The Ordinary Acrobat: A Journey Into the Wondrous World of Circus, Past and Present
Vintage, 2013 (2013)
Reviewed by Bob Walch
f you are in the mood for a good circus book you'll find Duncan Wall's charming firsthand account of his plunge into the world of the modern circus very entertaining. Along the way the author not only offers a nostalgic look back to the old days when attending a circus was more of a family ritual, but he also offers a look into the present Cirque du Soleil-fueled phenomenon.
fter visiting his first nouveau cirque as a college student in Paris, the Wisconsin native was hooked. His obsession resulted in signing up for the competitive training program at France's Ecole Nationale des Arts du Cirque.
hat happens next when this young American becomes engaged in a demanding regimen of tumbling, trapeze, juggling and clowning is quite a remarkable story.
here are plenty of thrills and spills, outsized personalities and even a few surprises in this personal history of circus life and how this entertainment institution has evolved over the years.
he book also features eight pages of color photos that picture this change over the years. The only downside to this excellent book is the rather small print the publisher elected to use. It will be a little hard on aged eyes so that will slow what would have been a fast read down a bit. No matter, though. This will just prolong the enjoyment of what will be a very pleasurable read.
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