planetkiller's Reviews > Clown Alley

Clown Alley by Bill Ballantine
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U 50x66
's review
Jul 29, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: joyner-library
Read from July 29 to August 05, 2011

The primary focus of this book is the author's time as dean of the Clown College for Barnum & Bailey - Ringling Brothers.

The stories are fascinating. They're told with all the humour one would expect from a former clown. It's really interesting to see how clowns are trained and what clowns do. I didn't realize how many different things clown did in a performance. Everybody jokes that being a clown is the one thing anyone can do, but I'd flunk out of Clown College.

The history of the circus and the look at its inner workings was interesting as well. I never realized how big a role politics played. It was also interesting hearing about the Circus World Showcase since it was closed down before I was born; I had never even heard of it before. After reading Ballantine's description, I can understand why.

For me, the real gem of the book was the stories about the famous clowns, such as Emmett Kelly and Lou Jacobs. It was amazing to see what they were like with their friends, especially Kelly's love of the circus train. It made some of my heroes into humans.
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07/30/2011 page 24
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