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Monday, April 12, 2010


Even if you've never been to a circus, this book will take you there.  Step Right Up, Ladies and Gentlemen--we've got Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!  Throw in the early years of the Great Depression, trains and tracks, the Big Top, a dwarf clown, the Fat Lady, and our hero, Jacob (both as a very young man and a very old man).  The beautiful equestrienne Marlena, and the Lewd Barbara,  Roustabouts and Hobos, a paranoid schizophrenic Ringmaster, and of course, a big, beautiful,brilliant Elephant who only understands Polish.

If a Circus is all Illusion, this book gives you a ticket to go behind the scenes and see what really went on back then, behind the smoke and mirros, and the flashing sequins.  Cut to a modern-day nursing home, and let Jacob tell you his amazing story, of Love and Compassion and Adventure.  Of taking what life hands you and making it into something beautiful.  So wonderfully written that you can smell the popcorn and cotton candy.  I came away with my heart and eyes more open to the ethics of entertainment, and having an even greater love for animals.

I listened to this book on my Sandisk Sansa MP3 player, through a free library download, and it was quite an experience, complete with different voices and piano music to set the moods.