What is so fascinating about circus life?

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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bootsie0126+
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Re: What is so fascinating about circus life?

Post by bootsie0126+ » 20 May 2018, 19:20

Bookmermaid wrote:
20 May 2018, 18:40
One of the most fascinating feats in the circus are the acrobats on the trapeze who daring swing and jump at a roof level height. Interestingly, in our district, there is currently a Mexican Circus performing this month. Circus is described in a fascinating light in this text. The dim aspect is also feature, it proves a means of escape from difficult realities.
We are living in a cruel world. A world where being different places negative labels on a person. Where many people hide their true self in response to the treatment that people inflict on them. Often being different leads to being bullied, outcasted, ridiculed or treated as a no-body. I admire the person who has the courage to be different regardless of what others think. Staying true to the person you are allow that individual inner peace with who they are. The inhabitions that the circus life style creates is the perfect place for so many that have been called "freaks or weirdo" to be free to express who they are.

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Post by crediblereading2 » 20 May 2018, 23:19

The Circus seems to be so intriguing in a scary sort of way. When you see the daredevil acts and the dangerous animals, you will certainly get goose pimples.

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Post by Kendra M Parker » 21 May 2018, 05:59

bootsie0126+ wrote:
20 May 2018, 12:54
Kendra M Parker wrote:
18 May 2018, 12:21
kfwilson6 wrote:
18 May 2018, 11:11
The circus people were happy to be at work and they didn't have to pretend to be anyone they aren't. I'm sure it's refreshing to spend all day every day being just who you are.
Still, the performance side of their job still required a certain amount of “show,” though. They got to be who they were, sort of. The tattooed woman is an example. She made up stories about all of her tattoos, and the whole reasoning behind them that was shared with the public was a lie. They didn’t have to hide the part of themselves that made them “freaks,” but they didn’t get to share the honest truth with other people, either.
It is sad when we are easily entertained by the bizarre and outrageous things that are often based on untruth. People would rather laugh at what they consider weird instead of embracing what is unique. People will either accept you for who you are or they won't. It is not up to you or me to change because others can't relate or see the real person that you are. It is sad that we have to pretend in order to fit in. :(
Agreed. It is a sad commentary on the world that you have to either pretend to fit in or accept estrangement if you don’t want to pretend. Those who can embrace who they are may not wind up “mainstream” but they can wind up finding friends who have similar interests.

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Post by ElizabethR » 21 May 2018, 16:46

In my mind, the fascination has to do with the perceived freedom that comes from circus work. The travel, the exotic people and places, getting to have fun for a living--that's all part of what makes "running away with the circus" appealing. In our day and age, when we are so tied down by jobs, taxes, social obligations, and the tedium of day-to-day modern life, the thought of feeling your hair fly back from your face as you swing fifteen feet above the ground on a trapeze is the closest we get to flying.

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Post by gkgurley » 21 May 2018, 18:18

Before reading this novel, my only impressions of the circus came from "Water for Elephants" and animal cruelty activists. I like that Duke's impression of the people he worked with was that they could be proud of their disability or whatever "deformities" they have. Running away with the circus was an empowering option for people. All of them found family together. I don't think I'll go to a circus, it still feels like people and animals are being exploited, but I'm glad that wasn't Duke's impression. His sword swallowing was a persona, a fearless version of himself, tied to his addiction and alcoholism. He got a rush out of it, but it was hardly satisfying, which is why he chased after answers while in prison.

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Post by Christina Rose » 21 May 2018, 21:44

cristinaro wrote:
18 May 2018, 03:45
Sketches_by_Shell wrote:
02 May 2018, 09:12
The glamour of circus life draws people from all walks of life. Our curiosity is what makes us want to know what is happening behind the curtain! I've never attended a full-on circus, with animals, I've only seen Cirque du Soleil. I enjoyed Cirque du Soleil; the acrobatics and dance elements were phenomenal. I don't think I would enjoy the circus, with the animals and other elements. The sword swallower scares me.
You know, a few years ago, I went to a circus where there was this number with snakes. At a certain moment in the show, the performers were coming among the audience and placing big curling snakes on our shoulders. The point was to make us become a part of their show. I was scared, as you said about the sword swallower, but I got to understand their world much better. I also remember one scene from the novel. Duke goes to spend his night at some motel and the lady there is terrfied by his tatoos. He realizes this and tries to make her feel comfortable. What I want to say is that appearances can be quite deceiving and it can never hurt to try and see things from a different perspective.
That's a great outlook to have! :)

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Post by Christina Rose » 21 May 2018, 21:54

maggiechap wrote:
18 May 2018, 11:20
While i haven't yet read the book, I think part of the mystery of the circus is just that -it's mystery. It's a place of open acceptance where you don't have to pretend to be something your not, but is in fact built upon the idea of showing off your true colors and enjoying just being you. How many of us hide behind work-selves and social-selves and when do we get to be our true-selves other than in our homes, by ourselves? The ideals of the circus deviate from all of that and offer a reality where we are free to be who we are and not have to live by typical social norms.
This is all very true. I agree that the freedom to be who you truly are is a big part of the appeal.

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Post by The BookWorm Nagham » 22 May 2018, 02:27

Where I live, there's not a lot of fairs, and circuses outside big venues and theater, so I didn't have the chance to attend a lot of performances when I was younger. I never saw it as a mirage, although it is described that way in the book. I guess if I ever traveled and encountered a circus, I'd go, just out of curiosity. The book was enlightening, it described a way of life I wasn't familiar with. Apparently the circus is one big family, although I don't agree with the way they treated animals and sometimes other performers, it sounded like a good life. I thing Duke wasn't entirely satisfied,but he dealt with his lot in life and tried to do the best out of his situation.

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Post by dgallois » 22 May 2018, 07:21

MsTri wrote:
01 May 2018, 12:05

And even though I haven't gone to a circus in quite some time, I'd go in a heartbeat if I had the opportunity. You can already tell that I'm still a child at heart, so I love all things that allow me to revel in my inner youth.[/color]
I agree with MsTri. I believe that the lure of the circus has to do with the child in all of us. When you see the lions and you think I want to own one of those. Or you watch the guy swallowing a sword and I think "why would anyone want to do that" but you can't help but watch it.
Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn ~ Benjamin Franklin

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Post by Empress naria » 22 May 2018, 14:45

I have always wanted to visit the circus but has never been able to as we here in my country do not have circuses regularly. Probably once every 5 years. We do have other events that might be similar to the circus.
Circus life can be fun if you go with friends or family. You can meet new people or experience this that has never before been experienced such as Circus rides or clown tricks.

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Post by Destinyharhar » 22 May 2018, 17:23

I loved the way the circus was depicted. Before this book (and really this is still my opinion), I found the idea of paying to see "freak of nature" degrading and rude. But I liked that this gave the misfits of society a place, an income, and a family.
If you think about it, there aren't many jobs for those born with claw-like hands and feet and society will always double-take the bearded lady. At the circus, they found people that make them feel normal and a way to profit from onlookers.
This book made me see circus life as a safe haven for those that don't quite fit into society. It's there last chance to find a way to fit into the world of entertainment.

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Post by bootsie0126+ » 22 May 2018, 20:27

AmySmiles wrote:
01 May 2018, 12:12
I believe the circus, to many seems like an entirely different life. A whole different world. So much so it becomes a comical saying, I quit and I'm going to run away and join the circus. It's an escape maybe from the ho hum life that we seem to fall into. I imagine it would especially be alluring if you liked to travel. What a great way to "see the world". I myself have never been fascinated with the circus. I find the death defying acts to frightening, the clowns silly and the lion tamers crazy. But that is just my opinion. I'll stick to my old routine that I am comfortable with.
That is so funny because the things that you do not like are the reasons why people are fascinated with the circus life. It's the thrill of being, as they say, "frightened out of our wits." It is the silly clowns that puts a smile on children and adults faces and witnessing the insanity of watching a lion tamer perform. It is the pleasure of escaping from the mundane, the ordinary and comfort zone that we live with day after day. However, I do respect your choice.

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Post by onixpam » 22 May 2018, 20:43

Circus life is fascinating and also hard to live, people in the circus is traveling most of the time and they could fall into depression and substances abuse as described in the book. My last time at a circus was more than ten years ago, I am no longer attracted to them. I only read the review and the sample of the book and it is not for me. but I am sure other readers will enjoy it.

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Post by kastle » 23 May 2018, 12:08

Circus life is something i'll probably never understand, and I honestly don't know how I feel about it. But I do remember how magical it was when I went as young kid.

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Post by kreams0011 » 23 May 2018, 12:22

The circus was always interesting to me because of all the silly things they would do. I always wanted to go to the circus as a kid to see all the animals.

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