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'Raunchy, raucous...a rich, turn of the 19th century world, which reeks of human and animal variety' The Times
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Published: 02 February 2012
Genre: Classic fiction
Is Sophie Fevvers, toast of Europe's capitals, part swan...or all fake?Courted by the Prince of Wales and painted by Toulouse-Lautrec, she is an aerialiste extraordinaire and star of Colonel Kearney's circus. She is also part woman, part swan. Jack Walser, an American journalist, is on a quest to discover the truth behind her identity. Dazzled by his love for her, and desperate for the scoop of a lifetime, Walser has no choice but to join the circus on its magical tour through turn-of-the-nineteenth-century London, St Petersburg and Siberia.
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
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
A remarkable book by any standards
Get ready for dancing tigers, depressed elephants, con artists, clowns, newspaper hacks, sinister russian aristocrats and tarts with hearts of gold- Nights at the Circus is full of unforgettable, completely unscrupulous characters. In Nights at the Circus Jack Walser, the cynical American journalist, follows Fevvers- a winged woman, or so she claims- from London to Siberia on her world tour as he tries to work out- ‘is she fact or is she fiction?’ Beautiful, vulgar and irrepressible, Fevvers is dazzling- my favourite Angela Carter heroine- and her story will have you spellbound.
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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 ...