Death In The Afternoon

Version: Unabridged
Author: Ernest Hemingway
Narrator: Boyd Gaines
Genres: Sports & Recreation
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Published In: January 2007
# of Units: 8 CDs
Length: 10 hours
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"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

Reviews (1)


Written by Anonymous on May 16th, 2014

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Any sports fan will love this book. Too much has been made of Hemingway’s commentary on masculinity and the human condition. Yes, that is there. But more immediately, this book is a precise, rigorous and plain-speaking account of what creates emotion in sport, what constitutes aesthetic experience, and what is behind the psychology of bravery. Also here is description of the Spanish psyche and of what it takes for a writer to replicate emotional experiences on paper. Hemingway is vivid and painterly. After hearing of the “impermanent art” in man and bull meeting in a delicate, wristy and seemingly slow-motion pass with cape and muleta, I am left with an image of a firefly – gorgeous when lit up for a brief instant and then, once again, faded and gone.

Author Details

Author Details

Hemingway, Ernest

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. Serving at the front, he was wounded, was decorated by the Italian Government, and spent considerable time in hospitals. After his return to the United States, he became a reporter for Canadian and American newspapers and was soon sent back to Europe to cover such events as the Greek Revolution.

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 (1926). Equally successful was A Farewell to Arms (1929), the study of an American ambulance officer's disillusionment in the war and his role as a deserter. Hemingway used his experiences as a reporter during the civil war in Spain as the background for his most ambitious novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940). Among his later works, the most outstanding is the short novel, The Old Man and the Sea (1952), the story of an old fisherman's journey, his long and lonely struggle with a fish and the sea, and his victory in defeat.

Hemingway - himself a great sportsman - liked to portray soldiers, hunters, bullfighters - tough, at times primitive people whose courage and honesty are set against the brutal ways of modern society, and who in this confrontation lose hope and faith. His straightforward prose, his spare dialogue, and his predilection for understatement are particularly effective in his short stories, some of which are collected in Men Without Women (1927) and The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories (1938). Hemingway died in Idaho in 1961.