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Freaks: Alive, on the Inside! Paperback – July 10, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 331 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Reprint edition (July 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689870388
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689870385
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.9 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #554,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–Abel, 17, is the normal son of a legless father and an armless mother. He lives with other oddities in a midget village where they put on shows. He is restless and wants his own life. His romantic experiences have been limited to kissing the hairy Dog-Faced Girl. He runs away and joins a traveling circus, unaware that Apollo, 12, the hairy Puppy Boy, has followed him and stowed away aboard the circus train. Apollo is discovered and caged like an animal and Abel is thrown from the train by his fellow performers. Apollo escapes and they are reunited, working as servants in a brothel until Dr. Mink's Traveling Monster Menagerie arrives in town and Apollo is lured into joining them. Most of the show's monsters are children who were born with deformities and have been sold to or kidnapped by Mink. As Abel attempts to free them, he is plagued by dreams of a beautiful Egyptian woman who repeatedly throws herself at him. Somehow a ring he received as a gift allows this female mummy to come alive. Set in 1899, this gripping and sensual, but never explicitly sexual tale is a fascinating mixture of fantasy and reality. Abel's growth from an immature, irresponsible teen into a more mature, dependable young man ready to take charge is well done. The author never loses sight of the fact that despite their unusual appearances, all of the characters are human.–Sharon Rawlins, NJ Library for the Blind and Handicapped, Trenton
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 10-12. Seventeen-year-old Abel has spent most of his life at Faeryland, a resort offering "displays of oddities," featuring performers with unusual physical characteristics. Both of his parents are missing limbs, and his first girlfriend is Phoebe the Dog-Faced Girl, whose cheek fur is ever-present when they kiss. Abel feels "useless" and "handicapped" by his normality. Longing to find a sense of purpose (and eager to escape Phoebe's affection), he runs away. He soon discovers that Phoebe's fur-faced younger brother has followed him, and together the boys journey through the seedy, terrifying world of traveling sideshows, led in part by the mysterious dark-haired girl who appears to Abel urgently in dreams and begs to be rescued. Klause's wild historical fantasy enfolds numerous stories and characters, and readers may get bogged down in the wandering subplots that knit the story together. The characters often speak coarsely, occasionally dipping into broad sexual innuendos, and Abel's romantic interludes read with the steaminess of a bodice-ripper. But teens will be easily drawn in by the cliff-hanger chapter endings; the vibrant, affectionately drawn cast of characters (including a seductive mummy); and the exuberant, often bawdy language, in which even emotions are visceral creatures: "A worm of anger squiggled in my gut," Abel says. Klause's suspenseful twist on the outsider's story, the grim horror of human exploitation, and the questions about belonging will fascinate readers. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
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4 star
17%
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6%
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See all 18 customer reviews
It got kinda...eekee... in the middle.
Andrew P.
I decided to put the book I was already reading aside, and start Freaks.
Oz Griffin
It was a fun read, with likeable characters and a fun plot.
jedigirl77

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Linda Joy Singleton on February 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A book that has something for everyone! Amazing adventures, loveable misfits, kidnappings, murder, mythology, history, thrilling battles and a romance that sweeps across time and defies death. Readers will remember FREAKS long after they finish the last page.

Although labeled for young adults, this book will appeal to every aged reader. It's about a young man with a legless father and armless mother who lives in a freak-community called Faeryland. Born healthy with no deformities, Abel doesn't feel he fits in and yearns for adventure and romance. A mysterious ring gives him a vision of a beautiful woman and guides him on a fantastic journey unlike any other book I've ever read. The closest I can compare this to is Nancy Farmer's thrilling novels.

I loved this book and expect to see it on Newbery, Best Books, and Printz shortlists. And it would make a great movie, too.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Oz Griffin on July 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I almost didn't read this book. I was in the signing area at Book Expo America, and a friend pointed the book out to me. I grabbed a copy thinking "why not." As soon as I got home, I put it on my shelf, but something kept drawing me to it. I decided to put the book I was already reading aside, and start Freaks. I fully expected to read a couple of pages and put it down, but I was hooked from the first sentence on. This is a great read for Young Adults. Abel Dandy is a great character and the Freaks are worth the price of admission. Klause has written a wonderful story that has you cheering out loud for the good guys, and jeering the evil Dr. Mink (not to mention Ceecee.) I highly recommend it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Shadow Hearth on September 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I have to say that this book had me hooked. I had read some of Annette's other books, and as soon as I saw this one the shelf, grabbed it up for myself. I read it within the first two days of buying it, and I'm still in love.

It's a great book, it could be for people of every age... Well, except for some younger ones. There is some suggestive themes, but I'm glad to say it's not overly graphic.

This is a wonderful book, I recommend it to people all the time, especially when I know that there into the same mythical, historical, strange, and heart trobbing, just as I am. It's a great book with many of different subjects all mixed into one.

Enjoy the book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Bennett VINE VOICE on April 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
I would have to say that this book was just okay. It was good enough to keep me reading until the end but not good enough to make me dwell on it or want to read it again.
It's about a 17 year old boy named Abel that grew up in what was referred to as a Freakshow. His mother had no arms, his dad had no legs but Abel was considered "normal". Because of this he felt like he didn't fit in there and set off on his own to make his fortune. He is followed by the puppy boy and from there their adventure starts.
Some of the things that I liked is that it showed that just because someone might look different than you it does not make them different on the inside. It was shown very well how everyone has feelings and a heart. It also did a very good job of showing Abel becoming a man.
Some of the things I did not like was the suggestive sexual themes that I felt was not necessary at all. They weren't horribly bad but more than I personally felt was necessary. Also, Abel tended to get on my nerves with the way he treated puppy boy (sorry I can't remember his name) and his sister. Then the way he never really believed the little girl who could tell the future. No matter how many times she proved she knew what she was talking about, Abel always seemed to doubt her.
All in all it wasn't a bad read. It had some lessons to be learned.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on February 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Seventeen-year-old Abel Dandy has a problem. He is too normal. In a home that is far from typical, Abel lives in Faeryland, a carnival-type land where visitors can see performances that include "an extravaganza of amazing oddities, mystifying the audience with their uncanny skills, death-defying deeds, and wondrous physiognomy." Abel's parents are performers where they can put their anomalies to use. Papa has no legs and performs as the bottom half of a torso in Uncle Jack's illusion act. And Abel's Mama has no arms, but can knit up a storm with her toes. Abel's parents are lucky because in 1899 there are not many ways for people like them, "freaks," to make a living.

Abel has lived in Faeryland most of his life. Along with his parents and uncle, he has grown up with an extended family of dwarves, fat ladies and Siamese twins, as well as Phoebe the Dog-Faced Girl and her brother Apollo the Puppy Boy. Abel is the only one without an act or oddity. He fears that if he stays in Faeryland, he'll be doomed to a life with Phoebe as his wife. She is the only girl his age at home, and he has a brief romance with her, but inside he longs for a normal girl --- one without facial hair.

Abel is tired of feeling like a normal freak among the oddities and a "freak" among the townies. He decides to run away to seek fortune and find the girl of his dreams. Ironically, a girl does come to him --- in his dreams. Abel recently was given an Egyptian scarab ring from one of the Siamese twins. The twin claimed that a scholar told her to give the ring to Abel because a goddess in a dream told her to give it to him. As soon as Abel has the ring in his possession, he begins to have strange dreams about a mysterious foreign woman he calls Lady Adventure.
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