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Circus of the Dead
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Circus of the Dead

3.2  ·  Rating Details ·  536 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
Twenty years ago, the dead destroyed the world of the living. The survivors scattered in the wake of the Scourge, erecting small towns in the worlds' most sparsely populated areas.

For young Gabriel, the walking dead are merely the memories that haunt the eyes of those old enough and lucky enough to have survived. He is more concerned with his hard life in America's desert,
Kindle Edition, 32 pages
Published November 4th 2011 (first published October 17th 2011)
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The Bone Gatherer by Jennifer AdeleInterview with the Vampire by Anne RiceTagged by Joseph M. ChironWorld War Z by Max BrooksI Am Legend by Richard Matheson
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40th out of 251 books — 264 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Nov 08, 2011 Anne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Great suspenseful story with a twist! Gabriel, the main character, has never known life before the Scourge, much less seen an undead. He only has his books and his father's stories. When the circus comes around, he gets a lesson about life on the outside and the people within his town. The attention to detail made me get swept up in the characters and I felt like I was part of this little "no-name" town. I love stories with a twist and this one did not disappoint!
Oct 28, 2013 Meghan rated it really liked it
Another one of my finds on Amazon for free (and yes, it's still free now).

A good little story - zombies and a circus, how could you go wrong? Check it out. Interesting ending, but the VERY ending, eh, not so much, at least for me.
Nov 28, 2011 MsBDiamondDiva1 rated it really liked it
Wow!!! Loved how this author pulled you into the story via description. Also loved the fact that you could actually picture the small town that they populated after the Scourge and how primitive their lives where. And boy when the circus came...and the promise of how things use (entrainment, fun, carefree and let’s not forget all the lights:-) Who could resist? And last but not least- to see an actual zombie!!! Well...need I say more, this is a must read for all zombie fans!!!
Nov 30, 2011 Kelly/yllektra rated it really liked it
What a delightful and creepy little story!
This short story, with its oddly unexpected HEA ending, is brilliant! Exceptional. *checks dictionary for other synonyms* Clever, genius, inventive, profound (oh, yes, it is), sharp, masterly. Okay, I think you got it.

A first person narrative, from the MC’s point of view, Circus of the Dead is about the survivors of the Scourge, the zombie apocalypse that destroyed the world, living a primitive life in a tiny, nameless town.

The town’s preacher, Rev. Joe, has taken upon himself the role of leader
Tabitha Rowland
Mar 22, 2012 Tabitha Rowland rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-reviewed
I love zombie themed books, and when I find one (especially free) I quickly and eagerly download it to my Kindle and make a nice evening of it with a hot cup a tea and my animals resting near me.

So as my tea brewed I loaded the story, figuring it was a great night for a quick read that I can complete from start to finish in one night.

The opening caught my interest immediately, intrigued by the idea that the world had already suffered from zombies, whereas most books I've read start the story fro
Dec 26, 2011 Kimberly rated it really liked it
Shelves: zombies
What can I say about this? This was the first "Zombie" book I have ever read. I can honestly say zombies scare the crap out of me so I tend to shy away form them. But this being a novella and a short read I decided to give it a try. It is about a young boy ( Gabriel ) who is a part of a community of people brought together by the "Scourge" that had gripped humanity and almost wiped everyone out of existence. Zombies were the cause of this catastrophe. Well, a circus comes to their little, dusty ...more
Jun 04, 2013 Sonatajessica rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013, singles
I am fascinated by the atmosphere and the visions of an old-fashioned circus. Or more precise, I am fascinated by the made up construct of this, the idea where you live in a time and place where a circus coming to town is so miraculous and indeed magical with all its promises, smells and creepiness, you want to run away with it. A construct I am not sure it ever really existed the way I imagine it and therefor can only be found in books. Something similar goes for Zombies, at least that they can ...more
Stephen Clynes
Jan 20, 2013 Stephen Clynes rated it really liked it
Gabriel is a teenager living in an unnamed Christian town in the American desert. All the inhabitants are survivors or their offspring of the Scourge, when flesh eating zombies took over the land. One day a circus comes to town and Reverend Joe warns the people to stay away. But Gabriel and his brother want to see what all the fuss is about.

Circus of the Dead is a novela of 136 KB and was written in 2011. It is a zombie horror story that is fun to read. It is a book of escapism and was an enjoy
Shawn Griffiths
Apr 02, 2012 Shawn Griffiths rated it liked it
3 stars is appropriate for the short novelette (short for a novelette), Circus of the Dead, even as a fan of zombie fiction. Most of the story is fueled by the growing temptation of the narrator that is designed to build intrigue for the reader. A traveling circus in a post apocalyptic world shows up in a small nameless town, and promises the people that they can see one of the living dead. The narrator, young in his adolescence, is driven by his curiosity to see the horror that had only been de ...more
The Voluptuous Book Diva / YA Book Divas
I love watching zombie movies so when I found this short story on Kindle I went ahead and downloaded. This truly was the perfect introduction to reading zombie books. Expertly written. I felt like I was there as the author drew me in from beginning to end. I recommend this to everyone and if I could, I would give it a higher rating!
Mar 25, 2012 Amanda rated it it was amazing
I'm a hard sell on zombie books because I have a hard time being lured into that world. This author did an exceptional job of creating all of the desire to go to the circus for ME that he was creating for the characters in the book. Thrilling, dangerous, and ultimately realized as it should have been.
Jan 26, 2012 Jeanine rated it it was amazing
This book is actually a novella - its only 64 pages but brilliantly written, full of emotion. Very enjoyable.
Aug 10, 2015 Alondra rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books-owned
Things go horribly wrong when the Circus comes to town.

The ending was short and abrupt.
Jan 28, 2012 Danielle rated it really liked it
Shelves: have-it
good short story
For being a short story it was pretty good.
C.C. Thomas
Feb 02, 2013 C.C. Thomas rated it did not like it
Shelves: horror
You know the old saying, "you get what you pay for"? This is a free book on Amazon for Kindle, so you do the math.

Gabriel is a young man who is looking for some excitement with his friends in a post-apocalyptic zombie world. They live in a very structured society and when the Reverend forbids his parishioners to see a local traveling circus, that just ensures Gabriel and his friends will go.

The ending was one of the worse I've ever read. Here's how I knew it was over--there were no more pages. N
I downloaded this book free from the internet. Unlike some readers, I've had some really good free reads from sites like Smashwords and Amazon. Sadly for me, this was not one of them.

It's not that there was anything WRONG with it. I had no complaints about the author's style of writing, it was well edited and I knew in advance that it was a short story. It's just that with the cover and title, I was expecting a zombiefest with horrific zombie action and the book just did not deliver that.

The bo
Madchen Meyer
Aug 17, 2014 Madchen Meyer rated it did not like it
May contain spoilers.
I do apologize.

So literally. This may have been the dumbest book I have ever read.
Zombie books are on the top of my list on favorite books to read, and most all are good.

Like I cannot express my hate for it. But I'll try.
First of all, it was so short. There is nothing wrong with short books. But this one UGH.

Second of all, I don't think it was detailed enough. It focused on the wrong kind of things. Like the reverend, we didn't need to know his whole life story. I think
Aug 28, 2012 Kai rated it liked it
Shelves: free-ebook, zombie
I'm still not exactly sure if that's the correct number of stars and I don't think I'll ever really decide.

The writing was completely lovely. The words came together beautifully to reflect our main character's thoughts and feelings, which makes me want to give out another star, but I didn't like the pasted on ending. It should have ended earlier, or gone on longer, which makes me sure of the three rating.

I would have liked it to have more circus (they are so freakin creepy) and/or more zombie.
Robert Beveridge
Mar 29, 2012 Robert Beveridge rated it really liked it
Seth Blackburn, Circus of the Dead (Seth Blackburn, 2011)

A VERY solid short, this, much better than I was expecting given the usual quality of Kindle shorts that have been cast to the wild in the past few months. Some great characters, a vivid and detailed setting, solid pace, and if the ending is a bit predictable (and shows the wears in the fabric where Blackburn is wearing his Jonathan Maberry-loving heart on his sleeve), so what? The blasted, post-undead landscape is convincing (and pretty n
Aug 15, 2013 Frances rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, zbooks
I loved that this take started with a world after the Zombie Apocalypse. It was so far after that some survivors had never seen an actual zombie. Until the creepy circus comes to town. I feel that the author did a fair job with this novella. Description is a strong point for the author. I was a little deflated by the ending though. Over all this is a fast read that has an interesting setting and some horrifying moments. I would read more by this author. I think if the synopsis intrigues you, you ...more
Jul 27, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it
The craze surrounding zombies continues in this novella. I am unsure when the fervor will wane, but I am leased it didn't before the publication of this story. The story of a frantic preachers efforts, gone too far, to protect his flock. The townsfolk who live in fear and dare not speak of things they know not of. The place of knowledge that the preacher turns into a den of repopulation and domestication but no long education. The circus that is a circus in every terrible way. The Scourge that ...more
Nov 05, 2012 Morv rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who want to read a quick book with zombies
Shelves: fiction, supernatural
It was an all right read, chances of me re-reading this book again is slim to none though. I did like the main character and with a short novel it was nice to greet some of the main characters who would take centre stage at the final moment.
I would say the final moments that happened was rather... flat, it wasn't exciting or gripping and it just seemed rather lack-luster than anything else.
The ending seemed a bit off to me as well, we see the main character older, with a family and... Maybe it i
Nichole Beltz
May 17, 2012 Nichole Beltz rated it really liked it
Shelves: zombies
A very quick read...about 20-30 minutes. Perfect for a quick dystopian, post-zombie apocalypse fix.

The story focuses on Gabe, a teenage boy, a product of the life that has arisen since the "Scourge" decimated the country. His daily routine consists of mucking horse stalls, respecting his elders, and ignoring temptations...

...until the circus comes to town. And promises a glimpse of the past that is too tempting to ignore.

A short study of human survival and the overwhelming instincts of curiosity
Feb 18, 2016 Kate rated it liked it
Some of the descriptions here were engaging and lovely, and I definitely enjoyed the symbolism of a decadent circus putting the end of the world on display... But the ending was disorienting and feels incomplete. Had it ended a bit earlier - before the "twist" - I might have enjoyed this a lot more.

In the end, though, I got this for free on the Nook, and I did find it interesting for what it was. Could be worth giving it a go, if you're in the mood for something short and pensive and don't mind
Dwayne Fry
Jul 28, 2014 Dwayne Fry rated it liked it
I read this story yesterday. It was free on my Kindle and I wanted something to read that had to do with zombies, so why not?

It starts off solid enough with fantastic descriptions, decent pacing, interesting setting and so on, but about three fourths of the way through I got the impression that the author was suddenly in a hurry to end the story. The pacing seemed to change and become rushed leading to an ending that was unsatisfying. I hope Mr. Blackburn will go back and rework the story. It st
Jan 17, 2013 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: zombies
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It takes place long after the zombie apocalypse where society, as we knew it, has reverted back to the days of the old west with small towns spread few and far between... where religion reigns supreme and strangers can't be trusted. It's beautifully descriptive and makes the circus seem dark and magical while reminding you that it's all an illusion. I haven't read anything else like it and was very pleased. This is worth checking out but be mindful that this is ...more
Jun 03, 2012 Heather rated it liked it
Author did a great job describing everything from the small dirty homes to the roiting flesh of the zombies. And this short story which I did wish was longer was a perfect example of why I'm not a Christian and how religion will be the end of civiliaziation. Those who believe they are all mighty and choose to place blame and judgement will be the first to fall.

Very quick easy read with great depiction of this boys story.
Jun 15, 2013 Teresa rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

This book started out ok. Slow but alright. Then it got preachy and really philosophical. The writing style is very formal, almost poetic but it felt stilted and flat. The story is only 32 pages long. I never connected with the main character. ( Who is a 15 year old boy) It left out the meat of what could have been a pretty decent story. It went from two days into the story then to the epilogue of 20 years later. Just not my cup of tea.
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“Papa had once told me that as every man grows the layers of mysticism and wonder peel away like an onion until all that's left is the hardened center on which you must swallow or choke.” 1 likes
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