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The Dangerous Summer (1960)

by Ernest Hemingway

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679734,417 (3.5)10
A firsthand chronicle of a brutal season of bullfights. In this vivid account, Hemingway captures the exhausting pace and pressure of the season, the camaraderie and pride of the matadors, and the mortal drama as in fight after fight the rival matadors try to outdo each other with ever more daring performances.… (more)

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English (6)  Spanish (1)  All languages (7)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Although not as good as some of his other works, Hemingway still delivers a compact and interesting account of the rivalry between Luis Miguel Dominguín and Antonio Ordóñez. Although the subject matter is ethically questionable (or at least in my opinion) he still captures something concrete about the sport of bullfighting and makes it count. Hemingway pulls us along the journey with terse prose that reminds us why he was a great writer. A worthy addition to Hemingway's oeuvre of work. ( )
  DanielSTJ | May 5, 2019 |
A surprisingly strong piece of writing. I say 'surprisingly' even though the author is one of my favourites because it is one of his most obscure (it is out of print and I had to seek out an old 1985 edition online), one of his last (when Hemingway thought he was 'losing his touch'), and it concerns bullfighting.

Hemingway's writing on bullfighting often strikes you as redundant at first, particularly in the modern world, but whenever you read it you are fascinated by his take on it. He wrote about it in The Sun Also Rises (which brought awareness of the running of the bulls in Pamplona to a wider audience) and in Death in the Afternoon, his dedicated bullfighting treatise, which was a surprisingly rewarding read that challenged my prejudices about the convention. What more could he add with the obscure Dangerous Summer? Well, remarkably – given our natural aversion to bloodsports – this book actually made me like the matadors.

It follows Hemingway on his travels through Spain as he witnesses the rivalry between two matadors, Antonio Ordóñez and Luis Miguel Dominguín. Hemingway is a close personal friend of Antonio (and also familiar with Miguel), so he is often in the room where things are happening. The two have different styles, different personalities, though both are determined. Miguel is the seasoned veteran, out of retirement, still determined to show he is the best fighter. Antonio is the once-in-a-generation talent who can do things in the bull ring as a matter of course that other matadors would not even contemplate. (Hemingway writes such moves with a mix of admiration, astonishment and a sense of the ethereal.) Oh, and they are brothers-in-law. Theirs is not a mean, venomous rivalry and all the better for it, but both are pushing each other to the limit, and the bulls' horns come ever closer… This is the 'dangerous summer' of 1959 and Hemingway chronicles it beautifully.

It is also a good piece of travel writing, with Hemingway rediscovering his love of Spain (which he has not visited since the Civil War) at the same time as renewing his love of bullfighting. His writing doesn't always seem as impressive as Hemingway usually is, but then you realize you are engrossed in reading about something which previously you did not care about, and the whole thing is very clean and lucid and puts you in the ring and in the towns of Spain.

Where his previous writing convinced you of the worthiness of bullfighting – it is more a stage performance than a 'sport', with the theme of the play being death and the bull as the unwitting actor – whilst still allowing you to hold on to your moral revulsion, Hemingway here captures the magic of it; the transcendent, 'in-the-zone' moments of effortful beauty that you find in any good sport and which manifest themselves in the best sportsmen. And yet at the same time it is not a sport (Hemingway and Antonio talk between themselves of matadors as artists 'writing' in the bull ring). It is a fascinatingly complex – and perhaps contradictory – endeavour, and not only that but one which excites a lot of emotion both for and against. Hemingway does brilliantly to write about it so cleanly. ( )
  MikeFutcher | Aug 2, 2018 |
The dangerous summer by Hemingway_ Ernest
Spain and the bull fights where he was commissioned to write an article but so much more got in his way...
A matador and his brother in law who returns to the bullfights after retiring where they pit one another and try to do more serious hand to hand fighting so the crowds will like them more...
Includes glossary of bull fighting terms. Described in detail all the events behind the scenes you'd not see as a tourist.
Like understandings the procedures that precede the bull fight and during and after and what significance different parts of the bulls parts are cut after the fight.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device). ( )
  jbarr5 | Jan 27, 2017 |
Ernest Hemingway's acclaimed book that retales the legendary story between the two respected bullfighters Antonio Ordonez and Luis Miguel Dominiguin. This work includes an insightful introduction by the Pulitzer Prize winning novelist James A. Michener. ( )
  icre8dstny | Dec 4, 2010 |
Hemmingway's account of one summer following two of the most daring and famous bullfighters in Spain. Interesting but more of a documentary and not quite as appealing if you don't get into bullfighting. ( )
  stpnwlf | Jul 16, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
"Pietsch has done a wonderful editing job. Hemingway was very cuttable, and the book is indeed wonderful . . . "

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hemingway, Ernestprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Michener, James A.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Come fu strano ritornare in Spagna. Non m'ero mai aspettato di poter ritornare nel paese che amavo più di ogni altro al mondo, a parte il mio, e non avevo intenzione di tornarvi finchè l'ultimo dei miei amici si fosse trovato in galera.
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A firsthand chronicle of a brutal season of bullfights. In this vivid account, Hemingway captures the exhausting pace and pressure of the season, the camaraderie and pride of the matadors, and the mortal drama as in fight after fight the rival matadors try to outdo each other with ever more daring performances.

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Legacy Library: Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

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