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Cirkus Kindle Edition

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Length: 336 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Patti Frazee teaches creative writing at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. A native of Nebraska, she received her BFA in theater from the University of Nebraska/Kearney and her MFA in writing from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She received an honorable mention for the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice 2005 Emerging Lesbian Writer's Fund.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1021 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publication Date: December 16, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006N89EI2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #344,374 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Patti Frazee is the author of two novels: "Out of Harmony" (January 2012) and "Cirkus" (Alyson Books, 2006). Her short stories have appeared in Water-Stone Literary Journal, and in Open to Interpretation: The Water's Edge.
Patti was raised in Nebraska, which provides a backdrop to both of her novels.
She graduated with a BFA in Theatre in 1985 and spent two summers working at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. After a brief stint as Gwyneth Paltrow's nanny in New York City, Patti returned to Nebraska where she performed in many community and dinner theatre productions.
Patti eventually moved to Minneapolis, quit the theatre life, and received an MFA in Creative Writing.
Patti is a freelance writer, teacher, editor, and publishing consultant. Find out more at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Y. Bergquist on July 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The characters of this book are the side-show "freaks" in a circus traveling though the midwest of 1900 America. Patti Frazee has shown us that our wishes, dreams, problems, tradegies, make us all the same.

Cojoined twins love different men, disapprove of one-anothers choices. What sisters haven't?

Shanghai the dwarf, has a terrible childhood and carries a burdensome secret. Which of us doesn't have a tale of woe?

Mariana and her husband Jacob are living through betrayal and loss. Neither of them knows how to fix it. Sound familiar?

Once the strangness of these characters is stripped away this is a book about life and the toll it takes on us as we live it. I highly recommend it. And I am looking forward to her next book.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Shannon L. Yarbrough VINE VOICE on March 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My gosh, this book was odd. I wanted to like it. I really did, ever since I first came across it in 2006. I was immediately intrigued by the cover and description, and I added it to my Amazon Wish List. I finally broke down and purchased it myself this year and was very excited to start reading. After about the first 100 pages, I wanted to put it down but I stayed with it till the end.

The first 200 pages of the book read like disjointed short stories going back and forth between the characters featured on the book cover. There's Shanghai, a fire twirling dwarf; Atash and Anna the Siamese Twins; Mariana the gypsy fortune teller and Jakub, her husband who runs the circus. We are treated to choppy glimpses into these characters lives in the circus and the affairs that connect them. One connection in particular is with Milada the acrobat, who is no longer with the cirucs, and who was a past lover of Shanghai. It is not made clear what happened to them until later in the book. These 200 pages are very repetitive though and very slow. The author "tells" you more of the story, rather than "showing" you which makes it very hard to connect with any of the characters and makes the reading a bit dry overall.

Another problem is the use of names. Mariana and Milada, both starting with the letter M, were easy to mix up in the beginning. Had the Siamese twins, Anna and Atasha, not physically been connnected, I probably would have confused them as well. An editor should have at least suggested a different name for one of the M characters. I found myself constantly consulting the book cover to look at the characters (there are 3 more pictured on the back) as I read, which eventually made me mad because I would have liked to conjure up their images on my own.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jacqueline on February 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love circus novels, and I'm Bohemian, so acquiring this was exciting! (VAGUE SPOILER AHEAD!!)

But, after reading this I felt like I'd been put through the wringer of the author's issues played out by each character; and not a single one sympathetic. I felt manipulated by the author and as someone just went on and on seeming like it would get better any chapter now.

Every character is secretive, lying, despairing, desperate, betraying and betrayed. It's a dark read with no happy endings except in the character's imaginations. It reads as a fictionalized account of someone who sees the world as persecuting and descriminating anyone who is slightly "different," or completely so and is subconciously projecting this into every character on the page.

Yes these people would be "freaks," however, I've always read the point of joining as a community in the "circus," was that they could find some acceptance in the setting. Everyone in this circus is manipulating or being manipulated and, during the story as it's told, no one gets even a glimpse of hope.

I cannot remember when I last read a novel in which there was not a single character I could like, or sympathize with. Nor in which there were so many characters playing out various shades of the worst of human nature, and none of the good. Very dissapointing considering the reviews!

Plus it just totally ruins all my happy notions of circus life; which, though hard was fulfilled by the sense of community and the rush of performing, as described in some other circus novels I've reviewed. In contrast to the well researched and historically accurate novels that actually contains just as much violence and sexuality and desperation but also hope, human goodness, redeemable characters and a general sense that the characters are there because they find their joy in their drive to perform and their destinies fulfilled there - at the Circus!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Papi on July 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is an amazing book! The author's style enabled me to join the cirkus myself with every page I turned. There is a character for everyone to identify with which leaves you cheering until the very end. I couldn't put it down. By far one of the best reads ever!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By tzefirah on May 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is one of the most lyrical books I've ever read. The prose is just shy of poetry, never veering from the dreamlike quality of the writing. The character interactions are smooth. The twists are startling.

People looking for turn of the century cirus lore may be disappointed. This is the story of talented immigrants in a Czech circus, trying to make their way in America.

This book should be required reading in college lit courses. It should be held up as a goal for aspiring novelists to reach for. The literate reader, as opposed to the "story" reader, will find this book worthy of attention.

The Kindle version did have a problem. Every time there was a "tl" those letters transferred as "d". So adverbs were troublesome, e.g. "gendy" versus "gently."
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