Literature Gladys Swan CARNIVAL FOR THE GODS

ISBN 13: 9780394743301

CARNIVAL FOR THE GODS

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9780394743301: CARNIVAL FOR THE GODS

In the mid-1980s, a little known Missouri-based writer and painter named Gladys Swan sold to a major New York publisher the first of what would become a five-book saga about a down-and-out but courageous traveling carnival. Filmmaker Victor Nunez, struck by the grittiness of the characters and the high-octane energy of these eccentrics battling to entertain and survive, optioned Carnival for the big screen and wrote a full screenplay. Nunez’s film was never made. But now here is Swan's first book, a work that captures with stunning authenticity a uniquely American landscape.

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From Library Journal:

Swan's first novel, a captivating blend of fantasy and reality, follows the meanderings of an expiring road show through the desert Southwest. Most of the acts have deserted. Now only the giant, the magician, the midget, and the newly arrived snake dancer and her mute son travel with Dusty and his wife Alta, who is sorely tempted to abandon the troupe and Dusty's 25-year dream of fame. Using the carnival life as a metaphor, Swan paints an intriguing portrait of her "carnies" as they wander further and further into new and more tempting landscapes. Though the reader is often hard-pressed to distinguish between what is "real" and what is happening only in the imagination, this ambiguity gives the characters greater depth. Recommended for large fiction collections. Jeanne Buckley, Syracuse, N.Y.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

This bleak, short first novel chronicles the downtrodden lives of a small band of performers, the remnants of a traveling show billed "The Carnival for the Gods." Dusty and Alta, the managers, are a high-wire team who have traveled on the road for 25 years; their companions are a magician, a midget and a giant. Dusty signs on a voluptuous snake charmer, "The Amazing Grace" (with her ruffian adopted kid), and then the troupe travels to the "Seven Cities," a mythical border haven between the U.S. and Mexico. The nomads wander about the cities of Ventura and Old Town and attempt to stage a grand carnival, but here the novel abruptly ends. While the dialogue is clever, convincing and entertaining, this motley, unattractive group's pitiful dreams provide an unsatisfying and discursive story.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Swan, Gladys
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