Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.

Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Tell the Publisher!
I'd like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Karnival [Paperback]

Michael Mortensen
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


‹  Return to Product Overview

Product Description

From Amazon

Michael Mortensen's debut novel is the story of the Klieg Karnival, a circus and freak show that evolves into a huge entertainment extravaganza. The action begins, however, on an isolated farm in Alberta, where Old Man Wayne's incestuous offspring Thad and Mollie give birth to a child, Nola, who herself later bears Thad's son, Baby. When Thad comes to an untimely end, Nola escapes the farm and is picked up by Ralph, a kind but slightly deformed trucker. Baby is left abandoned to the care of the family dog, who shortly thereafter kills Mollie.

After the chaos of these first 25 pages the narrative leaves the Waynes for a time (they will return, though) and settles into a sweetness reminiscent of Francesca Lia Block's Weetzie Bat stories. The book's narrator, Alice Clemmons, is a clairvoyant dwarf who marries the brother of the Karnival's founder and becomes a fortune teller known as Madame Isis. She guides the reader through three generations of the freaks, the disenfranchised, and the unloved who have joined the Karnival. Mortensen's characters are extremely resourceful and competent, like bizzaro-world versions of Ayn Rand heroes, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a more unlucky bunch of misfits. There is enough tragedy in this book to fill two John Irving novels. Mortensen's simple storytelling makes even the strangest events perfectly believable, though, and Karnival's themes are familiar ones: people should be accepted for who they are, and love comes when we accept ourselves. --Moe Berg

Review

A precarious mix of picaresque, horror, romance and the explicitly inspirational, Karnival is a bumpy but entertaining ride ending in a heartfelt plea for human dignity. (Jim Bartley The Globe and Mail)

Mortensen's characters are extremely resourceful and competent, like bizzaro-world versions of Ayn Rand heroes, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a more unlucky bunch of misfits. There is enough tragedy in this book to fill two John Irving novels. Mortensen's simple storytelling makes even the strangest events perfectly believable, though, and Karnival's themes are familiar ones: people should be accepted for who they are, and love comes when we accept ourselves. (Moe Berg)

From its evocative opening sentences to its startling yet inevitable finale, Karnival, the debut novel from American expatriate and long-time Toronto resident Michael Mortensen, weaves a compelling spell. -- Robert Wiersema

About the Author

Karnival was first conceived in 1983. Michael is currently writing the second of three planned Klieg's novels, another novel that has no connection to Klieg's, and a collection of shorter works, entitled "Belladonna."
‹  Return to Product Overview