For Circus Mania!
My thanks to Tina Jackson for writing a fantastic review of Circus Mania on the Writers’ Hub website (www.writershub.co.uk). Here’s what she wrote:
CIRCUS MANIA by Douglas McPherson
Review by Tina Jackson
Circus is having a moment at the moment, with every creative Tom, Dick and Harry borrowing from its rich imagery to add motifs of magic to their endeavours. But how many people actually take themselves under canvas and experience for themselves the spectacular skills and very real risks undertaken by performers who take their lives in their hands to show their audience, for five miraculous moments, that they have transcended the limits of what human bodies are usually capable? A trip to the circus will usually reveal more bare seats than this wonderful form of art and entertainment deserves.
|The Great Yarmouth Hippodrome|
- Britain's oldest circus building.
Circus Mania takes you behind the scenes.
McPherson’s approach – a combination of candid curiosity and passionate fascination – allows him access to people from a tight-knit community whose way of life is rarely penetrated by outsiders. He talks to members of old circus families who provide him with a sense of the continuing history of the circus, and representatives of the new, art-driven form of cirque that has largely replaced the older tradition where animals would perform alongside humans. His most fascinating chapters, in fact, concern the issue of performing animals and the shift away from the practice that took place in the 1990s, prompted by the question of animal cruelty – something which, after much investigation, McPherson finds no evidence to substantiate.
|The Chinese State Circus|
- Just one of many circuses explored
in Circus Mania
Like a good old fashioned circus – McPherson’s favourite kind, in the end – the book rollicks along at a cracking pace, delivering a cast of colourful characters, and a parade of stories of the life-is-stranger-than-fiction variety. There are thrills and spills, acts of derring-do, heart-in-mouth moments, and laughs aplenty. The circus deserves this book and, like the circus, McPherson deserves for Circus Mania to reach a very wide and appreciative audience.
Peter Owen Publishers
81 Ridge Road
London N8 9NP.