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Memoirs of a Sword Swallower Excerpts and Reviews

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A grotesque gallery of portraits of amazing human beings and a fascinating behind-the-scenes revelation of carnival life.”

—New York Times

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 engrossing.”

—The New Yorker

The beautiful world of outcasts and freaks banding together to form an alternate society is accurately and compassionately portrayed by an insider.”

—Circus Arts

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.”

—Gypsy Rose Lee

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