4 out of 4 stars
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When I first sampled this story, “The Sword Swallower And a Chico Kid” by Gary Robinson, it caught my attention not by what the story itself is about but the vivid texts in story telling bringing the reader forth into this world timeline of the mid to late 70’s. I was not only impressed by the authors story telling, writing style, and intricate gestures details of the surrounding setting but I was impressed at how I genuinely enjoyed this story for myself. I never venture far from the usual genre Romance but I took a chance in this book and have read it. The style of realism allows the reader to sink into the story and really feel as if you are apart of the world. It certainly allows you to take a seat back to feel you lived the 70’s era. Also, it’s not easy to write a story based on real life events while findings some matriculate and intricate story to show readers the past life as it takes a work in creating not only the story but a plot line and a message which is received in the end by Gary as he mentions in page 388 where he says...
This definitely is the message you receive when reading the story. You see two lost souls who needed each other in the end when the time was needed. Through kindness that Duke displayed to Gary, the Chico kid was able to change his ways as he understood that his destructive path wasn’t one that either made him happy nor brought him any good. With changing his ways, he understood that people were now counting on him to become someone other then this “bad” who outsiders just only misunderstood him. Which also showed the romance between Gary and Angel which basically started off rocky with Gary being “destructive” by pushing Angel away but in the end, the two end up together falling more in love with gary declaring he’s changed and will continue to improve his life becoming a worthy man not just for his girl Angel but in general.To invoke change in the human condition through writing. To share stories about how destruction and conflict were defeated with love and kindness
I enjoyed reading about the circus, Duke being such a drunken, womanizing, druggie spirit in swallowing swords and the destructive lost Chico kid who Duke takes in becoming a mentor for the poor kid. You can see that Duke sees himself in the kid he mentors. He wants to help him out but you can also feel some sort of reluctance to help with the mentality of “just minding your own business” but here is Duke butting his business onto Gary who is the Chico kid. He gives the Chico a chance at changing his ways and that is first noted when reading the prologue as you can assume this is the same kid who’s life was changed by a Duke. Even the ending was a good laugh
It’s interesting, fun, at times heart warming in my opinion by the relationship between them that kind of stems from a father/son then that of a mentorship. However, I will say, the second part “The Destrcutive Path of a Chico Kid” seemed a bit dragged out and I was a little uninterested in the kid but nonetheless it didn’t deter me from finishing this story. If anything, it allowed me to well basically see the Chico kids path. However, the story still continues on with their relationship progressing with long talks, motivations, Duke teaching
Although I do like this book, I don’t recommend to the readers who do not like any use or mention of alcohol, abuse, or foul language. Other then that, if a reader doesn’t mind these things and want to be challenged by thinking or simply enjoys a good fictional book in the 70s during a circus event, then definitely take the time to read this and it’s also a perfect story to share to a friend or family member. I would rate this book a 4 out of 4, because this story has a strong message, excellent writing style, impressive realism, and a good love story in general. I recommend it to anyone who wants a realism story of this stature.
The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid
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