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Synopsis: [Read by Ralph Lister]
[*Young Adult Fiction] In the tradition of Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes, and Stephen King's Salem's Lot, New York Times bestseller Cirque du Freak is the first title in the popular 'Saga of Darren Shan' series.
Darren Shan and his best friend, Steve, get tickets to the Cirque du Freak, a wonderfully gothic freak show featuring weird, frightening half human/half animals who interact terrifyingly with the audience. In the midst of the excitement, true terror raises its head when Steve recognizes that one of the performers -- Mr. Crepsley -- is a vampire!
Steve confronts the vampire after the show finishes -- but his motives are surprising! In the shadows of a crumbling theater, a horrified Darren eavesdrops on his friend and the vampire, and is witness to a monstrous, disturbing plea. As if by destiny, Darren is pulled to Mr. Crepsley and what follows is his horrifying descent into the dark and bloody world of vampires.
Review: Anyone who loves the humorous but hair-raising horror in R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series will devour British author Darren Shan's first novel with equal zeal. Some books are born with a surrounding buzz; this one even has Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling's stamp of approval: "Fast-paced and compelling, full of satisfying macabre touches," she writes. Warner Brothers will be making it into a movie, and the rest of the series is already in the works. Given all that, you'd expect a tour de force! Really, though, Cirque Du Freak is a thrill ride that will keep even the most reluctant readers turning pages, but will never take its place in the literary canon.
Darren Shan, author and narrator, sets the book up as a true story, warning readers: "Real life's nasty. It's cruel.... Evil often wins." Indeed, evil begins to win when Darren and his buddies find a flier for "Cirque Du Freak," a traveling freak show promising performances by the snake-boy, the wolf-man, and Larten Crepsley and his giant spider, Madame Octa. Darren and his friend Steve wouldn't miss it for the world.
So, Saturday night they sneak out to the old theater, tall and dark, with broken windows. "Every act you see tonight is real," croaks Mr. Tall. "Each performer is unique. And none are harmless." That's for sure. (A werewolf bites off the hand of someone in the audience, for instance.) Things grow very serious for the two boys when Steve not only recognizes Mr. Crepsley as a famous vampire, but professes his true desire to join him! To make matters worse, the spider-obsessed Darren goes back to the old theater to steal Madame Octa so he can teach her tricks in his room. (He does, with mixed results.) The plot further coagulates as Darren is faced with some terrible decisions about what to do to save his bloodthirsty friend Steve.
Readers may be too enthralled to notice some clumsy editing (the aforementioned bitten-off hand is later referred to as an arm, Darren stops dead in his tracks when he's already stopped, etc.). They may also not notice that the boys constantly use adult-sounding expressions like "his breath stank to the high heavens," though the book is clearly set in the 21st century. If this book gets under your kids' skin (and it probably will), they're in luck--we haven't heard the last of the Saga of Darren Shan. (Ages 10 and older, not for the faint of heart) --Karin Snelson
Title: Cirque du Freak - A Living Nightmare
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Book Condition: BRAND NEW
Book Description Blackstone Audio. Audio CD. Condition: Good. Ex-Library Book - will contain Library Markings. Light shelf wear and minimal interior marks. Seller Inventory # G1482943891I3N10
Book Description Blackstone Audio, 2013. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1482943891
Book Description Blackstone Audio, 2013. Audio CD. Condition: Like New. Almost new condition. Seller Inventory # P011482943891
Book Description Blackstone Audio, 2013. Audio CD. Condition: Very Good. Great condition with minimal wear, aging, or shelf wear. Seller Inventory # P021482943891
Book Description Blackstone Audio, 2013. Audio CD. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111482943891
Book Description Blackstone Audio, 2013. Audio CD. Condition: Good. Unabridged. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. May be ex-library. Shipping & Handling by region. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 1482943891
Book Description Blackstone Audio, 2013. Audio CD. Condition: New. Unabridged. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 1482943891n