Ladies and gentlemen! I am excited to kick off Circus Disaster Week today! I have been working on putting together this event for roughly the past month, so I hope you enjoy the content that I bring and can engage with this discussion. I have only been to the circus twice myself, but there has always been a mystique surrounding it for me. Back in 2004 I learned about the Hartford Circus Fire on the news when they were reporting on the ground breaking of the memorial site. I was shocked to have never heard about this as I lived in Connecticut, not all that far from where it happened. I wrote a post about this event back in 2009 (you can find my post “The Hartford Circus Fire - The Day the Clowns Cried” here) and in my book recommendations I noted the non-fiction title The Circus Fire by Stewart O’Nan – and promptly forgot about the book. This event was brought back to my attention this year when I stumbled across this book again (this time in audio book form) at my library. This was a wonderfully well written and narrated work and I knew while reading it that I had to feature this book on my site in a grand way – and Circus Disaster Week is the result!
I previously reviewed the novel Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and here is a segment from that review. You can read my entire review here.
“Jacob is in the last weeks of veterinary school at Cornell when he is hit with a massive shock: the death of both of his beloved parents, and more importantly the loss of everything he owns to the bank. This is the throws of the Depression. He does what every man would do in his situation, hops a train to anywhere only to find out it is the circus train of The Benzini Bros. Greatest Show on Earth! As the show’s veterinarian he forms a close relationship with crazy August (the equestrian trainer), his wife Marlena (a performer), and Rosie (the elephant). As the days go on, life on the circus gets crazier and crazier, until one day all hell breaks loose. What will Jacob do next?
Gruen does an amazing job of researching the life of circus workers during the Depression. At no time did I feel that the details were out of place. You could feel the desperation of the roustabouts when they were continually not paid, resorted to drinking bootleg liquor, ran out of food. Reading this book was like stepping back in time.
I loved this book! It is easily very near the top of my favorite books list.”Oh, and what do you think of the circus announcement flyer on the right hand sidebar?
Hope to see you all around this week!
Suddenly Sunday is hosted by Svea at Confessions and Ramblings of a Muse in the Fog.
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