Overall rating and opinion of " The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid" by Gary Robinson

Use this forum to discuss the May 2018 Book of the Month, "The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid" by Gary Robinson
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isa3030
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Re: Overall rating and opinion of " The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid" by Gary Robinson

Post by isa3030 » 21 May 2018, 09:53

sword swallow and a chico kids is a book i devoted most of my time repeat reading, it is full of skills, learning,mischievous and action pact.He has the skill to swallowing the sward when ever he performs in the street,and Duke graduated with out success taking up odds job,one thing united the two friends-alcoholism,Gary Robinson has a great creative skill for writing stories,infact this is indispensable for alcoholics,drug abusers,substance abusers,schools and collages

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Christina Rose
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Post by Christina Rose » 21 May 2018, 22:09

kfwilson6 wrote:
13 May 2018, 20:37
Jeyasivananth wrote:
07 May 2018, 16:28
I enjoyed reading and reviewing this book. I loved the imagery and the symbols used like the metaphor of the circus. I especially liked the usage of Tattooing as a symbol to validate the arbitrary nature of morality. Tattooing, an art that was tabooed in the past, is today a part of mainstream culture. Another imagery that fascinated me was the significance of Chico. Chico is described as a breeding ground, in which even a ‘tumbleweed’ like Gary himself can grow roots and flourish. However, I was disappointed with the writers’ treatment of the minor characters. I was especially left wanting for answers with regard to the fates of Gonad, Wubby, Lucy and the other members of the circus family, after the dismantling of the circus. I was astonished to see Duke Reynolds does not make any efforts to get in touch with his former friends once out of jail, despite describing them so fondly. Similarly, the character of Angel too was not fleshed out well. We know nothing of the source of her troubles except her drunken rants on love and hurt. Her relationship with Gary Robinson seems less convincing. These pitfalls leave you feeling that the plot has many loose ends.
I found the skimpy bits of information about the secondary characters quite bothersome. When one of the guys goes missing, we never find out if he was ok or not. There were so many interesting characters in this. Their development would have really enhanced this book.
I agree. The lack of proper development leaves too many questions unanswered.

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Christina Rose
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Post by Christina Rose » 21 May 2018, 22:16

kfwilson6 wrote:
16 May 2018, 20:28
Bookmermaid wrote:
16 May 2018, 11:33
The use of obscene language by authors is far from the taboo that it had been centuries ago in many territories. Quite often it expresses the character's frustration or recklessness about a particular event. In suggested,reading list for students, the use of obscene language, in the text remains a highly contentious issue as some parents and church bodies have strong objections towards it. Critics and some educationalists argue that students are often already exposed to such language and the merits of the critical issues the texts feature far outweighs the demerits of the language use.Like Kfwison6 I prefer not to read it in a text and I am more impressed when an author is able to express the emotions of his or her characters without having to frequently blurt out obscene language.
Younger people may be exposed to obscene language but the more prevalent it is, the more they will see it as the norm. I think if their exposure can be limited, they are less likely to pick up the habit. I saw an interview with Mary Higgins Clark about how she never uses sex or curse words and every new book she puts out is a bestseller. So anyone wanting to say these things are necessary in order to appeal or relate to readers is wrong.
I agree that obscenities are not necessary. I actually find books less appealing if there is too much, or it seems forced and unnatural.

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Post by Laura Del » 23 May 2018, 13:18

I didn't like it at all. I thought it was poorly written and filled with errors, which is a shame considering it was about the circus. I was really looking forward to reading it but was severely disappointing.

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Post by Norah+Ogutu » 24 May 2018, 05:02

This book is great. It tears deep down into one soul and the search for survival makes it even more relevant but sad as well. I will want to read it again

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Post by amybo82 » 24 May 2018, 07:30

I feel conflicted about this book. The title is catchy, and I love sideshows and freak show acts. "The Sword Swallower" caught my attention immediately! However, after reading about the numerous stereotypes and poor characterization, I've decided that this isn't a book I'll be spending my time on. In a world with so much information right at your fingertips, it is sad that an author would overlook the need to thoughtfully craft or research the people about whom they are writing.
A book is a dream that you hold in your hand. –Neil Gaiman

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Post by gkgurley » 24 May 2018, 14:41

I loved this book, I've already recommending it to all of my friends. It's definitely a 4 out of 4. My favorite part was comparing Duke's attitude about drugs/alcohol to the circus; he was enraptured by both because of his fear of the mundane. The only part I could name as my 'least favorite' was that Duke's story was full of action that I was initially disappointed with Gary's story; I loved following the circus from Duke's perspective, and Gary's story felt flat at first in comparison. However, the author easily overcame this because Gary is a more down-to-earth and relatable character, so his story became compelling, just in a different way. Again, I thought this book was spectacular, exciting, and insightful.

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Post by ValBookReviews » 25 May 2018, 13:01

In as much as I enjoyed reading this fascinating tale, I admit, I don't like the way one story concluded and transited into the second half (act two). And I certainly do not care for the vulgar language, as well as the religious debate, which can be misleading to those who believe in faith and truth of God. But, on the other hand, I like the notion of believing God is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think or imagine and that there are no circumstances that we cannot overcome. And, I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars and recommend it to anyone whose "suffers in silence".
"And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life". (Revelation 20:12 (NKJV) :reading-7:

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Post by Yolimari » 26 May 2018, 11:54

Honestly, I did not want to read this book because it featured drug abuse. I read it because it was the book of the month and I wanted to participate in the discussion. To my surprise I enjoyed the book very much.

My favorite part was how Duke and Gary became friends. Seems like it was meant to be. I think Gary met Duke when he needed it to wake up. He learned a lot from Duke during the time they had together. For example, he was impressed with Duke’s stories about joining the circus and the sideshow. He was also impressed with the eclectic amount of books Duke read.

I liked reading about Duke’s sword swallowing act in the circus and the streets. Every time I was in tension. When he finally had an accident and cut his esophagus, it still was super sad because he could not do it again.

I did not like reading that much about how both Duke and Gary abused drugs and alcohol. The author, thankfully, did not make these scenes gratuitous, but I wanted them to stop.

I also liked learning about the circus. I did not know how hard it was to put everything together, get ready, do the show, clean up, and then get ready to go to the next town. It must have been grueling.

I put the book in my 4 stars ⭐️ bookshelf because I think the author put a lot of emotion into the story. I hope Gary writes more books.
"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it."

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Post by Echo Haapala » 27 May 2018, 16:49

I loved this read! I really liked that this book was not always politically correct but could still have a very strong and important message about life. I really enjoyed the crude humor and funny stories. There wasn't anything that I didn't enjoy.

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Post by 10mile72 » 27 May 2018, 17:19

What I liked most: It was a great read. Lots of action, crazy characters, and I liked seeing the two main characters evolve.
What I liked least: I thought the religious angle was a bi contrived.
I would recommend the book to just about anyone.

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Post by amypattenaude » 28 May 2018, 00:37

I am 30% done according to my Kindle. Usually I read like I breath, just all the time, but with this book I find myself not feeling the pull of being away from my book too long. It's not bad, but it's not a topic that I necessarily find entertaining, and it feels more like hearing someone else tell you someone's life story as they remember hearing it. Like that telephone game we played in elem school, it loses something by the time it gets to you. I think the author was so worried about getting all the events in that the detail and character development was overshadowed.

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Post by klwoodford » 28 May 2018, 13:25

I liked the book and will definitely be recommending it. I thought the role of substance abuse being one of the main causes of their unhappiness was relatable. Substance abuse is so prevalent it seems, especially drinking. I did notice that there was a ton of grammatical errors in the book, which turned me off a bit. It also had a weird progression in that a short amount of time would he discussed in a whole chapter while a couple of years was only portrayed in a few sentences. Also weeks and years would go by woth no mention as to of they were significant. I get what the author was trying to do, it was just off-putting for me.

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Post by Shaggy-Reads » 28 May 2018, 15:00

This is a 1 out of 4 for me; really a 0 but it has to get at least a 1 due to the ratings system. Overall the book is not good. The stereotypes are insulting and dispecible to me. Some readers seem to think this is close to reality, and they have a right to their opinions, but I beg to differ. The way the women are portrayed and the interaction of characters with one another are not remotely believable. The disabled are viewed with a biased and uncaring light as they are described. No one type of person is one way or another. Humans are complex and diverse in real life. The way Gary is all one sided with no redeeming qualities and how one character is “in love” with an addict she has had little to no contact with is extremely insulting to women and their intellect. The women are not developed or viewed with respect or appreciation. The disabled are viewed and explained similarly. I will not recommend this book or even finish with my read as I find it insulting and a waste of my time.
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Post by Jeyasivananth » 29 May 2018, 10:52

kfwilson6 wrote:
13 May 2018, 20:37
Jeyasivananth wrote:
07 May 2018, 16:28
I enjoyed reading and reviewing this book. I loved the imagery and the symbols used like the metaphor of the circus. I especially liked the usage of Tattooing as a symbol to validate the arbitrary nature of morality. Tattooing, an art that was tabooed in the past, is today a part of mainstream culture. Another imagery that fascinated me was the significance of Chico. Chico is described as a breeding ground, in which even a ‘tumbleweed’ like Gary himself can grow roots and flourish. However, I was disappointed with the writers’ treatment of the minor characters. I was especially left wanting for answers with regard to the fates of Gonad, Wubby, Lucy and the other members of the circus family, after the dismantling of the circus. I was astonished to see Duke Reynolds does not make any efforts to get in touch with his former friends once out of jail, despite describing them so fondly. Similarly, the character of Angel too was not fleshed out well. We know nothing of the source of her troubles except her drunken rants on love and hurt. Her relationship with Gary Robinson seems less convincing. These pitfalls leave you feeling that the plot has many loose ends.
I found the skimpy bits of information about the secondary characters quite bothersome. When one of the guys goes missing, we never find out if he was ok or not. There were so many interesting characters in this. Their development would have really enhanced this book.
Very true. I felt that was one of the flaws in the book. I too was anxious to know what happens to some of the minor characters which were just brushed aside in the novel.

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