The Circus of Dr. Lao (2020)

The Circus of Dr. Lao Charles G. Finney The Circus of Dr Lao Filmed as the Faces of Dr LaoThe novel is set in the fictional town of Abalone AZ the inhabitants of which epitomize ordinary Americans as they are simultaneously backhandedly celebrated lovingly
  • Title: The Circus of Dr. Lao
  • Author: Charles G. Finney
  • ISBN: 9780380000074
  • Page: 266
  • Format: None
The Circus of Dr. Lao Charles G. Finney Filmed as the 7 Faces of Dr LaoThe novel is set in the fictional town of Abalone, AZ, the inhabitants of which epitomize ordinary Americans as they are simultaneously backhandedly celebrated lovingly pilloried for their emergent reactions to the wonders of magic of everyday life A circus owned by a Chinaman named Dr Lao pulls into town one day, carrying legenFilmed as the 7 Faces of Dr LaoThe novel is set in the fictional town of Abalone, AZ, the inhabitants of which epitomize ordinary Americans as they are simultaneously backhandedly celebrated lovingly pilloried for their emergent reactions to the wonders of magic of everyday life A circus owned by a Chinaman named Dr Lao pulls into town one day, carrying legendary creatures from all areas of mythology legend, among them a sea serpent, Appolonius of Tyana, a medusa, a satyr etc Thru interactions with the circus, locals attain various enigmatic peak experiences appropriate to each one s particular personality The tale ends with the town becoming the site of a ritual to a pagan god whimsically given the name Yottle , possibly an allusion to the Mesoamerican god Yaotl, whose name means the enemy The ritual ends when the god himself slays a virgin, her unrequited lover the priest The circus over, the townsfolk scatter to the winds Few of them profit from the surreal experiences A Catalogue appendix notes all the people, places, items mythological beings mentioned in the novel, summing up the characters pithily sardonically, revealing the various fates of the townsfolk listing a number of plot holes questions unaddressed by the book.
The Circus of Dr. Lao Charles G. Finney

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    Charles G. Finney

One thought on “The Circus of Dr. Lao

  1. Mark

    THE MOST UNSETTLING THING I HAVE EVER READ As if in coda to my completion, a painter brought into my folks decorating store a dead hummingbird he found in the back of his van He brought it forward like an acolyte bearing the thin weight of his aged master, forward toward a raised dais, laying it down, then prostrating himself in supplication The painter said to me, lying the stiff, inert carcass upon my desk, I thought you could give it a good burial III just don t know how it got in there And s [...]

  2. Karl

    This book is copy 40 of 250 copies printed and is signed by Stefan Dziemianowicz David HoMatthew JaffeFull color images are printed on Mohawk Superfine.Contents 009 Introduction023 The Circus of Dr Lao173 The Black Retriever185 The Captivity195 The Door207 The Gilashrikes215 The Horsenapping of Hotspur229 The Iowan Curse249 The Life and Death of a Western Gladiator259 Isabell the Inscrutable279 Murder with Feathers285 Private Prince297 The Night Crawler312 Acknowledgements313 Signature Page

  3. Paul Bryant

    This strange slender deadpan novel I think Charles Finney is the first incarnation of Kurt Vonnegut from 1935 charmed me half to death when I first read it years ago And it pretty nearly did it again just now As the years rolled by I think it s got even stranger For one thing, for a silly fantasy about a circus full of the world s most mythical beings a sphinx, a chimera, a sea serpent, a mermaid, a werewolf, a hound of the hedges, whatever that is, along with Appolonius of Tyana, a magician, an [...]

  4. Oziel Bispo

    Abalone, no Arizona, era um lugar ermo pacato e tranquilo onde os habitantes se preocupavam t o somente com o t dio e em sobreviver Grande Depress o Era, at o circo do doutor Lao m gico e misterioso chegar cidade e mudar a vida de todos S que ao inv s desse circo ter le es , elefantes e tigres , tinha bestas da mitologia, animais lend rios, medusas, esfinge,Lobisomem , aberra es da natureza, serpentes que falam e animais jamais vistos Com toda essa variedades de atra es o circo sacode a pequena [...]

  5. Greg

    A strange tale of a circus that comes to a quiet depression era town The story itself is kind of fun in a magical realist sort of way, but where the author really shines is when he steps out of the story telling to give pretty scathing critiques of society and progress Sort of reads like Kurt Vonnegut at times, especially in the glossary defining all the characters and inconsistencies in the book Good stuff although one reviewer is mistaken that his is Charles Finney s only book A very quick per [...]

  6. Kavita

    I am fascinated by circus themes, which is why I picked up this odd little book A Chinese man brings a circus into the small hick town of Abalone, Arizona The advertising is itself funny, arousing the curiosity of the townspeople, most of whom end up going to the circus What happens there and the curiosities displayed by Dr Lao are the rest of the plot.For a start, it was quite interesting to see what an author in 1935 would have considered outlandish in a circus, considering there were freak sh [...]

  7. Dfordoom

    A book quite unlike anything else I ve ever read It concerns the visit of Dr Lao s circus to a small Midwestern town during the Depression This is a very unconventional circus It s a collection of mythological creatures, but not everyone who sees them can agree about what they are There s really no plot at all, the book merely deals with the effects that Dr Lao s circus has on the various people who see it It s a kind of fable, with a definite touch of surrealism to it The early 1960s movie vers [...]

  8. J.K. Grice

    THE SEVEN FACES OF DR LAO was one of my favorite movies as a kid, and I still love watching it from time to time Of course, it was based on this book Finney delivers a rather minimalist approach in dealing with his fable and trying to teach the people of a small western town a lesson I just didn t get much substance out of this novella compared to the film.

  9. Kirstin

    What an odd little book The Circus of Dr Lao is wellodd, surreal, humorous, jarring, unsettling, magical and bizarre It deserves to be than an obscure classic The book starts out strange and just gets stranger There s not much to the story, a circus comes to the sleepy town of Abalone, Arizona and the townsfolk seem unimpressed but they ve got nothing better to do, so they go.There is a scene in which a lady has her fortune told It s so brilliant and brutal Wow Shirley Jackson would have loved [...]

  10. Jean-marcel

    This is a truly extraordinary book it packs into its short length commentary on human nature in both its sad and wonderful aspects than many authors would struggle to depict through vast volumes of work I believe that in a just world this book would be considered among the paragons of American letters, right up there with free thinking luminaries like Mark Twain, who Charles Finney indeed often calls to my mind while reading The Circus of Dr Lao The whole story takes place in a day and, indeed, [...]

  11. Jan Rice

    I have this 1935 paperback novel in a 1974 but satisfyingly yellowed printing, but I haven t read it Instead I ve seen the 1964 movie twice, once a long time ago not when it originally came out but in the 70s, maybe, or the 80s, so probably on tape and once a week or so ago I had fond memories of its being both silly and moving and had the urge to see it again The movie s name is a little bit different 7 Faces of Dr Lao Trouble brews in a tiny western town that has fallen on hard times as a vill [...]

  12. Marvin

    I have a fondness for the people of the sleepy little town of Abalone, Arizona I too live in a small desert town It s not in Arizona but it is a stone s throw away on the other side of the Colorado River I wouldn t call it sleepy since it is on the I 10, one of the busiest interstates in the nation Yet it does occasionally seem like it is on the verge of lapsing into a coma We even have a circus that comes into town twice a year It has a not so big top tent, an asthmatic ringmaster and an acroba [...]

  13. Oscar

    A la ciudad de Abalone, Arizona, llega un d a de agosto un extra o circo Muchas personas, tras leer el anuncio de su llegada en el peri dico, se disponen a recibir las atracciones Pero cu l no ser su sorpresa cuando durante el desfile vean que no hay payasos, ni acr batas, ni elefantes, ni nada que se le parezca En su lugar se encuentran con una quimera, un unicornio, un s tiro, un antiguo fil sofo y mago, una enorme serpiente marina, etc Sin embargo, los habitantes de Abalone ni se inmutan ni s [...]

  14. Algernon

    great tragicomedy it is written before, but it reminded me strongly of the athmosphere from the movies of Federico Fellini the parade of grotesque characters, the festival of fools setting, the humor and the sharpness of observation for humain foibles A short , concentrated narrative, alternatively humorous, subversive, scary or lyrical.

  15. Palimp

    Novela de culto, secreto pasado de lector en lector, es una maravilla, un prodigio de imaginaci n que merecer a m s difusi n que la que tiene No dejen de pasar la oportunidad de leer este libro, les aseguro que no se arrepentir n.

  16. Wesley A. Vermillion

    I try to read this book every couple of years After the first time I read it Charles G Finney was catapulted to my favorite writer Each time I read it, I experience it differently The first time I read it I thought the world was a cynical place full of hate and misery, and that humans are horrible people The second time I read it I felt that the world was mysterious and strange, and I felt that most people don t realize this I am not sure how Charles G Finney wanted to make people feel when they [...]

  17. Espana Sheriff

    One of the most interesting things about this book is that with the exception of some of the outdated racial language not the ones in the dialogue, but some of the narration the prose and language is shockingly modern If I had picked the book up blind I could have believed it was from the Sixties, or Nineties, or even from a new slipstream modern fantasy type author.If you come to this book after watching the movie, be aware it is cynical, and a bit darked It is also less plot driven Not unlike [...]

  18. Palawa

    Finney s book is unsettling You re given sound bites of dialogue and gain some insight into characters, but they often don t react as you d expect The people of Abalone have a whatever kind of attitude to the arrival of Dr Lao s fantastic circus of mythological beasts, and throughout the story I could see many parallels to our desensitized and blinkered culture The illustrations are bizarre but in harmonizes with the plot It is a funny little book and somehow gets under your skin.

  19. Tony

    A fun movie but a down right oddball book the paperback equivalent of an enigmatic stranger its a social commentary, its a comedy, it s stream of conciousness and it ends with a big list of questions that remain unanswered.More to discover upon each re read.Oh and what s it all about Well, a circus comes to a small, US town

  20. Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

    An odd, mordant phantasmagoria There are traces of sexist and racist attitudes that don t sit well with me, but leavened by the urbane wit and rich imagination It s a strange book really, frivolous but thought provoking, and blessed with a wonderful set of appendices that remind me of Ambrose Bierce in Infernal lexicographer mode.

  21. Jim Dooley

    As a child, oh so many years ago, I can remember being entranced by a delightful fantasy film called, THE 7 FACES OF DR LAO This is the book, written some 30 years earlier, that inspired it.I can honestly say that I ve never read another book quite like THE CIRCUS OF DR LAO It doesn t have a storyline as much as it is an OpEd reporting of a highly unusual series of strange and amazing events That alone would likely have a negative influence on my enjoyment, and yet that approach made me feel clo [...]

  22. Aaron

    A perfect example of crystal clear and exciting prose fronting extraordinarily opaque meaning You could easily just enjoy this as a collection of weird and amusing non sequitur encounters There is much here though You can dig and discover a deft commentary on racism and possibly imperialism I think that s one of the subjects Finney is spreading open, but again, it s not entirely clear I have never read anything so ahead of its time, both in style and subject matter The method in which he lampoo [...]

  23. Rose Reid

    I really enjoyed this book I find it incredible that it was written so long ago because the sensibility is very current The use of language was over the top and fantastic I found myself uncomfortable with some of the racist content but of course in the thirties it would not have jarred anyone I would love to see this book as a graphic novel.

  24. Lynne

    Saw this as a movie when I was a kid now as an adult I also enjoyed the book At only 150 pages it is quick, but included are many of the run of the mill type of folks you all know A bonus is a healthy dose of mythology both traditional and freshly brewed Written in 1935 it reflects much of that era, but timeless in many ways, as humans never change.

  25. Kate Jonez

    This is an odd little book that I wasn t sure I liked just after I read it Some parts are painfully of its time 1940 s But the circus imagery and disturbing carnavalesque situations always seem to pop in to my head when I m writing A good book is one you think about later This qualifies.

  26. Mark

    This is a great reissue by Bison Books.First published in 1935, The Circus of Dr Lao is a marvel or as John Marco so rightly puts it in his introduction, an obscure classic page xvii Though Charles Finney published other novels and stories, this his first is perhaps his most famous, though even this is not all that well known Like many others, I suspect, I know it personally through The 7 Faces of Doctor Lao, the George Pal movie of 1964 starring Tony Randall in the titular multitude of roles, t [...]

  27. Guilherme Solari

    Circo surreal se apresenta em uma pequena cidade do Arizona durante a depress o dos anos 1930 e quebra a m scara de normalidade cotidiana dos habitantesNo auge da depress o econ mica dos anos 1930, o circo de um tal Dr Lao anuncia que vai se apresentar na entediada cidadezinha de Abalone, no Arizona Os moradores locais, que esperavam outro grupo itinerante com palha os e acrobatas, acabam se deparando com sereias, medusas, deuses pag os e adivinhos oniscientes.O choque entre mundos t o opostos u [...]

  28. Olethros

    Propia, distinta, mordaz, intemporal, cr ptica, bella G nero Narrativa Fant stica.Lo que nos cuenta A la localidad de Abalone, en Arizona, llega el circo del doctor Lao Nadie sabe c mo ha llegado, todos ven cosas algo distintas en el desfile y, cuando varios habitantes van al recinto, descubrir n muchas cosas desconocidas del espect culo y de ellos mismos Quiere saber m s de este libro, sin spoilers Visite librosdeolethros

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