cover image Hemingway's Spain

Hemingway's Spain

Chronicle Books, Barnaby Conrad. Chronicle Books, $18.95 (159pp) ISBN 978-0-87701-547-5

``With Hemingway, if you didn't like Spain there wasn't much else he wanted to talk to you about,'' writes Conrad ( Matador ), and though it is undoubtedly odd to tell of Hemingway's fascination with things Spanish in a coffee-table ``lifestyle'' book, this glossy bastardization of roughshod machismo is, considering the limits of the genre, reasonably informative. We learn a smidgen of bullfighting and Spanish history, as well as Hemingway's attachment to each. But the novelist's well-known enthusiasm for violence is rarely evident in Dean's overly luscious pictures. The photographer's portraits and landscapes demurely avoid the rituals of death to champion the cause of a more wholesome national vitality. Commercial and ploddingly banal, even in shots of the rough-and-tumble of man and bull, Conrad and Dean's version of the Iberian peninsula has little bearing on Hemingway's. (Dec.)