Prolific writer Dale Pierce seems
to be cranking out books all of a sudden, more rapidly than customers can
keep up with them, both from established publishing houses and the
somewhat lesser though faster books-on-demand printing. Tales From
The Bullring would be one of the latter, but nonetheless impressive of his
The book is as of now only available by orders online at
http://www.lulu.com/content/5828139 for $18.00 in book form and $3.50 for an
economical e-book download. The project is nearly 300 pages of
solid text and no photos, giving tons of information to the reader
without illustrations. While the project could well have been enhanced
with some shots of the bullfighters mentioned in the book, such is not to be.
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From the border bullrings of Mexicali, Nogales, Ciudad Acuna,
Reynosa and Juarez to the gigantic circle of sand in Madrid’s Las Ventas
arena, Pierce offers tale after tale related to this world of sunlight and
slow death. One finds reprinted interviews with the late Curro Rivera and
Marcial Lalanda to be riveting, with special note to the latter recounting
memories of Manolete, Granero and Nicanor Villata, the last of whom he
harbored a little known personal dislike.
There are accounts of bullfights in Mexicali, Tijuana, Nogales and
Juarez, featuring forgotten toreros such as Mauro Liceaga and Cagancho
Hijo. There’s a tale of Manolo Martinez surpassing the challenge of the
younger Curro Leal in Tijuana in 1973 and Fernando Dos Santos fighting a
bull that received an indulto or pardon in Nogales in 1970.
On the heels of the release of Matadores Latinos by Floricanto
Press in California, Pierce took matters into his own hands and went with
a second project with books on demand.
“As of right now, this is an experiment,” he explained. “We
will see how it goes. If the sales online are alright and some of the
sales set up at border bullrings come to pass, I will go through with
getting an ISBN number of place it in the stores. Otherwise, I am simply going to keep things like this and
go for foreign reprints. After all, I have one book, Matadores Latinos,
available in stores and on the stands already, though it is different from
this book. Tales From the Bullring covers much broader territory, where
Matadores deals with the history of the defunct bullring in Juarez.”
Pierce creates a unique hodge-podge of bullfighting tales, without
any particular rhyme or reason, but in doing so binds together a unique
work with a wealth of information for anyone interested in the art form.
Pierce even offers an alternative in a segment devoted to those opposed to
the bullfight. One cannot accuse him of being lopsided in reporting.
There are accounts of the fatal gorings of many toreros who died in
obscurity such as Antonio Ruiz, Regional, Alejandro Izquierdo, Esteban
Garcia and Alejandro Cabrera, who was only 16 years old when he died in a
festival in Aguascalientes, after taking a horn wound in the neck.
There are fascinating stories of behind-the-scenes episodes
concerning Joselito, El Gallo, Belmonte, Armillita, Varelito, and
the independent film-maker, Jeff Stoll, who keeps cranking out Ed
Wood type horror films with bullfighting themes.
There are accounts of bullfighting museums and graveyards,
running of the bulls and drinking fests in fan clubs devoted to specific
Felix Briones, Luis Procuna, Hilda Tenorio, Curro Romero, Manolete,
Manuel Granero, Yiyo, Paquirri, Rivera Ordonez, Fandi, Fundi, Zapata, Pepe
Caceres, Carlos Arruza, Guillermo Capetillo, Silviano Tanori, Chilolin,
Angel Sulbaran, Gaston Santos, Arturo Ruiz Loredo, Jesus Solórzano, Mario
Sevilla, Curro Fuentes, Glison, El Callao, Cordobes,
Mariano Ramos, El Charro, Diego O’ Bolger, Alfredo Leal, Harper
Lee, Sidney Franklin, Valentin Conde, Gonzalo Rivera,
Luis Miguel Dominguin, Lupita Lopez, Chilolin, Raquel
Martinez, Jaime Bravo, Leonardo Manzano,
Paco Cespedes, Pablo Hermoso de Mendoza, Andaluz, Bulcano, El
Chato, Alejandro del Hierro,
Angel Soria, Paco Pallares, Raul Garcia, Julian Villela, Jose Antonio
Gaona, Eduardo Liceaga, Malla, Antonio Carpio, Antonio Gallegos,
Rogelio Leduc, Bernardo Valencia, John Fulton, Lucio Sandin, Luis
Miguel Stumer, Dennis Borba, Manolo Moreno, Antonio Ferrara, Domingo Gama,
Marcos Ortega, Carnicerito
de Mexico, Hector Saucedo, Tomas Abaroa and Lorenzo Garza are just a
selection of some of the many people readers meet within the book.