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Under the Big Top: A Season with the Circus Paperback – March 25, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
After several years of work and travel abroad, Feiler (Learning to Bow) decided that joining the circus would be a good way to study America, as well as live a long-deferred childhood dream. He was accepted as a clown and spent the eight-month 1993 season with the Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus, which plays the South and Northeast. With performers from more than a dozen countries, this troupe was truly a melting pot, though most had picked up some of the racism they encountered here. Far from conforming to the image of degenerates, the circus people the author met led rather conventional lives within their restricted world. Feiler admits the humor of clowns is "silly," and few readers are likely to share his admiration for acts like that of a young woman who juggles while hanging by her hair. Generally, however, this warm and affectionate memoir is pleasantly entertaining. Author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Praise for UNDER THE BIG TOP “A stunning collective portrait of an ingrown community with its own history, hierarchy, and traditions.” (The New Yorker)
“Inspirational.” (New York Times)
“Bruce Feiler is a keen and thoughtful observer...he forces circus goers to see the familiar spectacles anew.” (New York Times Book Review)
“A colorful, sometimes unsettling, pageant of circus life.” (Entertainment Weekly)
“As irresistible as cotton candy, as attention-grabbing as the death-defying trapeze act.” (Indianapolis Star)
“A gritty, haunting story.” (People)
“Sure-handed...dark-hued...extraordinary.” (Christian Science Monitor)
“Startling...romantic...seductive.” (Denver Post)
“Spellbinding...captivating...truly touching.” (Princeton Times)
“A mud and sweat-filled, but ultimately loving portrait of the circus.” (New York Post)
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Top customer reviews
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While reading this I would say it is important to remember that it is ONE person's account of ONE circus during ONE season.
The author appears to give an accurate account of his experiences. His book is neither sugary towards the circus nor is he cynical. He portrays the performers as being normal people during something that is unusual. I now have more respect than ever for the circus and it's performers and other workers.
I am now interested in reading other accounts in order to get a better understanding of the whole circus.
The author participates "for real" and tells you about his experience.Being a writer helps to get a very readable and enjoyable story that is not over romanticed nor over dramatic or over... . If you like the circus world, you will really enjoy this !
Most recent customer reviews
It gives a rare peek “behind the scenes” to let readers know what’s it’s really like...Read more