4 out of 4 stars
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The Sword Swallower And A Chico Kid, by Gary Robinson. Copyright 2017, printed in the United States of America, 3791 pages.
The Sword Swallower And A Chico Kid is a fictional, yet compelling behind-the-scenes glimpse into the life of a legendary circus performer, Duke Reynolds. In the book, the author, Gary Robinson shows the parallel between the lives of Duke Reynolds and his own. The inspiration for writing the story was Robinson's real life friendship with Captain Don Leslie, who was a very popular stage performer who swallowed swords as part of a circus side show act. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breathing life into the multi-dimensional characters, Robinson successfully honored his very good friend, in this 3791 page effort.
The novel's plot provides just enough suspense to keep even the most unenthusiastic reader engaged. From the first page, the author manages to vividly paint each scene in such a way that the reader can't help feeling as if he or she is seeing what the authors sees. The author's gift for storytelling also allows the reader to "become" the characters and experience the story using all five of the senses. The story begins at the end and works its way backwards to show exactly how the two main characters crossed paths. Both Robinson and Reynolds were considered to be "outsiders", so it is no surprise that they became fast friends. Reynolds was much older and experienced than Robinson, yet the two of them related on an almost spiritual level.
The novel is very well written and the characterization is quite skillful. Dialogue is succinctly constructed and very easy to follow. I found myself actually liking the characters and wanting to know more about them. The author's writing style can be compared to an artist's work, vivid and colorful. The words seem to jump off the pages while evoking real images in the mind of the reader. In a nutshell, readers of The Sword Swallower And The Chico Kid will find themselves captivated and fully immersed in the story.
Although the novel is an easy read for all ages and lovers of any literary genre, I would recommend the book to anyone who enjoys realistic fiction. I gave the novel a rating of 4 out of 4., despite one typo that I observed. I thoroughly enjoyed The Sword Swallower And A Chico Kid and look forward to reading it again.
The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid
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