Tuesday 11 April 2017

Book Review: Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter

Title: Nights at the Circus
Author: Angela Carter
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: 1994 (1984)
Pages: 350
Format: Paperback
Genre: Literary Fiction
Source: Bought Used Copy
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Is Sophie Fevvers, toast of Europe's capitals, part swan...or all fake?
Courted by the Prince of Wales and painted by Toulouse-Lautrec, she is an aerialiste extraordinaire and star of Colonel Kearney's circus. She is also part woman, part swan. Jack Walser, an American journalist, is on a quest to discover the truth behind her identity. Dazzled by his love for her, and desperate for the scoop of a lifetime, Walser has no choice but to join the circus on its magical tour through turn-of-the-nineteenth-century London, St Petersburg and Siberia. (Goodreads Synopsis)

Nights at the Circus is one of those bizarre tales that creeps up on you. At first fantastical, the magical realism eventually takes hold, to the point where the events no longer seem strange. Complete with Carter's earthy, sensual prose, Nights at the Circus is a book that you will think about longer after you put it down. The characters are beautifully portrayed, and the story is captivating in all its surreal splendour. It brought a smile to my face many times. I am still rather a newcomer to Carter's work, but following Nights at the Circus, I certainly intend to read more. I am very keen to try Blood Chamber next.

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