FUN WHILE IT LASTED by Barnaby Conrad


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At nineteen Barnaby Conrad vaulted into a Mexican arena and waved his Brooks Brothers raincoat at an enraged bull. At twenty-one he escalated from code clerk to vice-consul in twenty-four hours and was sent to Spain where he became El Nino de California (The California Kid) of the bull fights. At twenty-five he was selling books on the subject. When not playing piano in Peru, painting portraits, or engaging in a number of both hilarious and horrendous love affairs. These reminiscences include a variety of intimate portraits of many of the matadors immortalized by Hemingway (including the now pathetically fat, balding model for Death in the Afternoon) like Manolete and Belmonte. And although Mr. Conrad's personal experiences seem more Chaplinesque than heroic, he does communicate the mystique of the ring. In the latter part of the book his hyperthyroid activities lead him to the country lair of Sinclair Lewis where he worked as private secretary for a year. And here is a fascinating view of Lewis, childish, irascible, dominating, pining for his lost mistress and raging at the reviews that decimate his latest Kingsblood Royal. Shortly thereafter Mr. Conrad was off to further adventures making movies, operating nightclubs, dabbling in marriages and raising exotic fish. A dashing dilettante who speaks from enviable experience.

Pub Date: July 21st, 1969
Publisher: Random House