Circus

Circus

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
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These radiant stories explore the often surprising things we're willing to do for love and human connection. Fed up with his long history of failed blind dates, a shy English bureaucrat gives himself thirty-one days to find love on the Internet. A father buys his daughter a blue plastic tent to ready her for outdoor adventure, but neither is prepared when the tent becomes a neighbourhood sensation. The world of competitive sports provides the backdrop for a young man's coming of age in “Two-Man Luge: A Love Story.” And in the award-winning title story, the granddaughter of a former circus performer (who played the role of a man-wrestling bear) finds herself grappling with the capriciousness of life and love. At once witty, tender-hearted, and profound, these stories are filled with a memorable and all-too-human cast of characters on the cusp of enormous change,3; whether they're ready or not. Written in spare yet startling language, Circus is a beautiful reminder that sometimes everyday life can be the greatest show on Earth.
Publisher: Toronto, Ont. : McClelland & Stewart, c2014
ISBN: 9780771012785
Branch Call Number: BAT
Characteristics: 207 p. ;,21 cm

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m
mclarjh
Jul 21, 2015

Well crafted stories, but the characters are uninteresting, and the subject matter vacuous. Instantly forgettable.

ksoles Jun 11, 2014

At 28, B.C. native Claire Battershill has already won the CBC Literary Award, co-won the Canadian Authors Association’s Emerging Writer Award, and made the final list for the inaugural PEN International/New Voices Award. Her debut collection, "Circus," proves that she deserves such acclaim. Her stories show that everyday life comprises moments of grandeur; she continually transforms a string of events that no one would as special or noteworthy into the greatest show on Earth.

Battershill transports readers from a crowded airport departure lounge to the stillness of the British Museum, from the spectacle of the Winter Olympics to the modesty of a local Miniatureland, all the while using an unpretentious, conversational style. The stories weave sentences together with an effortless, magical proficiency and turn banal questions into profound ones: what do you do when you come across an a old, unlocked bicycle and get the sudden urge to take it for a spin? What might compel someone to create a miniature world, to spend her life painstakingly crafting perfect replicas of her existence so she doesn't have to leave the past behind? How might a chance encounter as a teenager at a jump rope competition change the trajectory of your life and your thoughts?

Furthermore, these radiant stories explore the often surprising things we do in the hope of love and connection. Battershill's all-too-human cast of characters sits on the cusp of enormous change; each individual must balance his/her obsessions, idiosyncrasies and unusual talents in order to deal with it.

A whimsical, wondrous and wise exploration into human relationships and the passions that bind them.

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