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Pamplona: Running the Bulls, Bars, and Barrios in Fiesta de San Fermin Paperback – August 31, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Quinn Publishing (August 31, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972122303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972122306
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #334,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

After this no one need read nor write anything of Pamplona again. -- ROBERT TROUT, Former Senior Correspondent for ABC

The photos and Ray Mouton’s words are richly evocative. Papa Hemingway himself would have loved this book. -- ROBERT OLEN BUTLER, Pulitzer winning author of A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain

This book is the next best thing to going to Pamplona itself. -- JAMES A. MICHENER, Pulitzer winning author of Iberia

This book will last as long as Hemingway’s and for the same reasons. -- JOHN FULTON, matador, artist, author of Bullfighting

With this book there is no longer any need to attend the fabled fiesta for it is all here. -- BARNABY CONRAD, author of Encyclopedia of Bullfighting

From the Inside Flap

In a city centuries old, an unbridled explosion of merriment takes center stage for nine days each year. Danger and death dance in the streets each morning as six fighting bulls race toward the bullring where they will die in the afternoon.

Champagne corks skyrocket as revelers celebrate a saint martyred hundreds of years ago. Bands play in the cobblestone streets all night, and barrooms swell with adventurous travelers from all corners of the globe.

Pamplona's Fiesta has been described as "the best week you can live on the planet," and this book takes you to the epicenter of the grand festival in Spain's Basque country.


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Customer Reviews

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It is beautifully written.
Paul Bower
I defy you not to go to Pamplona after reading this book!
Jack Denault
This book brings happy memories to me.
Jürgen von Steinkellner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Paul Bower on November 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have been to the Fiesta of San Fermin every year since 1976. I studied and worked in the city, speak Spanish and know the place quite well. This is quite simply the best thing written on the fiesta of Pamplona in the English language since Mitchener put pen to paper. Why? There are three reasons.
It is accurate. Here you will find ancient history and modern day lore that is plainly written and true. Mouton has gone back to the historical sources and not relied on hearsay. Of course there are anecdotes about the lives of Americans known to him who have passed through fiesta, such as the legendary Philadelphia born bullfigher John Fulton. But in this book the City of Pamplona and its inhabitants are the stars of the show. He describes the Amercian influence as "a drop of Coca-Cola in a barrel of wine". Perfect.
It is beautifully written. The reader will find plain language but also subtle and moving prose poetry. He makes the whole experience come alive. Not just about the bullfight and the daily bull running but also the little things such as the booming of the drums and the way the dawn creeps up on the unsuspecting revellers. Page after page I smiled and thought.
" I wish I had written that".
It is superbly edited and designed. The photographs are world class.
My advice is simple. Don't buy a copy. Buy three. One for yourself, one for a friend who loves Spain and one for a friend who has never been.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
"A Day in the Life of Fiesta" is another way to think of Mouton's account of the sometimes-overwhelming sensory experience of the Fiesta of San Fermin, a.k.a. the Running of the Bulls. The author's descriptive and literary talents allow one to vicariously experience both a day and the entire week of the infamous fiesta. It is perhaps cliché to say that Mouton has hit a home run or a bull's-eye with this book, but it is also highly accurate. I've attended fiesta many times over the past two decades and can confidently say that Mouton has brought this world-renowned fiesta to life with words - and as any veteran fiesta-goer will tell you, this is no easy accomplishment.
In reading this book you will come as close as possible to feeling the immense energy of fiesta, of smelling, tasting, dancing, hearing and rejoicing in the fiesta experience without actually being there. For veterans it will spark fiesta flashbacks and a longing to return. For potential fiesta goers it may just provide enough of a description to catalyze you into finally buying that plane ticket.
I first attended fiesta upon graduating college and those first few years were a blur of collegiate-style binging and revelry. Luckily I could remember enough about each year that I kept coming back. I had been infected with the fiesta spirit. In hindsight my only wish is that I had had a book like this one to read back then. What has taken so many years to learn and appreciate about the joys and beauty of fiesta would have been learned much faster with this account of and guide to the fiesta experience.
Most people who have attended fiesta will usually avoid trying to explain the experience to the potential traveler and will respond with "Just go and see for yourself. You will love it.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jack Denault on August 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
Don't even think about going to Pamplona without reading this first!

Ray Mouton's Pamplona: Running the bulls bars and barrios of Sanfermin is the ultimate and undisputable guide to enjoying the best party on the planet.
From where to eat, what to drink and how to run, this amazing read, details everything a novice and a veteran Sanferminner should and must know!

Mouton explains the deep traditions and reasons for the Encierro, or, running of the bulls. Why it exists, and why people by the millions continue to flock to the most amazing experience in the world.

The book recounts several experiences and stories surrounding this wondrous event, and covers in detail absolutely everything including the running, the Corridas (bull fights), the parades, the ceremonies and all the festivities that make up Sanfermin.

At the core of the book is Mouton's passion for the event.
Readers will be mesmerized by the description of beauty and sometimes horror that fills every page and will feel as though they are in the heart of the festival itself, even though they remain in the comfort of their reading chair.

Anyone even entertaining the slightest thought as too participating in this life-changing experience must read this book.

I read it twice before participating in my first Sanfermin, and I can honestly say that it made my trip not only perfect, but incredible and amazing!
I ran with the bulls several times, I ate the most amazing meals, drank the most delicious drinks and met the most interesting and fabulous people all thanks to Mouton's book.
His advice and stories made my experience far more incredible because I arrived in Pamplona knowing exactly what to expect and knew what I needed to do to make the experience perfect!

So sit back and let the amazing descriptions of Mouton wash over you like a warm comforting bath.
I defy you not to go to Pamplona after reading this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
To say that I merely enjoyed the book is an understatement of epic proportions. Everything about the fiesta is in the pages of Mouton's book and the wonderful photographs that illustrate the work are as beautiful as the author's prose.
For those who have celebrated this fiesta, this book will be a treasured memento of their experience - the book truly explains things that we have seen, thought and felt in Pamplona in a way in which we have not been able to explain them to others, or even to ourselves.
For those who have not been to Pamplona but have an interest in attending the fiesta, this book will enhance their fiesta experience immeasurably. One should not consider planning a trip to Pamplona without first buying and reading this book.
This book is difficult to describe and impossible to categorize. To me, it is at the same time - documentary, fiction, essay, travel, adventure, and philosophy. The photographs could stand alone as a photo essay of fiesta. The writing is excellent.
Anonymous
Los Angeles, CA
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