As Drake's debut opens, Nita, otherwise known as Sniffles the Clown, is tying balloon animals for a horde of greedy, sticky children at a fair. Suffering what may be a cardiac event, she's rushed to the hospital—after trying to get help from a clown fetishist, who simply drops his phone number on top of her prone form. Welcome to wacky, stressful Baloneytown, where clown prostitution, stoned dogs and fire juggling–cum–arson are the norm. Nita struggles to make enough money clowning to keep herself in oversized shoes and squirting daisies, while also saving for Clown College tuition for her boyfriend, handsome clown Rex Galore. But Rex is mostly MIA, and Nita's longing for him settles on local cop Jerrod. While not much happens, the pace of the narrative is methamphetamine-frantic, as Drake drills down past the face paint and into Nita's core, often using Nita's relations with men as the bit. Nita emerges as a fully-realized character, bearing witness to a lot of the emotionally ridiculous and just a hint of the sublime. Some plot threads never quite come together, and a few characters are underdeveloped, but there is a lot more going on here than just clowning around. (Feb.)
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An introduction by novelist Chuck Palahniuk and a rubber chicken on the cover promise lots of nervous laughs for Drake's dark debut. The tale revolves around Nita (aka Sniffles the Clown), who inhabits Baloneytown, a depressed, crime-infested metropolis where residents peer warily out their windows when a cop car drives by. Nita aspires to high art but finds herself caught in a vicious cycle of corporate clown gigs that creep ever closer to prostitution. She misses her boyfriend (and fellow clown) Rex Galore, who has gone off to interview at Clown College. And now her dog has gone missing, her relationship with her housemates is on the skids, and the only friend she has left is a golden-haired policeman who is surprisingly concerned about her well-being. Drake, who teaches at Pacific Northwest College of Art, renders rich, sinewy prose (with heady references to Chaplin, Kafka, da Vinci, and the like), but her offbeat subject matter and plot would play better as a short story. Allison Block
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This was definitely a different story from anything else I've ever read, but I must admit that I quite enjoyed it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
like other reviewers i too grew bored or weary with the puns and tragic outcomes of a life being wasted in jokery by p. 125. i skipped ahead to p. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Patrick Moore LMT Educator
I've known about this book since its publication and feel silly for having just picked it up and read it. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Vanessa Johnson
This is the complete review as it appears <a href="http://ianwoodnovellum.blogspot.com/2014/09/clown-girl-by-monica-drake. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
In a world where teen books are numerous (fun but not engaging literature), clown girl gave me the same fun, soul searching insight with a true literary flare. I highly enjoyed it! Read morePublished 13 months ago by Crystal Marelli
I bought'a this'a book'a for my uncle Gino. He no like'a this'a book'a.
First, he want'a become like a clown and thought this'a book'a to learn. NO PICTURES! Read more
I would suggest this to fans of Chuck Pahlaniuk, bizzaro fiction readers and anyone who will give an author they never heard of a chance. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Beck
I like this lady (Monica Drake) right away because she not only worked with Amy Hempel she actually was in a writing group with Chuck Palahniuk and I have all his books. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Mathew Lee Dean