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Extended Audio Sample Death in the Afternoon Audiobook, by Ernest Hemingway Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,533 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ernest Hemingway Narrator: Boyd Gaines Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2007 ISBN: 9780743563536
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A fascinating look at the history and grandeur of bullfighting

Death in the Afternoon is an impassioned look at bullfighting by one of its true aficionados. It reflects Hemingway's conviction that bullfighting was more than mere sport and reveals a rich source of inspiration for his art. The unrivaled drama of bullfighting, with its rigorous combination of athleticism and artistry, and its requisite display of grace under pressure, ignited Hemingway's imagination. Seen through his eyes, bullfighting becomes a richly choreographed ballet, with performers who range from awkward amateurs to masters of great elegance and cunning. Death in the Afternoon is also a deeper contemplation of the nature of cowardice and bravery, sport and tragedy, and is enlivened throughout by Hemingway's sharp commentary on life and literature. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The book will certainly find its place on the shelves of Hemingway addicts…Action and conversation, as the author himself suggests, are his best weapons.” 

    New York Times

  • “Ernest Hemingway, in the handling of words as an interpretation of life, is not a brilliant and ephemeral novillero, but a matador possessed of solid and even classic virtues.” 

    Saturday Review

  • “Hemingway’s passion for bullfighting is perfectly mirrored in the strong narration of Boyd Gaines…The author is obviously impressed with men facing death, and Gaines does a wonderful job of creating drama and tension as the conflict of man versus animal plays out to its ultimate conclusion.” 

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christopher | 2/17/2014

    " Wanted to be a Matedor after reading this, wish someone would write a contemporary version "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angie | 2/15/2014

    " This book helped me understand and appreciate bullfighting as a cultural art form and pastime, and not merely an arena for torturing bulls. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Edrees | 2/15/2014

    " Everything you will ever want to know about the science of bull fighting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wil | 2/15/2014

    " Made me go and see a real bullfight "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Samantha | 2/13/2014

    " all you ever needed or wanted to know about bullfighting. maybe too much. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Hortense | 1/28/2014

    " an ugly, criminal work. massively entertaining- a real charge. dismissive, prudish, I stand alone in the shade, waiting for the bloody ear, having thrown all the rotten roses I picked up last night. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melinda | 1/24/2014

    " It is winter and thus time for Hemingway. This was not the book for me. The often misogynistic author described in lengthy detail the sport of tricking and killing animals, clearly disdaining any compassionate consideration of animal life. Yet, I liked the book, for the very reason that it challenged me to consider sport, animals, and death in a different way. There is something to say for bravery in the face of death or harm, whether of an animal or a man, and Hemingway said most of it in this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 T.P. Williams | 1/13/2014

    " Very interesting book. Prior to reading I had no idea how intricate and complicated a bull fight was. Some of the steps and movements are ballet-like, with the added element of danger. At the time Hemingway wrote it, he refers to fact that spectacle had been cleaned up by padding horses the picadors rode, eliminating the sight of dead, gored horses in the the ring. To today's generation, such shedding of blood - horse, bull, and sometimes man - will seem barbaric, put Hemingway puts it all in context. He correctly points out the distinction between an Anglo-Saxon/American pov which might find it all disturbing and disgusting and the Latin/Spanish mindset, which is not so squeamish (this written as various regions of Spain outlaw bullfighting). The epilogue, describing the sights, the people, the scenery, the smells, of Spain is marvelous, and you feel as if you are there. Again, Hemingway displays his powers of descriptive writing, showing him to be the superior writer of nonfiction of the 20th Century. What I didn't like - midway through the book he introduces "The Old Lady," a type of interlocutor he converses with on subjects such as bull fighting, venereal disease, William Faulkner, etc. She then disappears before the end. I have no idea what he was thinking and it would have been a better book without her. Maybe it was an attempt at humor. His gratuitous (in a book about bullfighting) insults of Faulkner are inappropriate here. Also kind of weird was the appendix with reactions of various people - including apparently his sons, and the prototype of Brett Ashley - to bullfighting. Some of it is libelous and I suspect some of the people are conflations or are not real. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 William | 1/5/2014

    " Don't read this unless you are really into bullfighting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mikael | 1/3/2014

    " this book doth send me siesta-ing everytime "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cristina Gasca | 11/7/2013

    " totally overrated "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Noah | 11/3/2013

    " "Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over." "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michaelmonson84 | 11/1/2013

    " This is one you read after you've read Hemmingway's three great novels and you're hungry for more. If you read this you'll learn more than you ever wanted to know about bull fighting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steven Rhodes | 10/29/2013

    " terse as always; not surprisingly hemingway could appreciate the art of bullfighting with his fixation on death. the last chapter was lame, but overall a good book. too bad the humanists/liberals are ending bullfighting, calling it a "blood sport" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jesse | 10/7/2013

    " bullfight for life "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bethany | 4/21/2013

    " Admittedly I didn't read the whole thing - but I read enough of it to know I will read the remaining parts when this semester lets me breathe. Really fascinating study on the bullfight; read if you are interested in it or are confounded by it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fikret Batuhan P. | 10/29/2012

    " It has the other stories too. And very read-able. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 amanda | 10/26/2012

    " I truly enjoyed this book. It was rambling and random but very informative. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryan | 12/22/2011

    " Good book on bull fighting. Except the last chapter, which may be the best chapter he ever wrote. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen | 12/14/2011

    " A thorough explanation of different aspects of the bullfight in Spain. In addition the reader gets some glimpses into Hemingway's personality. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 kenneth | 10/4/2011

    " Who wants to bullfight? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda Chrisman | 7/28/2011

    " A truly fascinating book. I knew next to nothing about it when I picked up the book. Lovely prose and some real truths. It is a book I have re-read several times and have always found something more in it with each reading. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gail | 5/5/2011

    " Really not a novel. It is more a non-fiction account of Hemingway's experiences with bullfighting in Spain in the 20"s. Somewhat interesting, "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katherine | 1/3/2011

    " Made me appreciate bullfighting as an artform. I love animals. I hated bullfighting before. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Harold | 7/12/2010

    " For anyone who wants an understanding into bullfighting this is the definitive book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James | 7/8/2010

    " Read this book and cheer for Spain at the World Cup. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brian | 4/27/2010

    " did I really just read a tome about the minutia bullfighting... and enjoy it? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen | 4/10/2010

    " A thorough explanation of different aspects of the bullfight in Spain. In addition the reader gets some glimpses into Hemingway's personality. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 julia | 11/15/2009

    " I enjoyed the tangents of this book, and loved the ending: I fell in love with what Hemingway describes as the book "Death in the Afternoon" could and should have been. I guess I'm just not invested enough in the nuances of bullfighting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dominik | 11/12/2009

    " To say Hemingway was passionate about bull fights is not enough :) I know nothing about bull fights neither I've ever seen one, but I read this book with pleasure, it was so full of affection. "

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About the Author
Author Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961), born in Oak Park, Illinois, started his career as a writer in a newspaper office in Kansas City at the age of seventeen. After the United States entered the First World War, he joined a volunteer ambulance unit in the Italian army. After his return to the United States, he became a reporter for Canadian and American newspapers. During the twenties, Hemingway became a member of the group of expatriate Americans in Paris, which he described in his first important work, The Sun Also Rises. He also wrote Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea, the story of an old fisherman’s journey, his long and lonely struggle with a fish and the sea, and his victory in defeat. He also wrote short stories that are collected in Men Without Women and The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories. Hemingway died in Idaho in 1961.

About the Narrator

Boyd Gaines’ many film credits include Second Best, I’m Not Rappaport, Heartbreak Ridge, Fame, and Porky’s. He’s won two Tony Awards for performances in the The Heidi Chronicles and the musical She Loves Me. On television he’s appeared in A Woman Called Jackie, A Son’s Promise, and in the popular series One Day at a Time. He has won six AudioFile Earphones Awards.