Nights at the Circus

Paperback | March 1, 1986

byAngela Carter

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Sophi Fevvers—the toast of Europe's capitals, courted by the Prince of Wales, painted by Toulouse-Lautrec—is an aerialiste extraordinaire, star of Colonel Kearney's circus. She is also part woman, part swan. Jack Walser, an American journalist, is on a quest to discover Fevvers's true identity: Is she part swan or all fake? Dazzled by his love for Fevvers, and desperate for the scoop of a lifetime, Walser joins the circus on its tour. The journey takes him—and the reader—on an intoxicating trip through turn-of-the-century London, St. Petersburg, and Siberia—a tour so magical that only Angela Carter could have created it.

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From the Publisher

Sophi Fevvers—the toast of Europe's capitals, courted by the Prince of Wales, painted by Toulouse-Lautrec—is an aerialiste extraordinaire, star of Colonel Kearney's circus. She is also part woman, part swan. Jack Walser, an American journalist, is on a quest to discover Fevvers's true identity: Is she part swan or all fake? Dazzled b...

Angela Carter (1940 -1992) wrote nine novels and numerous short stories, as well as nonfiction, radio plays, and the screenplay for Neil Jordan's 1984 movie The Company of Wolves, based on her story. She won numerous literary awards, traveled and taught widely in the United States, and lived in London.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.72 inPublished:March 1, 1986Publisher:Penguin BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140077030

ISBN - 13:9780140077032

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Customer Reviews of Nights at the Circus

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from So-so It pains me to say this: this was not my favourite of Carter's. I've actually yet to find one of hers I either didn't like or wasn't immediately drawn into by her natural, Gothic magic. Nights at the Circus follows Sophie Fevvers, a woman who may or may not be part swan, as young Jack Walser is trying to decide as a young reporter following her across the world on her circus tour, more or less. Carter is always such a gorgeous read, no matter what she's done (Bloody Chamber, Magic Toyshop, etc.) but this was so weighed down with literary and historical allusions, and so much stream of consciousness that sometimes you'd be taken off on a tangent, arrive back to the original point and ask yourself, 'what just happened here?' The references, as well, to many different artists, authors, politicians, you name it--are overwhelming and at times so erudite you need to be ridiculously well-rounded in a lot of your education to catch them all. Not that this is a bad thing, if anything it encouraged me to read up on some classics, but it made it terribly difficult to get into and finish. I have great love for this author and would never NOT recommend this to a fan, but do so at your own risk as it is a tad rough going and definitely requires an active reader. If this doesn't satisfy, pick something else up by her as it is astounding work.
Date published: 2015-06-30

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Editorial Reviews

"An ebullient tall tale spellbinding… entrancing." —Los Angeles Times Book Review"Loud, bawdy, and unabashedly sentimental a wonderfully vital creation." —The New York Times"Night at the Circus is good, clean fun—well, good fun anyway. Its raunchy moments are steaming, bizarre, at times unsettling, but there is definitely an appreciation here for love, sentiment, and entertainment." —Raymond Mungo, San Francisco Chronicle"A three-ring extravaganza Carter's brand of fanciful and sometimes kinky feminism has never been more thoroughly or entertainingly on display." —Time