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NIGHTS AT THE CIRCUS [Unabridged, Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: CHIVERS AUDIO BOOKS (2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405603712
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405603713
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,422,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Angela Carter was born in 1940. She lived in Japan, the United States and Australia. Her first novel, Shadow Dance, was published in 1965. Her next book, The Magic Toyshop, won the John Llewllyn Rhys Prize and the next, Several Perceptions, the Somerset Maugham Award. She died in February 1992.

Product Description

Review.... "'Angela Carter has influenced a whole generation of fellow writers towards dream worlds of baroque splendour, fairy tale horror, and visions of the alienated wreckage of a future world. In Nights at the Circus she has invented a new, raunchy, raucous, Cockney voice for her heroine Fevvers, taking us back into a rich, turn of the 19th century world, which reeks of human and animal variety' The Times. * 'Nights at the Circus is a glorious enchantment. But an enchantment which is rooted in an earthy, rich and powerful language...It is a spell-binding achievement' Literary Review * 'A glorious piece of work, a set-piece studded with set-pieces. The narrative has a splendid ripe momentum, and each descriptive touch contributes a pang of vividness. By doing possible things impossibly well, the book achieves a major enchantment' Times Literary Supplement * 'A mistress-piece of sustained and weirdly wonderful Gothic that's both intensely amusing and also provocatively serious. This is a big, superlatively imagined novel' Observer * 'A remarkable book by any standards' Guardian" Book Description 'Raunchy, raucous...a rich, turn of the 19th century world, which reeks of human and animal variety' The Times ....TWELVE CASSETTE TAPE AUDIOBOOK SET, COMPLETE AND UNABRIDGED.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern fairy tale 19 Jun 2003
By Fuchsia
I was sceptical when my friends nagged me into reading Angela Carter. If anything, I was critical as I began reading it, but was soon won over by the sheer bizarre nature of Fevver's tale. Despite myself, I was drawn into this story. The characters, places and storyline are unforgettable, the tale a vivid, unbelievable romp with the circus from London to Siberia.
The only downpoint to this book, I would say, is that the narrative of the first part is a bit rambling and slow paced compared to the rest of the story, but this does nothing to detract from the overall wonder and brilliance of this novel.
Don't buy this book if you're looking for a gritty, realistic story, because "Nights at the Circus" is, if anything, fantasy. However, if you want an involving, amusing and enchanting modern fairy tale, this book is an absolute must.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Men! If only women could live without us... 13 Jun 2012
Angela Carter is one of those writers who have been on the periphery of my personal reading radar for a while. Feminist friends revere her work. She's one of the big literary names who deal in fairy tales. And she's been massively influential.

Nights at the Circus is a novel about Fevvers - a cockney pronunciation of Feathers. She's a miraculous woman who has wings and can fly, and she's found a career as an acrobat. The book is divided into three parts. In part one, she tells her story to an American journalist, backstage in a London theatre, over the course of a night. The journalist wants nothing more than to prove her fake and burst the bubble of her fame. In part two, she starts on a world tour with a circus, and the journalist, seduced by the mystical attraction of circus life, follows along, signing up as clown and living incognito in the circus. Part three, ... well, I'm not going to spoil the story.

The novel is written in quite dense prose. It is not a quick read, and requires some concentration. The story moves in unexpected ways, and every aspect of the novel becomes more and more surreal and dream-like as it progresses. Starting with a relatively straightforward biographical narrative, the growing sense of unease is infused into the story gently: something odd is happening with the passage of time. There are unspoken things, sudden changes in the flow of conversation, meaningful glances get exchanged.

In part two, the surreal / fantastical elements become more prevalent. Animals are different. Clowns have their own mythos. Some magic appears to occur (beyond a winged, flying woman). And part three - well, all bets are off in part three, and we're deep into surreal, dream like, trance like crazy.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A magical set of characters 28 July 2004
Richly written, the joy of this book is in the characters that Carter describes (you get the feeling she enjoyed writing it just as much): from the winged trapeze artist & her maternal assistant to the performing apes and their Professor, this is a book that surprises throughout with its imagination and detail.
This is all done at the expense of any particularly tight plot - we begin with an 80-page life story as told to journalist John Walser, but it then becomes more picaresque as we follow the circus and get to know the stories of its staff, with strong female characters particularly making their presence felt. The journey takes us an unusual route to an unusual end.
This is a world you can escape into - beautifully realised in the best tradition of magic realism.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The fascination of a swan 7 Jan 2010
A fabulous tale in all senses of the word. Written as a play in three acts: 1. American journalist Jack Walser interviews famous arialiste (arieliste?) Fevvers, part woman part swan, for his series "Great Humbugs of the World" - but, anticipating modern PR, the celebrity is very much in control; 2. Walser enlists in the circus, as a clown, to follow Fevvers to Petersburg - where his cover is blown and all begins to disintegrate; 3. The remnants of the circus press on via the trans-Siberian express to perform for the emperor in Japan, and sublime chaos is reached - to be put back together in the wilderness.

Angela Carter paints visual pictures with words - most memorably for me the Siberian tigers laying on the roof of the house, seduced by the music inside, as two very different parties converge from stage left and right; and the clowns' Christmas dinner arranged as Da Vinci's Last Supper, before Walser (the cock, his slung arm flapping) breaks the cover of his serving dish. She also builds comic momentum that had me laughing out loud (on my train through the snow), which I have to admit usually involved the clowns. Cock-a-doodle-do!

However, the switch to Fevvers in the first person, as she begins to doubt her own existence, and the sympathetic and erudite treatment of the Siberian shaman amazed me. Fevvers becomes both a shamanic dream and undergoes her own shamanic transformation, at the edge of civilisation and on the cusp of the 20th century - a transformation all of the remaining members of the circus experience in their own ways. She becomes the allegory for the liberated 'new woman' as the 20th century spins into life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 7 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Too disjointed and I didn't feel I could empathise with any of the characters. Perhaps because they were all rather too far fetched.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars meh
I can't really rate this since I only got part way in ( maybe it gets better - I know a lot of people who really like it) but I found it quite dull. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Pen Name
4.0 out of 5 stars Carter writes about strong women
Took a while to engage with the style, once I did the characters came to life. A wonderful journey with strong women characters.
Published 1 month ago by Maggie Mc Daid
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read
This book kept me engrossed to the end, I read a great deal but have never read Angela Carter before, her reputation is well earned and I will read more.
Published 6 months ago by Salve to my soul.
5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD
Published 7 months ago by Katia
5.0 out of 5 stars A captivating read
This novel might not suit everyone, but I absolutely loved it.
I was introduced to Angela Carter by my granddaughter, who studied 'The Bloody Chamber' for 'A'Level, but I... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Iris
3.0 out of 5 stars Nights at the Circus
Angela Carter's magic realist novel is of a high standard and at times causes one to assume she won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Alice Wright
2.0 out of 5 stars I didn't like or enjoy it.
I really didn't like this story. I don't mind fantast style and fairy-tale and actually get quite a lot of pleasure from being swept into a new and interesting world. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Rachel
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the title suggests ?
A strange compelling venture into magic realism The story of a circus acrobat who just happens to have (allegedly) been born with wings is to a large degree told by Fevvers the... Read more
Published 13 months ago by TGriff
5.0 out of 5 stars Angela Carter is without doubt one of the best authors I have read.
I brought this book after reading 'The Bloody Chamber'. I enjoyed the themes and the way it was written so much that I wanted to read more Carter. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Kayleigh
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Yummy Read!
I loved this book, super sumptuous and so clever! Really beautifully written and very feminist as well as romantic and fantastical, i loved it!
Published 14 months ago by Agnes Kenig
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