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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DAISY83OnlineBook
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Re: Overall rating and opinion of " The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid" by Gary Robinson

Post by DAISY83OnlineBook » 29 May 2018, 12:19

I agree, that this story is not that bad and it's not a topic that I necessarily find entertaining, but it rocks in my soul like hearing someone's life story that made a very strong and important message about life. I loved the part when comparing Duke's attitude about drugs/alcohol. In this part, I can relate my self on what I'm going to do if I'm in his shoes.Therefore, I can recommend this book to some of my friends with a weak or strong personality. Maybe the way one story concluded into the second half is not that good. But for me, it depends upon on our nature of understanding just like being a character or interpreter in the story. About religious topics maybe annoying but it's still part of the story that how God evolves one's life.
This is a 4 out of 4 for me. Overall the book is either good nor bad. It seem to close to reality, and we have different views and opinions. There is a part that the interaction of the characters with one another are unbelievable,showing insults, disrespect,and biased but as we all know no one in this world is perfect.Even if we find clerical errors in this book still the book for me was full of drama, action, and excitement!

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Christina Rose
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Post by Christina Rose » 29 May 2018, 14:27

Laura Del wrote:
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.
Sorry you didn't enjoy it more! I'm still making my way through it.

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Christina Rose
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Post by Christina Rose » 29 May 2018, 14:30

Yolimari wrote:
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.
I'm glad the book exceeded your expectations!

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Post by Higginsk » 29 May 2018, 15:19

Not a fan of this book. Character development, especially female character development, is lacking. Author tries to use shock value to sell a story that would otherwise be dull.

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Post by Stefanie9280 » 30 May 2018, 17:06

I am currently reading this book and I find it very interesting. I am learning about the Sword Swallower and his friends and their perspective on Circus life. I find it interesting that while outsiders see his friends as, "Freaks," he sees them as a family. I think it's really nice how the circus performers consider each other as family.

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Post by cristinaro » 31 May 2018, 05:09

For me, Duke's story far exceeds what happens in the second and third parts of the book. Duke's view of and integration into circus life makes for an interesting read, but Gary's destructive path and hedonist experiences are not portrayed in the same enticing manner. Besides, I sometimes had the sensation the first two parts belonged to two different books. I would have liked to read more about the interactions between Gary and Duke. I also wish the ending were not so abrupt. On the whole, I would recommend it for its realist descriptions and the author's courage to give a voice to ordinary voiceless people.
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Post by lesler » 31 May 2018, 17:52

I like how real the main characters were. I disliked how disjointed the story line was, and lack of detail on how the main character got through life. He did so many amazing things, and sometimes they were described with minimal detail.

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Post by chelhack » 01 Jun 2018, 06:32

I rated "The Sword Swllower and a Chico Kid" a 3 out of 4.

In my opinion Gary Robinson did an exceptional job as far as tasking and or showing contrast of two men from totally different up brings/walks of life yet both with fighting battles in their own addiction to drugs and alcohol.


Though I found some parts of the story line somewhat harder to follow in a couple chapters overall I believe that Gary Robinson did a fairly well job on writing The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid.

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Post by ifrekeudofah » 01 Jun 2018, 07:39

:techie-reference: It is a good thing that you read your book, as for me am still on it.

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Post by RedLetter » 04 Jun 2018, 10:41

I have just downloaded my review copy and I am interested to read and give my personal opinion.

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Post by v_for_vincent » 04 Jun 2018, 13:32

In kinda far into it the second part has some good stuff

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Post by chelhack » 05 Jun 2018, 07:09

I gave The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid a 3 out of 4 rating. Although, I believe that it could have been a little better written all together I do like the message that is with-in this book.


I especially like the contrast as far as, in walk of lives between Duke Reynolds (The Sword Swallower) a guy covered in a lot of tattoos. Fifteen year old run and a circus "freak". Then there is Gary (Chico Kid) good kid making good grades all throughout high school going on to become college student and yet, so different and the way society may or may not view them both men in their own way battle the exact same drug and alcohol addiction. I believe it just goes to show that no matter what walk of life an individual comes from addiction can be there knocking on anyone's door weather it directly or indirectly involves whomever. It's a struggle for ll having to deal with it on any level.

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Post by Jkhorner » 06 Jun 2018, 09:34

To be honest, I couldn't finish this book. I got over a hundred pages in, but the writing style was just clumsy and uninteresting. The story was fascinating, but the clunkiness just annoyed me too much to continue. I may go back to it at some point when I'm bored and in a better frame of mind, but if there are so many other amazing books out there to read, I don't really want to waste time on one that's poorly written (even if they story itself is interesting).

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Post by melissy370 » 06 Jun 2018, 11:45

I was not a fan of this book and I did not finish it. I knew going into it that it had drug usage in it, but I was willing to give it a shot because I knew there was redemption in the end. Besides the drug issues, I did not like the language and sexual innuendos. Just not the book for me.

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Post by SamSim » 06 Jun 2018, 13:10

azerikaj wrote:
01 May 2018, 14:51
I was sort of offended by the stereotype of the innocent disabled characters that always show up to show both these guys What Really Matters in life, though. Gag.
That would put me off, too. It's sort of offensive in a weird way.
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