Side Show: My Life with Geeks, Freaks and Vagabonds in the Carny Trade Paperback – January 1, 2001
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- Item Weight : 8.8 ounces
- Paperback : 137 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0941543285
- ISBN-13 : 978-0941543286
- Product Dimensions : 5.75 x 0.5 x 8.75 inches
- Publisher : Sun Dog Press; 1st Edition (January 1, 2001)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,220,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Bone's musings are short, and the book does contain the feel of something that could have been so much more, but the stories are still fun and entertaining enough to hold up to four stars. It's the personal "telling" rather than any detailed content that grabs a hold of your attention and keeps you reading straight through to the end. It leaves you wishing Mr. Bone were still alive, and that you could sit an chat with him awhile to fill in the blanks.
Bone was a veteran of World War II and a black belt, ninth degree Master, of Itto Ryu Jutsu, a form of martial arts. Unfortunately, the stories compiled in this book don't include any detail of either part of Bone's life, except how he used his martial arts to perform feats in the carnival. Magic Shows, Athletic Shows, Torture Acts, backup on Animal Acts, Mr. Bone covered a lot of ground in his lifelong career with "traveling entertainment".
'Side Show' is a short but entertaining read, not detailed on any particular aspect of carnival life but rather like having a short chat with a newly found friend of his tumultuous life. Easy to read in one sitting, I would recommend this book if you like memoirs of a lost lifestyle. Enjoy!
The editor Dan Waldron is a friend of mine who has has an abiding interest in all things circus and magic. He has written books of his own, most notably "Blackstone, a magician's life". Highly recommended.
Bone wants to convey what life was like working in this world, and he does a marvelous job of it. It seems hectic, fleeting, miserable, but also comfortable in the sense of being part of a community that is going through the exact same things you are. Another town, another show. Problems with being paid. Fights. Drunks. Possum belly girls (you have to read this to know). While his timelines are often looped in around themselves, it's the stories that matter, and he has lots of them. Unfortunately for the reader, however, just when these stories start to get good he is off to the next one.
If you like reading about carny life, this is a must-read. If you are like most people, though, and could care less about this lifestyle it is safe to say this won't change any minds.