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Cirkus: A Novel Hardcover – May 1, 2006
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About the Author
Patti Frazee teaches creative writing at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. A native of Nebraska, she received her BFA in theater from the University of Nebraska/Kearney and her MFA in writing from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She received an honorable mention for the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice 2005 Emerging Lesbian Writer's Fund.
Top customer reviews
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People looking for turn of the century cirus lore may be disappointed. This is the story of talented immigrants in a Czech circus, trying to make their way in America.
This book should be required reading in college lit courses. It should be held up as a goal for aspiring novelists to reach for. The literate reader, as opposed to the "story" reader, will find this book worthy of attention.
The Kindle version did have a problem. Every time there was a "tl" those letters transferred as "d". So adverbs were troublesome, e.g. "gendy" versus "gently."
Quirky and with unexpected plot twists, I found this book to be very entertaining. Both conventional and unconventional people and emotions are well handled, and the reader learns something about them all. Looking forward to more from this author
Note - not sure why this is saying "paperback" - I did purchase and download it for my Kindle Touch
OK, that wasn't so bad was it?
I love that the characters were so well developed, and that no one is all good, or all bad, just very human. This is just the kind of book I like, it isn't a love story, but it has love, it isn't paranormal but has mystery.
This writer has totally avoided formulaic writing and tells a great story with an ending that can't be predicted by the end of the first chapter.
This is the type of writing I would like to see more of when I am reading books for review.
The name of the book is Cirkus, but that is merely the setting for a collection of humans with their own hurts. I do think the character of Jakob could have been fleshed out just a touch since he was pivotal to the climax.
Even Milada, who could fly through the air on her trapeze, accepted being trapped by her father and convention. Even Mariana, who could fly invisibly through any physical realm and see the hopes and dreams of anyone she chose, had no clue of her own future.
What brought home to me the physical entrapment of the characters was Mariana's going into others' dreams - especially Bruno the Elephant. He was required to shove his feet together on a tiny podium and keep balanced, otherwise he was cruelly treated - and Bruno had nightmares about what might happen if he could not keep doing that.
Which makes a reader have more of an emotional connection that maybe Shanghai got to go home and find Milada again?
I did find the names of two of the female characters hard to cope with at first because they were so similar, but you'll get over it.
I like that this author didn't feel the need to spell out every single thing that was happening in the story. You have to use your imagination, use deduction, and often times be patient to really understand what's happening. If you want to be spoon-fed, this might not be for you.
Overall, this was an excellent read. If you are tired of the same predictable stuff and would like to be suprised, this is a great story to get lost in.
You think it's a story about a beautiful gypsy woman but it turns out to be a story about a dwarf with a huge secret. The story is time lined and takes you back into the past every so often. The gypsy thinks she's tricking a handsome young man whom has ownership in a circus, into marrying her so that she may get out of the future that awaits her in her camp. One tragedy after another befalls this circus and all of the characters. I kept hoping for a silver lining to it all, but never found it. This story left me feeling short changed.