Review by GabbiV -- The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid

This forum is for volunteer reviews by members of our review team. These reviews are done voluntarily by the reviewers and are published in this forum, separate from the official professional reviews. These reviews are kept separate primarily because the same book may be reviewed by many different reviewers.
Post Reply
Posts: 234
Joined: 10 May 2017, 17:20
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 56
Currently Reading: 50 Masterpieces you have to read before you die, vol 2
Bookshelf Size: 345
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Of Illusions and Ink Spills by Divya Hirani
Reading Device: B00KC6I06S

Review by GabbiV -- The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid

Post by GabbiV » 19 Mar 2018, 21:57

[Following is a volunteer review of "The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid" by Gary Robinson.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review

The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid is a work of fiction that is split into two parts, both written by Gary Robinson. The first half follows Duke Reynolds as he swallows swords with his circus family throughout America and eventually the world. Duke causes trouble for himself by giving into, and not fighting off, the meth and alcohol addiction, which is ironically supported by his employers.

The second half of the book revolves around the misadventures of a character who shares his name with the author. Gary leaves his alcoholic mom to party his way through his college years, earning a degree without any of the knowledge. His drug and alcoholic ways catch up to him only after floating through several low paying jobs. After going to jail for a month, Robinson finds meaning in working with disabled youth within the community of Chico.

A common thread that connects the two stories, that I’ve found, is that both protagonists have alcohol and drug problems that are only made better by their time in jail. The quirky nature of these stories endure them to the reader, so even if the characters act in less than legal ways, the audience is more inclined to find sympathy for them. Another commonality between the storylines is the protagonist’s proclivity towards oddities, or freaks as they say. This leads to the characters meeting interesting people and getting into unique and often humorous situations.

I give this book four out of four stars for its easy and consistent pace and an enjoyable ensemble of characters. While there are instances of repetition found scattered throughout the first half of the book, it only serves to emulate the repetitiveness inherently present in the life of a carnie. There is a similar feeling of repetition in the second half of the book in terms of Gary’s constant partying but is much less pronounced. Rather than going through the motions and specifically stating the same aspects of the act like how was done with the sword swallower, Robinson gives a general overview of his four years in college.

Despite the rating, I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone that wants to read about someone who struggled with their inner demons to beat their drug/alcohol addictions – the characters in this book rid themselves of that problem with what seems to be only the passage of time.

The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like GabbiV's review? Post a comment saying so!

Posts: 357
Joined: 10 Jan 2018, 14:16
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 32
Currently Reading: The Vatican Protocol
Bookshelf Size: 108
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Mom and her Autistic Daughter by Regine dubono

Post by kwame1977 » 29 Mar 2018, 05:16

Am wandering how can a human swallow a sword. I hope to find an answer to my question after I've read this book. Thanks for your review.

User avatar
Lilian munguti
Posts: 1
Joined: 05 Apr 2018, 07:26
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Lilian munguti » 06 Apr 2018, 08:09

I must read it

User avatar
Posts: 263
Joined: 08 Feb 2018, 15:33
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 73
Currently Reading: A Darker Shade of Magic
Bookshelf Size: 35
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Four Funny Potatoes! by Len Foley
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by dtb » 29 Apr 2018, 09:33

Thanks for a great review. It sounds like there are a lot of interesting things going on in this book. I'll give it a look.

User avatar
Posts: 1
Joined: 03 May 2018, 15:42
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 7

Post by Ogachi » 03 May 2018, 15:51

Can I real human swallow a sword... Those who can do this they will end their lives. Don't try it at home please

User avatar
Posts: 1
Joined: 13 May 2018, 12:23
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by jullylove+12 » 13 May 2018, 12:37

despite the negative part of it I think it's cool

User avatar
Posts: 634
Joined: 02 Apr 2018, 10:51
2019 Reading Goal: 120
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 3
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 24
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 219
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Motivational Spirit : How to Keep Yours Solid as a Rock! by Robert L Kirby
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by SamSim » 14 May 2018, 15:03

Good review! Thanks for mentioning the pace, I don't often see references to pace in all the reviews I read, and that is an aspect I appreciate. This sounds like a unique story with some unusual but endearing characters. Before I read your review, I would not have picked this one up.
Samantha Simoneau

“But upon the stage of life, while conscience claps, let the world hiss! On the contrary if conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value."
~John Adams :greetings-clapyellow:

User avatar
Posts: 1
Joined: 15 May 2018, 05:25
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Darise » 15 May 2018, 05:31

This sound great thanks for the review

User avatar
P Reefer
Posts: 449
Joined: 06 May 2018, 08:13
2018 Reading Goal: 24
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 237
Favorite Book: The Lost Identity Casualties
Currently Reading: At the Mouth of a Canon
Bookshelf Size: 123
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Lost Identity Casualties by Kim Ekemar

Post by P Reefer » 20 May 2018, 04:18

I concur with your opinion that the characters are an enjoyable ensemble of persons.

User avatar
Posts: 652
Joined: 08 May 2018, 12:47
2019 Reading Goal: 21
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 4
2018 Reading Goal: 25
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 56
Currently Reading: It's Easier to Dance
Bookshelf Size: 309
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Roving Mind: A Modern Approach to Cognitive Enhancement by Anthony Simola
Reading Device: B00I15SB16

Post by sanjus » 22 May 2018, 11:03

nice review indeed which help me peep into the book and understand how thrilling it is about life of sword sallower and his addictions
life is only knowing the unknown, we can do this by reading books easily

User avatar
Posts: 2
Joined: 29 May 2018, 09:46
Currently Reading: The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid
Bookshelf Size: 7

Post by DAISY83OnlineBook » 29 May 2018, 10:52

kwame1977 wrote:
29 Mar 2018, 05:16
Am wandering how can a human swallow a sword. I hope to find an answer to my question after I've read this book. Thanks for your review.
Hi, as mentioned in the story , Duke Reynolds swallowing the sword with his circus family. Maybe it's only an illusion. But, it's true human can swallow a sword. There are articles in science that can explained well why man or human able to swallow a sword and taking risk of his life just to amuse and entertain people.

User avatar
Posts: 1
Joined: 04 Jun 2018, 00:17
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Shasarno85 » 04 Jun 2018, 05:02

I must read this book, good review

User avatar
Posts: 1
Joined: 28 Jul 2018, 02:43
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Ijnobert » 29 Jul 2018, 10:00

The title post questions in people's mind..this will make one curious to read it. It's good one.

Post Reply

Return to “Volunteer Reviews”