The Making of Toro: Bullfights, Broken Hearts, and One Author's Quest for the Acclaim He Deserves (Paperback)
Mark Sundeen receives a call from a big city publisher with an offer to write a book about bullfighting in Spain. Sundeen agrees, assuming that this is his best and last chance to follow the trajectory of his literary heroes, despite the fact that he has never been to a bullfight, doesn't speak Spanish, and is not even a particularly good reporter.
After squandering most of the book advance, Sundeen can't afford a trip to Spain, so he settles for nearby Mexico. But the bullfighting he finds there is tawdry and comical, and there's little of the passion and bravery that he'd hoped to employ in exhibiting his literary genius to the masses.
To compensate for his own shortcomings as an author, Sundeen invents an alter ego, Travis LaFrance, a swashbuckling adventure writer in the tradition of Sundeen's idol, Ernest Hemingway. When LaFrance steps in, our narrator goes blundering through the landscape of his own dreams and delusions, propelled solely by the preposterous insistence that his own life story, no matter how crummy, is worth being told in the pages of Great Literature.
The Making of Toro is a unique comic classic and a sly, poignant tale of the hazards of trying too hard to turn real life into high art.
About the Author
Mark Sundeen is the author of Car Camping. He graduated from Stanford University in 1992 with a degree in English and later moved to Moab, Utah. He earned a master's degree from the University of Southern California. In 2004 he worked as a blogger for Howard Dean's presidential campaign and assisted in the running of Peter Deutsch's senatorial campaign website. He instructs Outward Bound programs and teaches college-level creative writing courses in addition to writing. He lives in Montana and Utah.
Combining the self-deprecating wit of David Sedaris and the literary gamesmanship of Dave Eggers...Fabulously entertaining...The Making of Toro is a glorious mess, the tale of a hapless quest.
Detroit Free Press
The Making of Toro...is part travelogue, part romance, part send-up of literary fashions, and wholly the mark of the quirkiest memoirist since David Sedaris.
National Geographic Adventure
With Toro, Sundeen has created a consistent portrait of the artist as a young wannabe. The result is as fun, irreverent, and original as travel writing gets.
Hunter S. Thompson
Books like this are written only once or twice in a century. Thank God.