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The Trapeze Artist [Kindle Edition]

Will Davis
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A man will endlessly torture his muscles until they shriek and complain. But he will not give in. He will take a hammer to his ceiling until the neighbors begin to watch from the window and the journalists knock at the door. He will continue to train and hack away at the house until it is finished and the trapeze is in place.Although his parents thought he was nice and kindhearted and teachers saw him as a good boy, secretly he hated his drab, ordered world and longed for more. Then, when he was fourteen, Edward arrived at his school. Edward exuded the coolness of a latter-day Oscar Wilde. Edward listened to Patti Smith, watched Fassbinder films, knew the writings of Gore Vidal, and, one evening, would kiss him in the moonlight. Forty years old and fleeing from a life he can no longer handle, he stumbles upon the circus. Not knowing why, only that he must, he gets in his car and follows after it, refusing to listen to the doubts that plague him, determined to build a new home and family.The Trapeze Artist draws together the past, present, and future of one life to create a work of startling dexterity and vision-a haunting and heartbreaking account of a child, a boy, a man, desperate to free himself from the suffocating weight of his desires, his family, and his grief. It speaks of what it is to grow up gay in a straight world, to be unable to communicate with those you love, of the sweat, passions, and tempers of circus life, and, above all, of the joyous longing to break free, and to swing higher and higher...

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

It’s little wonder that the 40-year-old, unnamed protagonist of Davis’ latest novel wants to join the circus. He’s been walking an emotional tightrope his whole life. As a gay teenager, he struggled to fit in, only finding a semblance of solace when a new student named Edward showed him that much joy could be had living outside the norm. But even as an adult, he still feels uncomfortable in his own skin, until the day he stumbles upon the circus and a Romanian trapeze artist named Vlad. He falls head over heels for the talented aerialist, much to the chagrin of the other performers, who see him as nothing more than a stalker obsessed with sex. But when his relationship with Vlad runs its course, he can’t let life in the Big Top go. He builds a trapeze in his home and devotes endless hours to twisting and contorting his body in hopes of setting his spirit free. Davis serves up an offbeat, if occasionally wearying, spin on the coming-of-age novel. --Allison Block


An extraordinary tale of tragedy and failure in love, told with great panache Edmund White His best book yet Evening Standard Will Davis is a witty writer who effortlessly conjures up the frenetic detail of Jaz's sixteen-year-old world Independent on Sunday on My Side of the Story A fresh and funny novel about growing up gay, with absolutely no help from a mad family. Davis gives his narrator a wonderfully wry outlook Kate Saunders, The Times The dialogue fizzes with savvy one-liners ... Davis's observations of the dysfunctions of family and school are as sharp as his prose is fresh, and his debut is intriguing, touching and entertaining Time Out As a performance, Will Davis's third novel, about a man who has a nervous breakdown and runs away with the circus, is distinctive ... With a double flourish, everything becomes clear ... the closing scene is heart-stopping Guardian

Product Details

  • File Size: 489 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (December 11, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009ZT1DOO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,579,711 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of a man making his way in a confusing world January 6, 2013
A shy, fourteen year old boy makes a friend at school, realizes he is gay, and - for the first time - feels truly live. But that is not to last, and he grows into a man, still living with his invalid mother, until - at age 40 - he finds the courage to run away with the circus, as the lover of an eccentric Romanian trapeze artist, When that adventure ends, he is still fascinated by the life he learned on the road, and makes drastic renovations to his mother's house to carry it on.

The story is told in numerous installments, alternating the three time periods mentioned above. The protagonist - whom the author never actually names - makes a very slow, dramatic and torturous journey from his dysfunctional, sheltered childhood to his own version of maturity, which involves following his dream, regardless of what common sense (and others) tells you otherwise. It's not an easy book to read, and somewhat depressing and tedious at times, but essentially a well-written look into a unique individual's mind and heart. I give it four stars out of five.

- Bob Lind, Echo Magazine
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining read February 4, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this book quite entertaining, I enjoyed the main characters and the way they played of each other. It was difficult to follow at times with the book jumping between different times in the main characters life. But I enjoyed the book on the whole.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible April 22, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Don't waste you time, this book has nothing to recommend it. Average writing, not a very compelling story and no insights at all.
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