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Pamplona: Running the Bulls, Bars, and Barrios in Fiesta de San Fermin Paperback – August 31, 2002
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The photos and Ray Moutons 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 Hemingways 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
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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 ›
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Purchased to learn and understand prior to attending a professional staged reading of a play by the same name.
This book provided everything! I get it. Really well done. Read more
Amazing portrayal. Very accurate and helpful in trying to runPublished 24 months ago by Kevin M. Willmot
This book brings happy memories to me. Two years ago Hermann my companion and me were in Pamplona. It is nice city. Not too many fascists. Read morePublished on April 26, 2013 by Jürgen von Steinkellner
An outstanding work that could only be written by one who has been there. Mouton takes us into the streets with the bulls and to the tables of the barrio bars as he makes us part... Read morePublished on September 19, 2012 by Joseph E. LeBlanc, Jr.
Whilst unavoidably orientated to North American aficionados this is a brilliant book which goes behind the scenes to tell the story of why thousands are drawn back to Pamplona from... Read morePublished on August 10, 2008 by David J. Lewis
This book is an excellent account of what exactly happens during the Festival of San Fermin at Pamplona. Read morePublished on August 3, 2008 by emmalucinda
I truely enjoyed this book. Someday I will get there and also live the legend of this city that Ernest made popular- though it was doing just fine without him. Read morePublished on September 25, 2007 by gregorio
The best book ever written about Sanfermines, the festival of San Fermin known to many as the running of the bulls. This truly is a guide to Fiesta. Read morePublished on September 25, 2007 by Jonathan Knowles
The best book I have ever read on San Fermin!!!!! It captures the very heart and soul of fiesta-the Alegria. Read morePublished on August 22, 2007 by hammerhead