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The Traveling Death And Resurrection Show: A Novel [Paperback]

Ariel Gore

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Book Description

April 20 2006

Orphaned at age four and raised by her black-clad, rosary-mumbling, preoccupied grandmother, Frankka discovered the ability to perform the stigmata as a way to attract her grandmother's attention. Now twenty-eight, Frankka's still using this extraordinary talent, crisscrossing the country with "The Death and Resurrection Show," a Catholic-themed traveling freak show and cast of misfits who have quickly become her new family. But when a reporter from the Los Angeles Times shows up to review the show, Frankka finds herself on the front page of the newspaper -- the unwitting center of a religious debate. Now unsure of who she is and where she belongs, Frankka disappears in search of herself and a place to call home.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harperone; 1 edition (April 20 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060854286
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060854287
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.5 x 1.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,116,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The traditions of Catholicism and the sideshow come together in this earnest but fresh journey through the travails of a performing stigmatic. As an orphaned child raised by her devout Catholic but inattentive grandmother, Frances Catherine (Frankka) discovered she could make her palms bleed spontaneously when she grew hungry. When her musician friend Tony learns of her skill, they hit the road as a performance troupe, and soon form the titular show along with a collection of misfits and mystics: the levitating drag queen Madre Pia, the diva acrobat Magdalena, the fortuneteller Lupe, the bearded lady Paula and the gentle Italian fire-eater Barbaro. When the L.A. Times breaks the story of Frankka's strange skill, the troupe is mobbed by fanatical crowds, and Frankka, feeling betrayed, flees to the mountains of California, where she meets a Catholic spiritual mentor, Dorothy. Punctuating the narrative with stories of the saints, Gore (Atlas of the Human Heart, a memoir) depicts Frankka's religious reawakening with both irreverence and respect for tradition and faith. Predictably, Frankka's spiritual journey leads her to reconfront her troupe family, and the show goes on, with love, drama and reconciliation in its wake.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gore's debut centers around Frankka, a 28-year-old woman who is able to bleed at will from stigmata-like scars on her palms. Orphaned at age four, Frankka first discovered her gift as a child when she prayed for a way to restore her grandmother's failing faith. Frankka now uses her gift in "The Death and Resurrection" show, a small traveling troupe that tours the U.S. performing in various cities, big and small. Frankka is hardly the only oddball in the group--there's a bearded lady and a man who can breathe fire, among the performers--but it is her gift that draws the attention of a Los Angeles Times reporter who writes a piece on Frankka's gift and exposes her to the ire of religious fanatics. Thinking someone in her group has betrayed her, Frankka flees to the woods of California, looking for both an escape from the attention and an answer to her spiritual crisis. Piercing and insightful, Gore's first novel limns one woman's complicated relationship with her religion and her personal faith. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful surprise from an author with great promise June 10 2006
By Don R. Greenwood - Published on Amazon.com
After reading her memoir, "Atlas of the Human Heart," I decided why not try her first novel.

Her storyline is unique, a traveling religious, spiritual side show, with her protagonist the stigmata star.

Interspersed are sketches of the protagonist's favorite Christian Saints, whose lives and writings influence the life of story's main character.

This author is a fresh, new voice in the literary world, and I believe she will go far.

Although this novel is just 219 pages, it seems just the write length. All loose ends are tied neatly together, and the ending is touching.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Satire July 27 2006
By Paul M. Mallory - Published on Amazon.com
This novel by Ariel Gore is an interesting satire of Catholic religion and of American society. The author is able to sprinkle metaphors, religious or otherwise, with the greatest of ease. She writes with clarity, even when she changes tenses, which is appropriate for how the narrative flows. As another reviewer noted, she might go far; she is indeed a fresh voice in the genre of American literature. Although the novel is short, it is philisophical and insightful without being pompous. I look forward to new work by her in the future. One drawback, however, is her characterization. Frankly, the only interesting character, in my opinion, is the protagonist, who is the only character that has a purpose in life. Maybe the other characters haven't yet seen the light, and that is the point. Perhaps this is also because of the novel's length, but maybe it's because the other characters have little to recommend themselves besides acting like the vagabond malcontents that they are.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Embrace the mystery!" June 6 2007
By Sammy Conner - Published on Amazon.com
Take a rollicking roadtrip with a troupe of religious misfits, spinning along the fine line between insanity and saint-ity. A captivating story spiced with renegade-Catholic wisdom for living your own mythology.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars American Romantic Realism July 5 2006
By Emma J. Kalinowski - Published on Amazon.com
Her character's were strong and emblematic of the brokenness people experience in American society. You could say that each character experiences their own death and resurrections, the book focusing on that of young Frankka.

Characters are healed by their own self acceptance and ability to stare themselves in the face and recognize who they see.

Ariel Gore's book The Traveling Death and Resurrection Show was a great mix of fact and fiction, and who knows where one ends and the other begins in life anyway!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks, Ariel Dec 6 2006
By the.mistress - Published on Amazon.com
Another fabulous piece of writing from Ms. Gore. The way in which she weaves words always leaves me wishing it would never end.

I especially loved the passages about the saints - something I have always been interested in.

Read it on a cold, rainy night... you'll want to turn off the phone, lock the bedroom door and put the dishes and laundry off indefinitely.

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