Book recomendations about old time carnivals.

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by Brooksie, Jan 13, 2007.

  1. Brooksie

    Brooksie One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,166
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    I hope I am posting this in the right location. This is the second time I have started a thread-I have always been afraid I would get something in the wrong spot so I have avoided it till tonight!

    I love stories about old time circus and carnivals- I used to love to watch the HBO show Carnivale'. So, I am looking for recomendations of books with these themes. I liked how HBO's Carnival was kind of "dark" but the books that I am interested in can be dark or light hearted.

    Has anyone read a book called: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen - It is about a 1930's Circus? I have not read it but was wondering if it is any good? Because it sounds like it is right on the money as far as what I am looking for?

    Brooksie
     
  2. Travis

    Travis Suspended

    Messages:
    372
    Location:
    Portland, Ore
    I haven't read Water for Elephants, but I'm going to have to check that one out. I was also a huge fan of Carnivale, it's a shame it didn't last. I found Eyeing the Flash: The Making of a Carnival Con Artist by Peter Fenton to be interesting. It's a memoir and takes place in the '60s but if you like carnie stuff, I recommend it. Also, I really liked Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, but I don't recommend it for the weak of heart. I'm always on the look out for books about golden age circuses and carnivals, so if I stumble on something, I'll let you know.
     
  3. Travis

    Travis Suspended

    Messages:
    372
    Location:
    Portland, Ore
    Oh, and if you haven't seen it yet, check out the 1932 film Freaks. Incredible film.
     
  4. Brooksie

    Brooksie One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,166
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Thanks Travis for the book & movie suggestions! I'm glad there is someone else out there with a fascination with old time carnivals!

    Brooksie
     
  5. Travis

    Travis Suspended

    Messages:
    372
    Location:
    Portland, Ore
    A fascination, and at time an obsession. I suppose it takes an carnie obsession to learn to breath and eat fire and things like that.
     
  6. Brooksie

    Brooksie One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,166
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Oh yeah!

    Brooksie
     
  7. Katt in Hat

    Katt in Hat A-List Customer

    Messages:
    353
    Location:
    The Gold Coast of Florida
    Originally 1954. 2nd Edition 1989

    The Man Who Was Not With It (Second Edition Books) (Paperback)
    by Herbert Gold "THERE he is on the midway, Grack the Frenchie, talking for his countstore or his zoo while the loudspeaker clamored under his come-on with a..."

    Gold was very influential. Beats very much enamoured and influenced by his werk.

    You want Carnivals? Here you got 'em.

    :arated:
     
  8. SGB

    SGB One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    270
    Location:
    AZ
    Good book with a bit of a sappy ending, but a fun read anyway.
    I still miss HBO's Carnivale, but owning "Ben's" truck helps, I can visit the show everytime I go in my garage...

    SGB
     
  9. Fleur De Guerre

    Fleur De Guerre Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,056
    Location:
    Walton on Thames, UK
    Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter is about a 19th century circus performer, but is a kind of love it or hate it sort of affair, due to its weird story and the author's writing style. It might be worth a try though!
     
  10. Brooksie

    Brooksie One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,166
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Hmmm, I'll have to check it out.

    Thanks,
    Brooksie
     
  11. Brooksie

    Brooksie One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,166
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Wow, now I thought I was a fan! (of Carnival that is).

    Thanks for sharing,

    Brooksie
     
  12. Brooksie

    Brooksie One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,166
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Interesting... another to add to my growing list!

    Thanks,

    Brooksie
     
  13. Brooksie

    Brooksie One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,166
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Ok, carnie fans keep um comin in! We are on a roll now.

    Thanks everyone for contributing to my book list, next it is off to the library and if no luck there the local store and last but not least the internet. I know, I know, I need to stay on topic!

    Brooksie
     
  14. SGB

    SGB One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    270
    Location:
    AZ
  15. thetankw/ahat

    thetankw/ahat Familiar Face

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    san diego
    ghost boy is a good one cant remember the author right now but its about an albino teen who runs off to join the circus. you could probably find it in the young adult section of the book store.
     
  16. pablocham

    pablocham One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    233
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Ricky Jay has written two incredible books about the history of carnival entertainment: Learned Pigs and Fire Proof Women; and Jay's Journal of Anomolies. he has a new book out that I haven't yet read. They are all large and full of incredible illustrations and worth every penny.

    FWIW, I read Carny Kill by Robert Alter about 12 years ago and I remember liking it, but i don't remember anything about it except that it took place at a carnival. It is a 50s crime/detective pulp that was rereleased by Black Lizard in the 80s.


    For other ideas, check out these amazon lists:
    http://www.amazon.com/Freaks-Carnys...ref=cm_lm_dtpa_fvlm_cfa_2/104-3277566-1017559

    http://www.amazon.com/FREAKS/lm/12OQPA1NHD9B7/ref=cm_lm_dtpa_fvlm_cfa_3/104-3277566-1017559

    http://www.amazon.com/So-you-wanna-...ref=cm_lm_dtpa_fvlm_cfa_1/104-3277566-1017559
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.