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Circus Parade

4.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  60 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
1927. Tully, novelist, journalist, lecturer, Hollywood columnist of the 1920s and 30s, road kid, chainmaker, boxer, circus handyman, tree surgeon; an inheritor of the tradition of the literary wanderer, and father of another, the school of hard-boiled writing. A quote in the beginning of the book by George Jean Nathan reads, If there is a writer in America today who can la ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Kessinger Publishing (first published 1927)
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Paul Charles
Dec 30, 2013 Paul Charles rated it really liked it
Although not a lengthy read, it would be fair to say that Jim Tully knows exactly how to tug at the heart strings even though you may have little in common with his characters. Set in the circus from the point of view of one of it's "lesser" workers, Circus Parade tells the tales of both the circus and it's varied characters as they wend their way through the many towns they visit. Tully is amusing, perceptive, and often heart-rending as he relays the various antics. It might not be an uplifting ...more
Dec 28, 2012 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tully
This was...well, disturbing isn't quite the right word. More like unsettling. Circus life in the 30s for those who lived outside the spotlight - the ones who set the tents up and trained the lions and rode in the rear train cars - was nothing even close to glamorous, but it makes for a hell of a series of stories woven together into the narrative of a summer. I definitely suggest you read this one.

Plus, if you can get the edition I read - with half a clown's face on the cover - you get to creep
JJ Kitchenette
Jan 31, 2015 JJ Kitchenette rated it it was ok
I am so over "hobo lit."
Aug 28, 2009 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noirboiled
A bleak portrait of life with a traveling circus, Circus Parade focuses on anecdotes and character sketches rather than sustained narrative. As a result, the proceedings may sometimes be tedious, especially for readers familiar with the subject matter.
May 12, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd recommend this to fans of Hemingway, hard-boiled crime authors of the 1930s and 40s, and "Freaks" (the Todd Browning film, although fans of real life freaks would probably enjoy it too).
Cindy Steinberg
Feb 17, 2012 Cindy Steinberg rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-books
A Stark and edgy story about the tough life in a traveling circus.This book really told of the harsh life of what it was like to travel the country in a circus wagon in the early part of the 1900's.
Jan 18, 2012 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Incidents among the down and out circus performers and con men. It's more a memoir than a work of fiction -- I liked Beggars of Life more, but liked this very much.
Janelle Corr
May 07, 2013 Janelle Corr rated it really liked it
old-timey gnarl
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“Plundering and stealing, cheating and lying, laboring, fighting and loving; taking all we could and returning little, we went our careless and irresponsible ways, with laughter in our hearts and sneers on our lips - as anti-social as hyenas who howled at the changes in the weather.” 3 likes
“A crowd of men stood in front of them. Of all ages, with expressions of sex-wonder in their eyes, gazing curiously as men who cannot solve a mystery that populates graveyards and through the ages has sent poets, popes, kings and fools to the junk heap.” 1 likes
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