The Controversy Over Bullfighting: Background information when reading Or the Bull Kills You

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Or the Bull Kills You

A Mystery

by Jason Webster

Or the Bull Kills You by Jason Webster X
Or the Bull Kills You by Jason Webster
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2011, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2012, 416 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Controversy Over Bullfighting

Print Review

Bullfighting - drenched in symbolism, embedded in tradition - is as synonymous with Spanish culture as flamenco dancing and paella. It is a centuries-old blood sport to beat all blood sports with its ceremonial battle to the death between man and beast. An uneven playing field? Perhaps. Only recently, thousands of stunned fans, both in person and on television, witnessed as a bull gored then pinned to the ground matador Juan José Padilla, severely injuring his face, eye and head. This happened in Madrid just days after a final bullfight played out in Barcelona, capital of the Catalonia region of Spain, where the sport has recently been banned amid a swirl of controversy.

bullfight

Reportedly, deputies in the local Catalonian parliament voted to ban bullfighting on the principle that it is nothing more than pure animal cruelty. Animal rights groups worldwide applaud the move and continue to urge other regions and other countries to follow suit. However, many, including British author, actor, and bullfighting aficionado Alexander Fiske-Harrison, believe the ban has more to do with political motives as Catalonia strives to continue to distance itself from Spain, a reaction following years of suppression under Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. Fiske-Harrison and others insist that bulls raised for the ring lead much better lives - free range grazing for five years - than their factory farm kin who are fattened for eighteen months in squalid pens before being unceremoniously butchered.

Obviously the issue is as complicated as the sport is colorful. Bullfighting attendance has dropped significantly in recent years - largely, many say, due to the economy as spectators can ill afford tickets. Additionally, as interest wanes, perhaps due as much to financial problems as to the popularity of animal rights ideology, breeders are losing revenue. This has triggered even more controversy that involves all of Europe as EU taxes have gone to subsidize Spain's bullfighting industry to the tune of almost £100 million (approximately $160 million) as of 2008. The controversy is not isolated to bullfighting in Spain, as the art (or sport) is also popular in southern France and Mexico as well as other Latin American countries.

Watch the video below to hear more about the final corrida in Catalonia.

Photo credit: MarcusObal

Article by Donna Chavez

This article is from the November 3, 2011 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: La Belle Sauvage
    La Belle Sauvage
    by Philip Pullman
    Voted 2017 Best Young Adult Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect ...
  • Book Jacket: Killers of the Flower Moon
    Killers of the Flower Moon
    by David Grann
    Voted 2017 Best Nonfiction by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    The long, sorrowful list of injustices done ...
  • Book Jacket: The Dry
    The Dry
    by Jane Harper
    Voted 2017 Best Debut Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    After receiving a letter from his childhood...
  • Book Jacket: Little Fires Everywhere
    Little Fires Everywhere
    by Celeste Ng
    Voted 2017 Best Fiction by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    Small towns, big drama. Acclaimed author ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

"Electrifying . . . as beautiful and as icy as the Minnesota woods where it's set."
—NPR

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Strangers in Budapest
    by Jessica Keener

    Strong characters and a riveting plot combine in this psychological thriller set in Budapest.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Autumn

Autumn by Ali Smith

One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year, and a Man Booker Prize Finalist

Enter

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay: $400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.