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Paperback The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup: My Encounters with Extraordinary People Book

ISBN: 0375758631

ISBN13: 9780375758638

The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup: My Encounters with Extraordinary People

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Book Overview

The bestselling author of The Orchid Thief is back with this delightfully entertaining collection of her best and brightest profiles. Acclaimed New Yorker writer Susan Orlean brings her wry sensibility, exuberant voice, and peculiar curiosities to a fascinating range of subjects--from the well known (Bill Blass) to the unknown (a typical ten-year-old boy) to the formerly known (the 1960s girl group the Shaggs). Passionate people. Famous people. Short...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Non-fiction at its finest

Like her predecessor Joan Didion, Susan Orlean writes of the wide range of human experience--from a traveling gospel group in the South to a budding basketball star--and in doing so presents a portrait of America that is both comprehensive and engaging. What's even better is that she does it without ever being sentimental.While I liked all of the essays in this volume, my favorites were ones that showed lives of the "average" American, like Heather Heaton, a young journalist covering the events of a small town, and, of course, "The American Male, age 10." Ms. Orlean has a way of following her subjects around & illuminating their lives, without ever getting in the way. Truly professional work, and I only have to say: give us more!

Outstanding

For anyone who enjoys reading profile pieces in major national magazines, you will love Orlean's superb writing! Her choices of interview subjects are far and varied, from the American Man, Aged 10 to the Female Bullfighter, hence the title of the book. You will be delighted and most of all, impressed by her deft writing and wonderfully descriptive passages. You will not be disappointed!

I loved this book.

Susan Orlean writes with more grace, style and wit than anyone in the magazine world today. These well-reported, beautifully crafted profiles of both known and unknown characters show her at the top of her form. Orlean has a knack for being at the right place at the right time to capture a telling detail or quote and, contrary to the wrongheaded and ignorant comments in a few of the customer reviews here, she is, if anything, self-effacing and unobtrusive as she brings the reader deeply into the lives of her subjects. Literary journalism as an art form necessarily includes the author's voice and point of view -- these are what make it less artificial and far more interesting than standard "objective" reporting. The rave reviews for this book in the New York Times and other publications are well justified.

A thoroughly entertaining, fun and inspiring book

After reading Susan Orlean's excellent The Orchid Thief last year and having followed some of her recent writing in The New Yorker (particularly a fantastic piece on the hapless New Hampshire girl-rock group from the 1970's, The Shaggs), I was eagerly awaiting this collection of profiles. It not only surpassed my very high expectations for literary quality, it is one of the funniest and most entertaining, lively and moving books I have read in quite awhile. She gets these people down perfectly and is a master of the revealing touch. The opening chapter on a typical 10-year-old American boy is my favorite -- it allows the reader to enter a kid's world very much from his point of view while overlaying a beautifully reported and crafted commentary that manages all at once to be empathetic, witty,ironic and highly informative. The ending of this piece, like the ending to both the introduction and the title piece on the first female matador in Spain which concludes the book, is hauntingly poignant and gets to what Orlean is really about here: showing the extraordinarily captivating nature of what seemingly ordinary people are really like when closely examined in their own subcultures. The intelligence and insight she brings to bear in joyfully sharing with the reader what she has discovered is what makes this book so wonderful.

A totally and completely amazing book

Sure to be a best seller, this collection of previously published magazine articles is Orlean at her most radiant. In spite of the fact that I am not drawn to collections, I found this book so full of evocative, brilliant and insightful stories that I couldn't, simply wouldn't, put it down. Her writing is so descriptive, so visual and so appreciative of all those she profiles, it makes me question whether I actually see the world through the same lens. Perhaps now I will.
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