Writer : Havra & Janane
Carnivals captivate our imagination with their mysterious allure, evoking a sense of wonder. The dazzling lights and grand circus tents transport us to a world where reality blends with fantasy. For those seeking an escape into the dark and glamorous realm of carnivals and circuses, you need not wait any longer. We've curated a list of eight captivating books that will transport you to these thrilling and enchanting worlds.
1. “Joyland” by Stephen King
In the summer of 1973 in Joyland, college student Devin Jones seeks solace from heartbreak by taking a job at the Joyland carnival. Little does he know that he will be confronted with a murder mystery, the fate of a dying child, and life-altering revelations. A masterful blend of the supernatural with the emotional, delivering a captivating story that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.
2. “Geek Love” by Katherine Dunn
This unconventional novel tells the story of the Binewski family, who run their own freak show. Determined to create an extraordinary cast, the parents, Al and Crystal Lil, resort to using drugs to alter the genes of their children, resulting in a boy with flippers for hands and feet, a pair of Siamese twins, and a child with telekinetic powers. As they navigate their own version of sibling rivalry, the complexities of human nature blurs the lines between normality and monstrosity.
3. “Nightmare Alley” by William Lindsay Gresham
This fast-paced pulp noir takes you on a thrilling journey through the underbelly of a second-rate carnival show. As Stanton Carlisle, a cunning and ambitious mentalist rises to fame and fortune, he encounters deceit, manipulation, and the allure of the supernatural. This gripping novel has been adapted into both a classic 1947 film noir and a recent 2021 film directed by Guillermo del Toro.
4. “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern
At a mysterious circus that only performs at night, a competition unfolds between Celia and Marco, two powerful illusionists groomed to battle each other. As they fall in love, their love becomes a force that challenges the very rules of the game. This novel is a spellbinding tale of love, magic, and sacrifice that will leave you longing for a ticket to this extraordinary circus with the turn of every page.
5. “Something Wicked This Way Comes" by Ray Bradbury
A haunting fantasy novel set in Green Town where two friends, Jim Nightshade and Will Halloway, encounter a mysterious carnival led by Mr. Dark. The novel explores themes of temptation, time passage, and the battle between good and evil. It is a tale of mystery, suspense, and the struggle to resist temptations that threaten to consume us.
6. "The Carnivorous Carnival" by Lemony Snicket
This is the ninth installment in Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" series. The Baudelaires, disguised as Viola, Klaus, and Sunny, visit the Caligari Carnival to uncover secrets about their parents and a V.F.D. member. Their nemesis, villainous Count Olaf, remains on their trail. The book explores themes of disguise, deception, and the pursuit of answers, maintaining the series' quirky charm and unfortunate events.