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Cirque Du Freak: The Manga, Vol. 1 Paperback – Deluxe Edition, June 9, 2009

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Cirque Du Freak: The Manga, Vol. 1 + Cirque du Freak, Vol. 3: Tunnels of Blood + Cirque Du Freak: The Manga, Vol. 8: Allies of the Night
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Product Details

  • Series: Cirque Du Freak: The Manga (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Yen Press; 1 edition (June 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0759530416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0759530416
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Cirque Du Freak "fast-paced and compelling book which engages the reader's attention early and keeps it up to the very end. Full of satisfyingly macabre touches, it explores the powerful fascination of the dangerous and unnatural and, also, movingly the obligations of friendship. The narrator struggles with his conscience and with the unforseen consequences of his actions, both foolish and noble, which make for a plot full of twists - while the climax is fittingly unexpected and leaves the reader hungry for more." JK Rowling 'Brilliant, macabre tale.' Guardian The Vampire's Assistant "The Vampire's Assistant blazes a thrilling, gruesome trail through a fascinating plot." The Good Book Guide Vampire Mountain "Get your teeth into it!" Funday Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Darren Shan is the New York Times bestselling author of Cirque Du Freak and The Demonata, whose novels have sold over 15 million copies worldwide. Darren lives in Ireland, where he writes and collects art, comics, and film.

Customer Reviews

The book has also inspired an upcoming movie.
Takahiro Arai's art is extremely mesmerizing and helps the reader picture what the characters look like, or how they should look in the upcoming Cirque du Freak movie.
Once you start to read this fantastic first book of the Darren Shan saga, you better be seated comfortably, because you want be able to stop reading!
john christian revheim

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jen Jen on June 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
I picked this up cause I enjoy a little manga and I adore the original Cirque Du Freak series.

They are pretty faithful to the book. A lot of dialogue seems lifted right from the pages most of the time. The art is pretty good, it took some getting used since that wasn't quite what I had pictured when reading the novels but by the end of the book I was very excited that I'll be taking this wonderful journey again but in a different medium.

Very impressed. :)

EDIT: Oh I'd also like to add that if you aren't quite warming up to the art, back when I was in Japan I bought volume 9 and 12 cause they had favorite moments of mine in them and I have to say in comparison the volume one, Takahiro Arai has grown quite a bit as an artist by the end. I think this was also his first manga.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on July 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
Relive the first novel in the most action-packed, fast-paced thriller of a series ever to rule the human and vampire world with this newly published CIRQUE DU FREAK manga.

The story surrounds Darren Shan, the infamous spider lover. On his way home one night he is given a flyer to a circus. Not just any other regular circus, however - this is the circus of freaks. Accompanied by his friend, Steve, Darren witnesses the most peculiar and amazing acts that no other circus has to offer.

Among these acts are Larten Crepsley and his spider, Madam Octa. It was like love at first sight for Darren as the hypnotic and magnificent spider did her act. Little did Darren know that Madam Octa and the brash decisions Darren himself would be making shortly would change his life forever.

Darren's world goes from circus of freaks to the underworld of vampires in a flash.

Takahiro Arai's art is extremely mesmerizing and helps the reader picture what the characters look like, or how they should look in the upcoming Cirque du Freak movie. Each manga will mirror each novel, and the manga is read in a true right-to-left fashion and even incorporates some Japanese, such as gokuku = gulp or hena = flop.

The story itself may be old, but seeing it in this new light is refreshing and brings back memories of when I first read it in 7th grade.

Open up your wallet, because once you read the manga, you are going to want to read the novel itself!

Reviewed by: Randstostipher "tallnlankyrn" Nguyen
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fritosgirl VINE VOICE on August 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
As a huge fan of the book series, I was intrigued when I heard they were making a manga version. Overall, this was a solid adaptation book one: Cirque Du Freak.

I admit, I haven't read the first book in this series for a while, but from what I could tell it was pretty true to the story and any changes made sense. Frankly, I had a huge grin on my face the entire time I read this title. The charm and overall impact of the story seems to still be present.

My only issue is the manga style chosen for this manga. It's good, but brings nothing new to the table. To me, it looked like every other shonen title I've picked up. The drawing style, however, is pretty easy to get over as the story is still as great as it was when I first started reading about Darrens journey into the vampire world those many years ago.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
Warning: Do not read this manga if you are prone to tears.

This book made me cry. A lot. The adaption of the story is amazing and haunting. I never knew of a book like this one that made me feel pity for the main character. I'm not going to give out any of the plot but overall this book is entertaining and sad at the same time.

The ending of the book sent chills down my spine for hours. I just put the book down and sat there thinking about what happened in the story for a minute before I went on wikipedia to look up the original series' plot.

Read this book if you're looking for something with horror that sends shivers down your spine and a hint of sadness.
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Format: Paperback
Cirque du Freak is a manga starring Darren Shan based on a novel of the same name written by Darren Shan. That may sound confusing, but it's rather simple, actually. Shan (the real one, although his last name is actually O'Shaughnessy) is an Irish author who in 2000 began his vampire novel series. Wonderfully converted to manga by Takahiro Arai, the first book in the series gains new life, no pun intended, in this hypnotic volume.

The Darren Shan who stars in Cirque du Freak is a kid with a rather bizarre obsession: spiders. He loves 'em and can't get enough of 'em. And it turns out he will follow them almost anywhere. That's what gets him in trouble near the beginning of this book, along with his fascination for the macabre. When he spots an advertisement for the Cirque du Freak, a circus that bills itself as "not for the fainthearted," he knows he has to go to see it for himself.

The circus is far more ominous than Darren suspects, of course, but he and his friend Steve are compelled to visit. Darren ends up making a giant sacrifice for his friend, one that inducts him into the horrifying world of vampirism, struggling to maintain his humanity and his soul despite being paired with the greatest evil he has ever met.

Arai's art is a real thrill here. The story was already well-suited for the manga format, so in some ways it just feels as though the art is finally being paired up with a story that should have had it all along. But more than that, Arai has done a superb job of creating a manga that feels like a healthy mix of styles, both American and Japanese. Arai won a contest search for the artist to convert the story to manga, and it's easy to see how he won. His style feels new and classic at the same time. It's a delight.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Darren Shan's real name is Darren O'Shaughnessy (pronounced O-Shock-Nessy, though it can also be pronounced O-Shawn-Essy_. Although he is Irish, he was born on July 2, 1972, in St. Thomas' Hospital, London -- directly across the river from the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, which may explain his fascination with evil bloodsuckers! He lived in South East London, near the Elephant & Castle. He started school at the early age of three (he was such a wild child, no pre-school facility would have him!), in English Martyrs. At the age of six, he moved to Limerick in Ireland, with his parents and younger brother, and has lived there ever since.

Shan went to primary school in Askeaton, where his mother was a teacher, then to secondary school in Copsewood College in Pallaskenry. Later, he went back to London to study Sociology and English at Roehampton University. He then worked for a cable television company in Limerick for a couple of years, before setting up as a full-time writer at the age of 23.

Although Shan always wanted to be a writer, it was only in his teenage years that he began writing in his spare time for fun (before that, he only wrote stories if they were for homework). He bought his first typewriter when he was 14, and never looked back, knocking out loads of short stories and comic scripts, and making false starts on several books, which he never completed. He enjoyed his first taste of literary success at age 15, as a runner-up in a television script-writing competition for RTE in Ireland, with a dark comedy script titled A Day in the Morgue (he was morbid even then!).

Shan was 17 when he finished his first novel. Although it was never published, he relished the writing experience, and found himself focusing more on novels in the coming years, leaving behind the short-story format. For the next several years, sandwiched between university and work, he wrote an average of one book a year, experimenting with different ideas, genres, lengths and styles. When he started writing full-time, his output shot up to 5 to 6 books per year! But that has dropped back to 2 to 3 recently, due to all the travelling around he's been doing to promote sales of his books.

All of these early books were adult-oriented. Although Shan quite liked the idea of writing a children's book one day, he considered himself an adult writer first and foremost. In fact, Shan's initial breakthrough was with an adult book, in 1999, titled Ayuamarca (since re-released in the UK as Procession Of The Dead, and coming to the USA in 2010).

In January 2000, his first children's book, Cirque du Freak, which he'd written as a fun side-project, was published. The first book in a series titled The Saga of Darren Shan (or Cirque du Freak, as it's known in America), it attracted rave reviews and an ever-growing army of fans hungry to learn more about vampires which were quite unlike any that anyone had ever seen before!

Shan loved writing for children so much, that for the next several years he focused exclusively on his books for younger readers. First, he wrote a total of 12 books about vampires. He quickly followed up his vampiric saga with The Demonata, a series about demons. Running to ten books in total, The Demonata cemented Shan's place in the UK as the Master Of Children's Horror, and saw him score his first UK #1 bestseller. He also wrote a one-off short book, called Koyasan, for Wold Book Day in the UK.

There was a very successful manga adaptation of Shan's vampire series, drawn by the Japanese artist, Takahiro Arai. It was originally serialized in Japan, but collected volumes are now on sale in the USA, UK and other countries.

In addition to writing for children, Shan has now returned to his first love and is once again writing for adults as well. He has had two adult books published in the UK, Procession Of The Dead and Hell's Horizon. They have been released in a number of other countries too, and are due to hit the USA in 2010. A third, City of the Snakes, goes on sale in the UK in March 2010. His first adult books were released under the name of D B Shan, but they are being reprinted under the name of Darren Shan in March 2010, and City of the Snakes will be released under the Darren Shan name.

By the start of 2010, Shan's books were on sale in every continent, in 39 countries, in 31 languages, and have been children's bestsellers in America, Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and other countries. The books have topped adult bestseller charts in Hungary, Japan and Taiwan. In total, Shan's books have sold close to 15 million copies worldwide!!!!

The movie rights to Cirque Du Freak were bought by Universal, and the first movie (which combines elements from the first three books in the series) was released on October 23rd, 2009, starring newcomer Chris Massoglia as Darren Shan, along with a wide array of established stars such as Josh Hutcherson, John C Reilly, Salma Hayek, Willem Defoe and Ken Watanabe. The movie was called Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant. It was released on DVD and Blu-Ray in February 2010.

A big film buff, with a collection of more than four thousand movies at home, Shan also reads lots of comics and books, and likes to study and collect original artwork, especially comic art and impressionist and post-impressionist art. He has recently started adding sculptures to his collection, making use of the large, empty field outside his back door. Other interests include long walks, watching football (he's a Tottenham Hotspur and Ireland fan), listening to pop and rock music, theatre, worldwide travel, sampling the delights of both gourmet cuisine and finger-licking junk food, and dreaming up new ways to terrify his readers!!!

Shan spends most of his time in Limerick, Ireland, with his girlfriend Bas. He has no pets, but a neighbourhood dog called Goldie joins him on his walks most days. He also feeds a variety of wild birds, and spots the occasional hare and pheasant strolling through his back yard. In addition to his main home in Ireland, Shan has an apartment in London, to which he escapes for a burst of high-speed living every so often, when he feels the need to get his juices flowing!! Shan rarely writes when in London or on the road, preferring to tie himself to his computer when at home in Limerick, where he can work away solidly without any distractions in the peace and quiet of the Irish countryside.