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

Post by SamSim » 06 Jun 2018, 13:12

azerikaj wrote:
02 May 2018, 16:13
I agree. I think they were all stereotypes, of one kind or another. Like every woman in the book--very underwritten characters.
I haven't read the book yet, but the frequency of comments like these from people who have make me feel like I'm not missing much.
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Post by ifra » 06 Jun 2018, 13:35

The description of the book seems to be interesting. The title of the book is justified through its theme based on circus. Would like to read the book in detail

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Post by azerikaj » 06 Jun 2018, 13:39

Actually, I did like the lead characters, but everyone else was kind of like a cardboard cutout/

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Post by v_for_vincent » 06 Jun 2018, 14:16

v_for_vincent wrote:
04 Jun 2018, 13:32
In kinda far into it the second part has some good stuff
There is a good pace in the first part but some of the use can through anybody off but the second part is smaller and it works with the books advantages.

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Post by BriennaiJ » 06 Jun 2018, 15:32

I am about 20% into the novel, and it is interesting so far. I really like the cast of characters and how unique each one is. I can't wait to keep reading and see where this goes!

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Post by CorundumAl2O3 » 06 Jun 2018, 19:52

This book was more in-depth than it let on, I was surprised with how the author delved into such topics like religion, love and the complexities of human emotions. It was really well written and I go into greater depth with the review I did for it. Would most definitely recommend it to others, worth the read!

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Post by Farmgurl1 » 07 Jun 2018, 11:44

This novel was very disjointed in my opinion. I absolutely loved the first part about Duke and his life. Duke is a very interesting character and this part of the book was fun to read and the characters are hilarious. The second part of the book where we meet a Chico Kid is less interesting. I really got tired of the drinking and partying and the roasting of the mammoth from the museum really put it over the top. I also felt like the author depicts women in a negative way. They all seem to be drunk lushes who can’t hold their alcohol. The final part of the book was the most confusing and the moment that the story took a sharp dive downhill for me. I didn’t understand the philosophical religious debate between the two characters and it wasn’t a compelling story line. I think the book would appeal to readers who are not looking for complicated plots that keep the reader guessing and are more interested in character development. I also would not recommend this book to anyone who is easily offended by drugs, alcoholism or the ideas associated with atheism.

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Post by Callistus Ibenye » 07 Jun 2018, 17:26

The book has a rich plot, and the conversations are believable, but I have reservations on book's overall idea on disabled individuals.
Apart from that, I think the book is good to go.

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Post by kemp1kor » 07 Jun 2018, 18:14

I haven’t gotten around to reading this one yet, but I’m intrigued by the idea of Duke being able to swallow five swords at once.

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Post by karlwc » 07 Jun 2018, 23:56

This is a book that held my interest from the beginning. The first half of the book about the sword swallower was better written and, I believe, aptly described the life of a sideshow circus performer. Although I do not believe that I might have run across Duke in real life, I felt I did come to know him through this book.
The second half of the book about the Chico Kid was almost painful. I could see the ruination of the main character's life and wanted to reach out and shake him good to get his attention. Instead, life got his attention in a far better way that I could have ever done it. He was enamored by Duke and remained so through the end of the book until his near death experience. There are a couple of things I wish the author had included. 1. What happened to Duke after Gary had his overdose and near death experience? 2. Did Duke get sick immediately and return to Chico? There could have been an inclusion (maybe a chapter) about Duke after the overdose.
While the described hospital experience after Gary's recovery was very nice, I felt it was overly so. Having worked in a hospital most of my adult life, those types of effusive showing of happiness after a long recovery are not seen in the overdose cases. They had no idea of Gary's change of heart following his near death experience and would probably expect the whole incident to reoccur due to his drug abuse. We see those type of emotional outpourings in the instance of a child recovering from cancer or a neonatal baby finally getting to go home after not being expected to survive.
I did feel that the ending was handled well....especially the part where Angel shows up to take Gary home. It put the final touch on the hopeful positive outcome of Gary's life.

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Post by AcBoka » 08 Jun 2018, 02:46

I haven't finished reading the book yet but so far I enjoy it. I was attracted by the book's title and I expect this book to be great until the end.

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Post by v_for_vincent » 09 Jun 2018, 15:46

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.
The book is a good one all around so I feel the chapter small size drives a tempo that makes you read it. The use in the chapters send end of start the chapter so find to do it yourself. Such a easy read

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Post by v_for_vincent » 09 Jun 2018, 15:51

azerikaj wrote:
01 May 2018, 14:51
When I read it before, I liked about half of it.(I will read it again, before the end of the month, just in case I felt as though it was my job as a reviewer to be Queen of the Hardasses or something.) 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 part th a grips you for life every second. The book could be done by Jon Favarro. Or Directed by Danny Boyle, yes shia playing the chic o kid

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Post by SereneCharles » 09 Jun 2018, 16:31

I'm yet to read the book. But from the preview I read, I won't recommend it because of the presence of drug abuse in it. But who knows? I may end up liking and recommending it.
Writing is so much fun. So is reading. :techie-studyingbrown:

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Post by Amy+++ » 10 Jun 2018, 10:55

I don't think that I could read this book. I don't like the drug useage and some of the other events that happen.

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