Miracle in Seville


James A. Michener, one of the world's most popular authors, returns to Spain, the setting of his bestseller Iberia, with this magical novel of Seville at Easter time — a season of splendid pageantry, thrilling bullfights, and deep piety. And, of course, miracles.

An American journalist is in Seville on assignment. He is to report on efforts the rancher Don Cayetano Mota is making to revive his once-proud line of bulls. But the story Shenstone discovers goes deeper into life's ...

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Miracle in Seville: A Novel

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James A. Michener, one of the world's most popular authors, returns to Spain, the setting of his bestseller Iberia, with this magical novel of Seville at Easter time — a season of splendid pageantry, thrilling bullfights, and deep piety. And, of course, miracles.

An American journalist is in Seville on assignment. He is to report on efforts the rancher Don Cayetano Mota is making to revive his once-proud line of bulls. But the story Shenstone discovers goes deeper into life's mysteries as it shakes the newspaperman's skepticism and opens his eyes to the wonder of faith. To return his bulls to honor. Don Cayetano Mota prays to the Virgin Mary, and he takes on Herculean acts of devotion during the solemn celebrations of Holy Week. Convinced that his prayers will be answered, he endures his bulls' humiliation in the ring and the taunts of the arrogant matador Gomez. But Gomez, too, has a powerful woman on his side — his sister, a Gypsy fortuneteller. Foreseeing the danger her brother faces from a Mota bull, Magdalena is determined that in the bullring her brother will prevail.

When an American journalist is sent to Spain on assignment, the story he uncovers opens the newspaperman's eyes to the wonders of faith. 2 cassetttes.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Minor Michener at best, this slim yarn of bullfighting, religious faith, honor and adventure reaffirms the author's love of Spain, evidenced in his earlier Iberia, and introduces a veneer of spirituality that bestows a glib trendiness on the narrative. In flashback, narrator Shenstone, an American sports journalist, tells about his experiences two decades previously, when he was covering bullfights in Seville during a three-week festival that began on Palm Sunday. Shenstone meets proud, aged rancher Don Cayetano Mota, who prays to the Virgin Mary that the bulls he raises will perform well and thereby redeem his family name. Don Cayetano, whose spirit enters the consciousness of his bulls as they fight in the ring, has repeated apparitions of the Madonna that skeptical rationalist Shenstone initially dismisses; as events unfold, however, the American's disbelief is shaken. Don Cayetano's enemy is scrawny, cowardly Gypsy matador Lzaro Lpez, whose sister, the sinister Gypsy storyteller Magdalena, foresees that a bullfight will end in tragedy and uses her occult power to protect her brother. Regrettably, the final showdown in the ring-a mortal duel between good and evil-turns on simplistic stereotypes. And though Michener intends his colorful narrative, crammed with the lore of the toreador, as a paen to bullfighting, those who regard the sport as a cruel spectacle will find confirmation in the graphic narrative. Illustrated with 26 two-color drawings by John Fulton, a Seville-based American matador. Simultaneous Random House Audiobook; simultaneous large print trade edition, $22 0-679-76510-7. (Oct.)
Ray Olson
Megaselling historical novelist Michener tells a tall tale. Shenstone, a sports journalist, goes to Spain to cover the aged proprietor of a ranch that produces bulls for the corrida--animals that, alas, do not measure up to the grandeur of their grandsires. The old man, Don Cayetano Mota, is praying daily and performing acts of homage to the Virgin--some of them dangerously demanding of a man of his years--so that she will intercede and restore the honor of his bulls. After one disastrous corrida in Malaga, Don Cayetano's prayers start coming true. But the old man gets involved in a contemptuous war of wills with a flashy young matador who is infamous for his sloppy kills and, worse yet, his frequent ploy of arguing with a fight's "presidente" that a bull is not worth killing, which causes the fans to riot. Inevitably, there comes a showdown between one of the newly magnificent Mota animals and the "cowardly" fighter, during which Shenstone, who has already seen some remarkable things when Don Cayetano has been at prayer, realizes that he has witnessed the miraculous. Par for Michener, most of the prose is as lively as income-tax instructions, and the characterizations are monochromatic. But Michener loves bullfighting, and whenever this tale focuses on it, his writing becomes, if hardly brilliant, at least informatively interesting.
From the Publisher
“Eloquent . . . a vintage demonstration of Michener storytelling . . . What emerges most strongly is the real admiration and awe that lovers of bullfighting feel for the toro bravo.”The New York Times Book Review
“Compelling . . . told with an understanding of and appreciation for a culture where matadors are artists and miracles are possible.”Chicago Tribune
From Barnes & Noble
Seville at Easter is a place of pageantry, thrilling bullfights, and acts of religious devotion. But this Holy Week, there is much at stake for Don Cayetano Mota, a rancher trying to revive his once-proud line of fighting bulls. Mota prays to the Virgin Mary, convinced that she will answer his prayers; but there is another woman in the mix: Mota's nemesis, the arrogant bullfighter Gomez, has a sister who is a powerful Gypsy fortuneteller. And she is determined that in the bullring her brother will prevail against Mota's prize bull. A magical novel that captures the excitement of the bullfight and the beauty of Seville. Black and white illustrations.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780737285369
  • Publication date: 11/7/1995
  • Pages: 107

Meet the Author

James A. Michener was one of the world’s most popular writers, the author of more than forty books of fiction and nonfiction, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Tales of the South Pacific, the bestselling novels The Source, Hawaii, Alaska, Chesapeake, Centennial, Texas, Caribbean, and Caravans, and the memoir The World Is My Home. Michener served on the advisory council to NASA and the International Broadcast Board, which oversees the Voice of America. Among dozens of awards and honors, he received America’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1977, and an award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 1983 for his commitment to art in America. Michener died in 1997 at the age of ninety.

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    1. Also Known As:
      James Albert Michener (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 3, 1907
    1. Date of Death:
      October 16, 1997
    2. Place of Death:
      Austin, Texas

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