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The Pilo Family Circus

The Pilo Family Circus [Kindle Edition]

Will Elliott
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Product Description


The plot is full of wonderful grotesqueries and unfolds at a cracking pace. I was enjoying reading this book so much I forgot I was meant to review it.' Sydney Morning Herald

I couldn't put Elliott's novel down. It's fantastic... An entertaining mixture of Palahniuk and David Lynch - Independent on Sunday

Inventive, scary and darkly humorous novel has a dash of Stephen King and a hint of Lovecraft but is really sui generis. It may be a true one-off but that doesn't stop me wanting more - The Observer

Elliott's prose is sharp and engaging...this intriguing book mixes fantasy with psychological horror to squirming effect - The List

as much surreal poetry as macabre thrills … this is a first novel of real promise. At his best, Elliott writes with a power commensurate with the originality of his vision. It is not just that he has unusually nasty visions to put on the page but he has the ability to make us share them - TLS

a bravura performance, a disquieting glimpse into a richly imagined and horribly plausible parallel universe - Financial Times

Product Description

You have two days to pass your audition. You better pass it, feller. You're joining the circus. Ain't that the best news you ever got?
on behalf of Doopy, Goshy,Winston and Rufshod,
Clown division, Pilo Family Circus

PS Steal from me again and I will cut your balls off.

The Pilo Family Circus is recruiting and whether he likes it or not, Jamie is auditioning. He never dreamed of running away to join the circus, but you just don't say no to a troupe of exuberantly sadistic clowns out headhunting.
Darkly funny and gleefully macabre, The Pilo Family Circus follows Jamie's furious descent into the nightmare world of a centuries-old carnival where amid the acrobats, clowns, dwarves, freaks and fortunetellers, you may lose more than just your way...

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1955 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (26 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00702M4FA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #147,742 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!! 21 Mar 2007
By KayM
I thought this book was fantastic! Funny, and as imaginative as anything I've read lately. In a time where some of our big name authors (I won't name names) seem to be getting stale, a new crowd is stepping up, Joe Hill, Lisa Gardner, G. W. Dahlquist, and now Elliot. It seems this book has won quite a few awards over in its native Australia, and it is undoubedtly a debut of real promise.

But I must disagree with the previous reviewer's comments comparing this book to "It" - it is a totally different style to that, and I don't think it is horror of quite the same intent. "It" wanted to scare you, this one does something else. A definite "must read".
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloody tears of a clown 21 Mar 2007
By Tim
Here's a book sure to grab your attention: grab it, shake it, chew on it and spit it out! The Pilo Family Circus is one part comedy and one part comic book violence.

Comparisons with "It" and other evil clowns are a little misplaced. The clowns are a rough and ready bunch to be sure: lead by the scheming, sadistic Gonko, the masochistic Rufshod, the creepy space-cadet Goshy and his puppy-dog psychopath brother Doopy as well as the mysterious Winston, the clowns draw the protagonist Jamie into the Pilo Family Circus when he accidentally comes to their attention. But the clown troupe is not the real evil of the Circus, no sir. That would be Kurt Pilo, the bestial proprietor who snacks on teeth and his Napoleonic brother George. Even these two serve shadowy masters who reside... elsewhere.

In between the clowns' struggles to win Kurt's favour and sabotage other acts of the Circus (their running battle with the camp-but-deadly acrobats is hilarious) we witness Jamie's struggle with his alter-ego J.J., who emerges when Jamie is forced to don his magical face paint. This battle of wills can only have one winner - and one dead loser.

The action is fast paced, the dialogue is witty, salty and colours the characters very nicely. Subsequent readings of this book have revealed deeper allegorical elements to this story, for example the Jamie/J.J. struggle could be a metaphor for someone's struggle with addiction or schizophrenia. The circus itself may be a comment on our need for and addiction to distraction and entertainment, even as our souls are sucked our of our bodies.

In all this was a cracking read and I would recommend not reading it on the train or bus, as there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. For fans of The Young Ones and H.P. Lovecraft alike, enjoy this fine debut.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inventive horror 29 Mar 2009
Fabulous. Absolutely revelling in its own weirdness, this book comes at you with the energy of a freight train. The concept of the dark, otherwordly carnival may not be new, but the execution is excellent and the atmosphere is relentlessly menacing. Black humour and 'evil slapstick' abounds as the bodies pile up in an impressive display of carnage. Your heart goes out to poor, bewildered Jamie even as you loathe his murderous alter-ego JJ, and the other characters are wonderfully bizarre (Goshy in particularly is terrifyingly hilarious). I never really understood why clowns were supposed to be scary. Now I do.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shows potential, plenty of room for improvement 28 Aug 2007
OK for a quick read, but i won't be bothering to read it again in a couple of years.
And this is nowhere near the same league as Palanhuik or Neil Gaiman.
The characters were good, but could have been fleshed out more to give the narrative more substance. I also think it was a great idea unfortunately let down by being poorly executed, it's not bad for a first novel, but its certainly not a classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars twisted fun 26 Sep 2009
What an amazing read! I really enjoyed reading this book from start to finish, will elliot has a extremely twisted sense of humour which had me laughing throughout. A must for anyone who thinks they would enjoy a sadistic adventure into the world of circus life which is the pilo family circus! Be sure not to step out of line or you'll be sent to the matter manipulator!!Arghhhhh!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A cult in the making? 10 Nov 2008
By booksy
I think people who are expecting high literature from this book are expecting too much. That's not what it's about - if you want to read something beautifully crafted, The Pilo Family Circus isn't it. But if you want a really engaging experience, then this does the job perfectly. Don't expect a horror - it's not a bone-chilling read. Do expect a dark comedy. I laughed out loud a number of times, and I was totally fascinated by Goshy. Oh my, Elliott has created a superb character - part human, part animal, part clown. You actually feel that you could spend hours observing him if he were in a zoo! For a first novel, this does a great job (although I'll concede that people will probably love it or hate it). I loved it and will definitely be reading Elliott's next novel. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if, as this author develops, he attracts quite a cult following - just so long as he keeps throwing us into surreal, darkly comedic parallel worlds.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Horrible, hilarious and extrememly strange. 7 Jun 2010
Not for the faint-hearted. There are shades of Papa Lazarou here, on hard drugs and with a grudge (and a chainsaw). A very dark horror-comedy about a hidden circus with pitiful freak-show characters, angry dwarves and deranged clowns, if you love (the BBC's) League of Gentlemen this story will suit you very well. The clowns get the best of it in general but Goshy was my favourite, a shrieking, staring grotesque whose unnatural love for his `wife' was horrible and touching and made me laugh out loud.

The cruelty and violence is extreme and so casually detailed and with so much humour, I wasn't surprised to find the author is a schizophrenic law-school drop-out and that the book was written on anti-psychotics.

It's one of the funniest books I've read this year,I can't wait to see what Will Elliot writes next.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars rubbish
unlike all the other reviews I thought this was sooooo unpleasant that I did not even finish it - badly written and limited imagination I felt - mainly providing any humour (? Read more
Published 3 months ago by C. Steele
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
This is a scary book and brilliantly written by Will Elliott, you will not want to put it down (or maybe you will???). You may never want to look at a clown ever again
Published 7 months ago by Terry Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars The Pilo Family Circus
This book is very different from anything I have read recently. I'm not even sure what genre it comes under. Fantasy perhaps, with a sprinkling of dark humour. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Deeply Disturbing!
If you already have a fear of clowns, don't even consider reading this book! I picked it up for a song in a charity shop, because I liked the cover and found the title intriguing,... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars horrible
this is a horrible book. i read as much as i can but it was rather like chewing a really tough piece of meat and not being able to swallow.
Published 22 months ago by sparrow
5.0 out of 5 stars The stuff of nightmares
Brilliantly realised vision of a melding of an episode of the League of Gentlemen and your worst nightmare. Funny and disquieting but not for the squeamish.
Published 24 months ago by Manchild by proxy
5.0 out of 5 stars Twisted
A cracking book that reiterates why we should be wary of clowns!

A dark, twisted and thoroughly entertaining read. One of my favourite books. Read more
Published on 5 Dec 2012 by Doug C
4.0 out of 5 stars Weird but a really good read
This is a fantasy story that takes a bit of getting into, but once you do get into it you can't put it down. The author has a wonderful imagination and really 'paints a picture'
Published on 21 Nov 2012 by Dee
2.0 out of 5 stars Did I miss the point?
Have read the other reviews and wonder if I have been reading the same book. I have no problem with the concepts, but I could not connect with the characters and consequently gave... Read more
Published on 24 Oct 2012 by mondo
3.0 out of 5 stars Rollercoaster
Well, not exactly a rollercoaster as some might think, but a book that started high, dipped and ended on a level. I found it strange, exciting at times but protracted at others. Read more
Published on 12 Oct 2012 by HughMcHugh
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