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Girl Clown Paperback – March 22, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 243 pages
  • Publisher: Lulu.com (March 22, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1411605233
  • ISBN-13: 978-1411605237
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,384,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

This novel -- or fictional memoir -- is based on my experiences as a circus clown in the mid-1970s. While many events are real and many characters based on real people, the story itself is fiction and the characters come from my own imagination.

About the Author

Mary R. Wise is a graduate of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus Clown College, class of 1975. She worked as a circus clown from 1976 through 1978, when she left the show business for a steady paycheck and a reasonably normal life. She writes the online journal, Red Nose, and holds a position with a large financial institution in Washington, D.C. She lives in Burtonsville, Maryland, with her husband and son.

Customer Reviews

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See all 11 customer reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed the read - could not put it down until I finished.
Mark E Hanigan
I read nonstop, breaking occasionally to doze after midnight, then picked up the book and get back to the story.
Rebekah Sue Harris
Well written and easy to read, this story if full of terrific details about the life of a circus performer.
Andrew W. Johns

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
It's a fun and interesting story about a lifestyle that most people know little about. I found myself wanting to know more about what made the characters the way they were, to delve deeper into their psyches and histories. Tantalizing tidbits floated through the story, but were often not ever explained. However, after reading the story, I could picture the "backyard" of the circus and see the characters as they went about life on the road.
There were many amusing points, and some poignant ones. Most of us women who've lived a little have had "Larry"s in our lives...
I thought that it was well-developed, considering that Mary wrote it for the NaNoWriMo contest. Mary tells a good story and can always be counted on for a laugh.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rebekah Sue Harris VINE VOICE on January 17, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think we've all dreamed of running away from home; many of us go a step further, and add the glamor of the big top to our fantasies. That's what makes GIRL CLOWN so good.

Wise tells a fictionalized version of her true story: when she was 24, she ran away from home to join the circus. Sort of.

Being a clown is more than wearing a red nose. Her descriptions of the work will make you groan; her descriptions of her days will make you laugh and, at least once, scream in indignation.

Never in a million years could I have endured a day in her life. Not that I didn't respect clowns before, but I've got a new-found respect for them now, let me tell you.

While this is Wise's first book, readers will discover her talent in writing because, within this tale, she weaves not only the above but the story of Al, the gruff cook with the heart of gold, and ... even ... a romance!

While I wish she'd delved more into the characters because they were so wonderful, I think the tale is beautifully told. (I also wished for a bit less sex 'n' drugs. 1970s or not, I'd purchased the book for MY MOM! and, despite my own presence, I prefer to believe that she has no knowledge of such things.) I read nonstop, breaking occasionally to doze after midnight, then picked up the book and get back to the story.

GIRL CLOWN is a "quick read" but the story stays with me.

My only questions for the author would be, Where's the sequel! because I want more; and That romance ... what happened?

(Incidentally, sex 'n' drugs be durned, my mom LOVED it. The circus made us smile.)
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Format: Paperback
This book accomplishes two things as once - it gives the reader a bit of an inside glimpse into the life of a carnie - more specifically a girl clown, and at the same time entertains the reader with the story of trials, tribulations, and victories of Mary Flynn.
I thoroughly enjoyed the read - could not put it down until I finished. I found myself disliking the bad guy and was glad he got what was coming to him. I was cheering for Mary and the good guy too... (that's all I am going to tell; you will just have to find out for yourself!
At the same time, I was glad to learn the "carny lingo" and to get a glimpse into what life in that "world within our world" might be like...
I really appreciated Ms. Wise providing a glossary of carny terms in the back of the book. As some of these terms are not innate to me, I referenced that section as needed to keep my understanding level.
I wonder whether Ms. Wise might have a future as a technical communicator? Nah... she is providing too much fun for us by doing this! I hope that there is a sequel!!!
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By A Customer on June 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
Girl Clown brought back memories of my own experiences in the early 70s. In this way, Mary's book was familiar to me. At the same time, it opened up a whole new world. I remember loving when the circus blew into town when I was growing up. It was amazing how they put up the tents and took them down. I always wondered about the people who spent their lives traveling with the circus, and why they would choose that lifestyle as a way of life. It is not an easy life, but one where the reward is happy, smiling faces. Mary is a wonderful story teller.
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Format: Paperback
What is it like to travel with the circus? Clearly its not a easy life, but this quasi-autobiographical book provides a intimate look at the life of a circus clown. Mary is a rare 'girl clown' and we follow along as she embarks on a new career in the circus. She learns about the hardships of a nomadic life and hard work, but also finds great satisfaction in performing under the big top. Well written and easy to read, this story if full of terrific details about the life of a circus performer. This is a terrific first novel, highly recommended.
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By A Customer on June 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
Funny and very easy to read, Wise's "Girl Clown" is an inside look at the circus through the eyes of a female clown -- unusual, to be sure. This is the perfect book to bring to the lake or read at the beach. You can (almost) read it in one sitting, and you'll want to -- you won't want to put this one down. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll get to know a very human clown.
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