controversial artistic rituals practiced today. (Fall 2005 Selection)