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Blood and Sand

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  299 ratings  ·  32 reviews
This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 4th 2005 by Kessinger Publishing (first published 1908)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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4.5 "machismo, relentless, vivid" stars !!

2020 Honorable Mention Read

This book is based on the 1908 book Sangre y Arena by Spanish author Vicente Blasco Ibanez. This current edition is a new English translation/adaptation by Ali Villaverde. I would like to thank Booksirens, the translator and Merci Beaucs for an e-copy in exchange for my honest review. This edition will be released in January 2021.

I was completely immersed in this novel from beginning to end that takes place in early 20th cent
Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four things I loved about this book:

Historical details feel authentic, and thorough – especially the passages on Spanish settings and traditions. The descriptions ofMadrid coming alive on the day of a bullfight and the ambience of Seville during semaina santa was intoxicating. If you have been in a big Spanish city where people are in party mood and go out in the streets, I (almost) guarantee moments like that will come rushing back at points in this book! On the other hand, the scenes in the bu
Claudete Takahashi
"By the horns" is a true tale of a torero´s life in the early years of the 20th century. He was born in poverty and has risen to fame, glory, and money. He is followed by a throng of friends, admirers, thieves, women at a time that society had very strict rules and there was almost no place for someone who is illiterate and belongs in the low tiers of society. It´s a story full of color, as the descriptions of places, clothes, food, people, are richly written, as well as are narrated the stories ...more
This book was a solid read but I think a lot of the underlying culture was lost through translation. The author did a great job building his characters, you grew to love or hate, as well as admire and despise Juan as the story progresses. Those with a strong sense of tradition were more on the side of the latter options, while the more modern fans would take the side of the former. I enjoyed this trip through Spain and the life of a terrero. Although slow, it was worth the read!

[Thank you Book S
No se puede decir que sea una gran novela. Hay muchas repeticiones, algo pesado en la descripciones y unos hechos que parecen adjuntos sin razón alguna. Sin embargo es un escrito que llega a envolver, porque la prosa de Ibáñez es vigorosa, directa y muy varonil.

En concreto, la figura del espada Gallardo crece poco a poco delante de los ojos de los lectores y, a pesar de los defectos de la pluma del escritor, ofrece el retrato exitoso de un hombre de otro tiempo que vive sus propias contradiccio
Czarny Pies
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Ernest Hemingway
Shelves: spanish-lit

Les arènes sanglantes delivers brilliantly on its promise to bring its protagnist to a bloody end in the sand. Fans of Ernest Hemingway (particularly those who liked The Sun Also Rises and Death in the Afternoon) are sure to love this tale of hubris and nemesis involving the very macho art of bullfighting.
Vicente Blasco-Ibanez was both a contemporary of Hemingway as well as someone who shared his political ideas. Juan Gallardo the hero of Les arènes sanglantes has many of the qualities found in
Lee Murray
Great start to the book, almost too good. When I got to the climax of the story and was not halfway through book, I knew there was a problem. I knew there was only one inevitable ending to the book before I was halfway through the story.

There were a couple of subplots, and the one involving The Feather seemed superfluous to me.

The book does involve the sport of bullfighting at the turn of the 20th century, and the last quarter of the story is extremely graphic and violent in describing the bull
Apr 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
Although the dialog is somewhat dated (written in 1908) or perhaps flavored in translation, Ibanez’ descriptions are visual and visceral. He vividly brings to life the pageantry and bloodlust of the corrida and in doing so presents a searing indictment of human nature on many levels. This metaphorical dance with death is saturated in testosterone, leaving the female characters of the novel as little more than rough sketches. Nevertheless, the grand sweep of this story makes for a good read that ...more
Jul 12, 2010 rated it it was ok
maybe it's a stiff translation but i was terribly bored the vast majority of this book. the overall plot arc is pretty cool (dude getting mauled by bulls, repeatedly) it takes for ev errrrr to get through it and the dialogue is pretty flavorless in between. ...more
Tan August
Jul 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Blood and Sand has it all, the tragic hero, the romance, the fighting, the action, and the death at the end. It's one of Blasco's best works and holds up well through the decades. It's a great work for Spanish culture and bull fighting enthusiasts. ...more
Matthew Gaughan
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
A very poor and old-fashioned translation of a book that manages to make such an exciting, controversial subject as bullfighting incredibly dull.
Mar 21, 2020 rated it liked it
I am reviewing this book while not having finished it in part because I feel familiar enough with Ibáñez's style to be able to judge the merits of this story from what I have read and in part because insufficiency and incompleteness are a major theme in this book about the rise and fall of a matador from a working class family. Nowhere is this theme more apparent than in the detailing of its female characters, which in relation to the main character Juan give some interesting diversions and dram ...more
Kelly Thiessen
Feb 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The ending hits you like a half-tonne bull!

By the Horns is both an easy read and a hard read, in all the right ways. Let me explain what I mean! The writing style is clear, so the story flows from the page at a quick pace. But, wow, some of the passages are intense! It's probably not the story for you if you're squeamish, though I wouldn't say any of the violence in the book is there just for the sake of it. It's more just one of the things that give the novel such a no-compromise, realistic fee
Ufuk Beyazova
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kan ve Kum / Blasco İbanez

Juan Gallardo bir matador. O gün boğa güreşine çıkacak. Uşağı onun saçlarını briyantinledi. Alnına perçemler indirdi. Toreadorların taktıkları saç örgüsünü taktı. Ucuna siyah bir kurdele bağladı. Ayak parmaklarının arasına ufak pamuklar yerleştirdi. Ayak bilekleriyle tabanlarının altına pamuklar koyarak sargı bezleriyle mumya gibi bağladı. Sonra kalçasını yarıya kadar kaplayan uzun ak çoraplarını giydirdi. Üzerine pembe ipek çoraplarını geçirdi. Tütün rengi altın sırma
Feb 18, 2020 rated it liked it
I read it in Spanish, so I undoubtedly missed nuances, however I enjoyed the story. There were pages of repetitious detail to the point where I thought I had accidentally reread pages. But I loved the interplay of egos, the slightly sarcastic descriptions of the Semana Santa parades and the interplay of the Marquesa and the torero. The details of the bull fighting were gripping. Worth reading. I will probably read it again when my Spanish is a little better.
Jeanne Richardson
Jan 29, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 1st book I've read written by Ali Villaverde; she has done a great job at writing a good book; I can’t wait to read more of her books.

The story line caught my attention at the very beginning and kept me interested throughout the entire book.

I received a free copy of this book via booksprout and I’m voluntarily leaving a review.
Feb 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: gladiators
Juan Gallardo's calm recklessness sucked me into the thriving world of Spain's violent bullfighting. A perfectly double-purposed "ring" which the author uses to illustrate the throws of emotion... to the crowd, to Spain and to a Woman. The struggle to hold onto the usefulness of youth echoes throughout the story innately leading the reader reflect to reflect on life's changing states and impermanence.

Thank you for the adventure.
Sep 20, 2017 rated it liked it
If it was the author's intention to make everyone aware of the cruelty of bull-fighting, he was very successful; however, I found this book to be slightly boring. Too long, and too many extra details not pertinent to the main story! ...more
Maha Ahmed
porque he leído una versión adaptada, no me gusta mucho, falta muchas escenas y diálogos, pero sobretodo ¡FALTA LA HISTORIA! creo q voy a volver a leerla una vez más luego, y espero q sea un poco más interesante.
Jun 01, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
På svenska: "Blod och Sand", klassiker om hur en fattig man stiger till berömmelse som matador, men 'upp som en sol, ner som en pannkaka', lättfånget är lätt förgånget.
Svenska översättningen kändes lite dammig, kanske hade varit bättre att läsa denna i original.
Susan Katz
I read this for my Spanish class at the Church of the Nativity. I don't remember when we started reading the book, but we read one chapter each week. ...more
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is really a good, interesting story.
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
"It was the roaring of the only real beast." Thus ends the story of a brilliant and vivid tale of the life of Juan Gallardo, a famous Matador! However, who or what is the true beast that he fights? I can certainly see why this was made into multiple movies over the decades and, frankly, should be considered one the best sport novels ever. I certainly have a better appreciation of bull fighting and the author even provides commentary to the criticisms of animal cruelty charges which must have bee ...more
Jul 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in tauromachy.
The other great novel about the world of bullfighting, in translation of course.
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maldita sea, pero qué final.
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very intresting book about national spanish passion. But in the end it's very brutal. ...more
Donna-Jo Webster
Powerful Spanish novel of bullfighting and lost love that's captivated readers' interest for over 100 years. ...more
Dec 13, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spaans
Spannend verhaal, kleurrijke beschrijvingen, maar oppervlakkig.
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Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (January 29, 1867 – January 28, 1928) was a Spanish realist novelist writing in Spanish, a screenwriter and occasional film director.

Born in Valencia, today he is best known in the English-speaking world for his World War I novel The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. He is also known for his political activities.

He finished studying law, but hardly practised. He divided his ti

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