I noticed that for this year’s RIP, I’m reading or will be reading, many circus themed books. I’ve read and reviewed A.R. Kahler’s The Immortal Circus, and I plan to read the next book in this developing series The Immortal Circus: Act Two. I’m reading Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus. In the past, I read Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes which I enjoyed (sorry, no review. I read that one long before the advent of the internet, blogging, cell phones, and twitter.)
I’ve been thinking a lot about the circus as a setting in many horror or plain dark novels. What is it about the circus that allows so many authors to explore the dark side of their imaginations? Sure, plenty of “light” circus themed books exist, but still, what is it about the circus that calls out the darkness? In many books, the arrival of the circus coincides with the change in seasons where long days full of sunlight and safety slowly edge to long nights full of shadows, uncertainty, and fear. Perhaps the circus is just the perfect playground for writers to express mankind’s deeply ingrained fear of the dark. After all, many holidays occur during this time of year–Halloween and its roots in older traditions for example.
Anyway, if you’re looking to create your book list for RIP VIII or need some alternate choices, check out the circus. Please note that I have not read the books below so I do not know what they’re like, but I’d love to read your reviews on them. The following titles link to LibraryThing so you can read a synopsis, view a book’s rating, and read reviews.
- Circus of The Darned by Katie Maxwell
- The Pilo Family Circus by Will Elliott
- Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti by Genevieve Valentine
- The Circus of Dr. Lao by Charles G. Finney
If you write a review on one of the above, or one not listed and would like to share, don’t forget to post it on the RIP review site.