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What other readers are saying about this title:
hans223 said:
As a non-fiction person, I had my reservations about picking up this fiction, fiction no less written by a woman in a male voice. Flaws here and there but by and large an extraordinarily well researched novel, truly capturing the dark under belly of Depression era show biz while shooting out well -placed flares of love, respect, and humanity in more than one character. If you stick this out, enjoy author Gruen’s character progression in Jacob from handler to handled to... As a retired magician with some experience in deception, I strongly recommend this insider’s look at where you’re not suppossed to be looking. Hans
posted Sep 11, 2011 at 4:40PM
Avatar for bennieangel bennieangel said:
It took me a while to get through chapter one (seriously..a year or more) but I finally got through it & LOVED the book. This one will stick with you!
posted Jun 23, 2011 at 12:21PM
Avatar for Minga Minga said:
It is super easy to get into the time period of this book, even though I have never been on a circus train, I could see it in my mind. The story moves at a pace that keeps you interested, I don't think I want to see the movie for fear it will ruin what I have already created for the characters.
posted Mar 15, 2011 at 10:31AM
Sandra SSM said:
One of the best books I have read this year. Well researched. Setting is circus life in the 30s and nursing home present day.
posted Aug 19, 2010 at 1:21PM
Tammers said:
I loved this story and thought it was written very well. It was fun to read and I was emotionally hooked. There were parts where I almost cried and felt deeply for the characters and animals. I also really enjoyed how different my perspective of the story changed from the opening scene to the end. It’s definitely worth a read.
posted Mar 12, 2008 at 4:16PM
Amy H said:
I enjoyed the book as I did find the characters interesting. I could have done without some of the sexual nonsense (Kinko etc...). I loved Rosie! This was a quick read and I enjoyed it.
posted Dec 16, 2007 at 5:42PM
Chai_Tea_4_Me said:
I thought it was a good book--not a great book, but a good one. It kept me interested enough to keep reading. I was not as invested in these characters as I am in some other stories, but I liked the different setting (circus train during the Great Depression).
posted Jan 9, 2007 at 6:21PM
motous1950 said:
I’m pretty tired of poorly written, character-less books that get high praise by critics. This book is written mostly in dialog, short choppy and uninteresting which does nothing to develop characters or even create a sense of being there. Half way thru and I didn’t even finish the book. If after 100 pages you can’t care about characters, it’s the author’s fault.
posted Sep 11, 2006 at 10:25AM
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main characters Jacob Jankowski
Age: 90
Hates living in a nursing home; parents were killed in an automobile accident; dropped out of veterinary school at the age of 21 to join the circus; took care of the circus animals which were treated badly before he arrived; in love with Marlena; trains Rosie.
Animal handler

Star of the equestrian act.
Circus performer

Marlena's husband; cruel; abuses both his wife and the animals.
Animal trainer


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