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THE CATCH TRAP [Mass Market Paperback]

Marion Zimmer Bradley
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 12 1980
Tommy Zane hates lions, a major obstacle in a family of lion tamers. But Tommy's dreams--and talent--fly higher, up in the rigging with the trapeze. When rising star Mario Santelli offers him flying lessons, it looks like the start of wonderful new life, and to Tommy's surprise, his relationship with Mario deepens even as his skill soars in the rigging. But life in the 1940s forces them to keep their love a secret, and the stress pushes both Tommy and Mario to a precipice. And as Mario flies higher and higher, Tommy begins to wonder if it will always be his role to catch Mario as he falls. A tremendously moving tale, a rich family saga, a wise and compassionate portrait of a special love in a cruel world.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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About the Author

Marion Zimmer was born in Albany, NY, on June 3, 1930, and married Robert Alden Bradley in 1949. Mrs. Bradley received her B.A. in 1964 from Hardin Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, then did graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1965-67. She was a science fiction/fantasy fan from her middle teens, and made her first sale as an adjunct to an amateur fiction contest in 1949. She had written as long as she could remember, but wrote only for school magazines and fanzines until 1952, when she sold her first professional short story to VORTEX SCIENCE FICTION. She wrote everything from science fiction to Gothics, but is probably best known for her Darkover novels. In addition to her novels, Mrs. Bradley edited many magazines, amateur and professional, including Marion Zimmer Bradley's FANTASY Magazine, which she started in 1988. She also edited an annual anthology called SWORD AND SORCERESS for DAW Books. Over the years she turned more to fantasy. She wrote a novel of the women in the Arthurian legends-Morgan Le Fay, the Lady of the Lake, and others-entitled MISTS OF AVALON, which made the NY Times best seller list both in hardcover and trade paperback, and she also wrote THE FIREBRAND, a novel about the women of the Trojan War. She died in Berkeley, California on September 25, 1999, four days after suffering a major heart attack. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars read it read it Aug. 23 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am really lacking words to discribe how this book moved me. I speakes me from the heart. Two men, living under the eyes of a biast hippocritical society that cheers to them and would happily put tem into jail if it knew that they love each other. And that fate is not so farfetched or outdated as it seems...what would public say if it wasn't Monica L. but Mark ... Or to speak for my country, being myself in politics, i know enough fellow politicians whose career would be finished if the truth would be known....not that society would do it oppenly... everybody, or most would state sympathy and understanding....till the day they are alone in the votebox and have to make the little cross... MZB write a story about two persons and manges not only to create convincing characters but also stays away from stereotypes. From the beginning you do not only see two men, but two human beings who love each other. And while reading it on comes across the question..how tolerant am I ...this book does a lot to raise that level ....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best novel I've ever read Aug. 14 1997
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A friend lent me a copy of "The Catch Trap" and the prospect of reading a book about the circus in the 40s and 50s seemed like pure torture. Still, for some strange reason I picked it up and started reading (about a month after it was lent to me). Over the course of the next week, I found it increasingly difficult to put the book down. I stayed up literally all night one night because I just couldn't put it down.

Though I'm usually not a big fan of long novels full of lots of detail, this book is riveting. The characters are full, rich, complicated people with complex, endlessly fascinating relationships. When I finished the book, I was genuinely sad to leave these people I had grown to love. The Santelli family had become real to me, almost as if I belonged to them in some way, and Tommy and Mario were my friends. And I felt like I knew so intimately what the life of traveling circus performers had been like.

In addition to great characters and a great story, Bradley does a superior job of
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I ever read!! June 20 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As a disclaimer, some portions of the novel are disturbing. There is violence and strong sexual content.
Now that that is out of the way. This is an incredible story of an Italian family circus act in the 40 and 50's. I found my self laughing and crying when reading this book. I could not put it down. I became obsessed (It's that good!!) I wanted to know all the secrets of the Santelli family. I wanted to fly on the trapeze, live in a trailer and travel the country. I wanted to punch Mario for being so afraid, kick Johnny for what he did to Stella and love Tommy as if he were my own son.
I have recommended it to all of my friends and I can say that this is the best book I have ever read and now that it's finished I am sad to say goodbye to Mario, Tommy, Angelo, Stella, Johnny, Lucia and all the members of the Santelli family. But I can't stay sad for long, because 'The Santelli's are always ready' and after reading this book, I am one of them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I hate love stories - but I loved this book! April 5 1998
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was given this book several years ago and was extremely skeptical. I don't usually like love stories and I'm not a big science fiction fan so when I saw that it was a love story by a science fiction writer I was sure I would hate it. I didn't. In fact I started reading it one Saturday afternoon and didn't put it down until I finished it that evening. The relationship between these two men (Tommy Zane and Matt "Mario" Santelli) was so moving and so real. All of the characters in this book are so multi-dimensional that you think you know each of them intimately and you start to feel like one of the family. Set in the circus world of the 40's, this book takes you on a fantastic ride through the lives of two young men who risk everything to be together. I've probably read this book over two dozen times and I love it just as much each time. In fact, my copy is so worn out that I had to order a new one. Read it! You won't be sorry.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book... April 27 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Before I read this book, I never knew what to say when people asked me what my favorite book was. Now, I never have to think about it...this is definitely my favorite book. I liked it better than The Mists of Avalon, and that's high praise. If anyone ever wondered what Marion Zimmer Bradley might be like in a non-historical or -fantasy book, this is it. It is the same wonderful writing style applied to a more modern set of circumstances, a close-knit, Italian family of trapeeze artists in the 1940's. The characters are so vivid that I always forget that they are not real... I speak of them to friends as though they were real people, using their emotions to describe my own.

PS - If you have enough self-control, don't read the back or the front of the book until after you've gotten at least two hundred pages in. I would give a lot for some of the things in that book to be a suprise to me, and I hate it that I threw away the chance.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Set in the 10-year period between 1944 and 1953, The Catch Trap chronicles the life of Tommy Zane as he grows from gay adolescent into a gay man. Zane and his love interest, Mario Santelli, struggle with inner demons; both were brainwashed by a homophobic society so they struggle with self hatred. The book also broaches the topic of physical violence in gay relationships, an issue not usually covered in the run-of-the-mill gay romance novels. Then again, this book isn't run of the mill. If you're looking for a light-hearted book where everything is perfect or where gay men are blissed out and live in a world where being gay is completely accepted, skip this book. But, if you are ready to see life through the eyes of gay men struggling to find happiness and love in a realistic manner, don't miss this masterpiece. MZB creates characters in this book who will be with you for a long time.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unexpected Gem
I had read and enjoyed The Dreyfus Affair, and one of the people who reviewed it here mentioned that The Catch Trap covered some of the same ground better. Read more
Published on July 17 2004 by Karen Tobin
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't read this when you need a good night's sleep!!
Most of the positive things that have been said about this book are true. The detail is vivid, the characters are believable and complex, and the issues that the book faces are... Read more
Published on Feb. 17 2001 by A.J. Chodan
5.0 out of 5 stars You can SMELL the popcorn...
Amazing, wonderful writing.... MZB has truly done a labor of love....a rich, steamy, thick work of writing....
The plotting, structure, narrative...a must read..... Read more
Published on Aug. 5 2000 by W. Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast Paced, Richly Detailed Drama
Bradley has crafted a beautiful epic around two circus performers. The novel is well reserached and brings the atmosphere of the circus to life. Read more
Published on June 19 2000 by David Oliveras
5.0 out of 5 stars This is MZB's Best Book
The Catch Trap is not only elegantly written, full of detail and complex in its characterization, it is the most tightly written of MZB's larger novels. Read more
Published on Nov. 9 1999 by rhinoceroslodge@pon.net
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect love story
it was the best love story ever, perfectly designed by a great author like marion zimmer bradlley. if you like romance, action, drama, family values, this is the book for you. Read more
Published on Oct. 10 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars To be read, reread and read again 'till death
I came to this book fortuitously, being a real fans of MZB Darkover novels. I never thought to find myself with such a moving tale. Read more
Published on July 6 1999 by Dragon.jade@caramail.com
5.0 out of 5 stars The epitome of gay love stories.
The circus milieu is fresh and fascinating, the central love story is rich and fully realized, and the sense of history revealed is remarkable. Read more
Published on May 26 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars A truly absorbing read
Well, I have to admit-- I loved this book. I've been an MZB fan for years, but recently have read her work out of nostalgia more than anything else. Read more
Published on April 20 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars absolutely beautiful! definitely unforgetable!
Marion Zimmer Bradley has been my favourite writer since i read «The Mists Of Avalon», a few years ago. Read more
Published on March 29 1999
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