Spain, the dawn of the twentieth century. From Bilbao to Seville and Cordoba, from Madrid to Barcelona and Valencia, as well as everywhere else in between, hundreds of thousands of Spaniards flock to bullfights every week. Bullfighters are the nation’s great idols. Their feats—and calamities—make front-page news and dominate conversations in taverns and cafés.
Juan Gallardo, a bullfighting-obsessed street urchin from Seville, proves himself a born torero by taking on battle-scarred bulls for the amusement of peasants at village festivals. His rise to riches and recognition as the nation’s greatest matador is all but foretold. But in the aftermath of a torrid liaison with the stunning and enigmatic aristocrat Doña Sol and a run-in with a murderous bandit known as The Feather, Gallardo must battle demons far more daunting than the beasts he faces in the ring.
A classic story of courage, cruelty, celebrity and seduction, By the Horns captures the glamour and brutality of professional bullfighting and Spain as they were when they seized the imaginations of some of the twentieth century’s greatest writers, from Ernest Hemingway to Gertrude Stein.
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