Memoirs of a Sword Swallower by Daniel P. Mannix
8 1/2" x 11"
128 pages, 55 photos and illustrations.
"I probably never would have become America's leading fire-eater if Flamo the Great hadn't happened to explode that night..." So begins this true story of life with a traveling carnival, peopled by amazing characters (the Human Ostrich, the Human Salamander, Jolly Daisy) who commit outrageous feats of wizardry. This is one of the only authentic narratives revealing the "tricks" (or more often the lack thereof) and skills involved in a sideshow, and is invaluable to those aspiring to this profession. Having cultivated the desire to create real magic since early childhood, Mannix rose to become a top act within a season; here is his inspiring tale. NEW: RARE PHOTOS! This is the first edition to include photos of the actual characters in the book, most of them taken by Mannix himself in the '30s.
"A grotesque gallery of portraits of amazing human beings
and a fascinating behind-the-scenes revelation of carnival life."
"A sympathetic and funny account of life with a carnival
by a young man who impulsively joined up with one, mastered the elements
of fire-eating and sword-swallowing in record time, and then rose, Horatio
Alger-like, into the rarefied company of neon-bulb swallowers . . . it's
"The beautiful world of outcasts and freaks banding together
to form an alternate society is accurately and compassionately portrayed
by an insider."
"Having trouped with a carnival for a year, I can vouch
for the authentic background and color. I thought it was absolutely fascinating;
I couldn't put it down until I finished it."