ARC Review

An Exceptionally Inventive collection of Prose Stories That Touches on Some Very Sensitive Topics | ARC Review: Circus Folk & Village Freaks by Aparna Upadhyaya Sanyal

Meet the beautiful people of the Circus, and the freaks who live in the Village next to them. Mangled, jangled, misunderstood, all find place in the rich tapestry of this book.

Siamese twins separate to lose half a heart each, and find snake-man and tiger-taming lovers. A man bitten by a crocodile becomes a God, and a Devadasi woos the entire countryside with her culinary artistry.

Fates intertwined lead sometimes to tragedy, sometimes happy summits of fame. A clown finds his place in Hollywood and mute animals break unspeakable chains. A twisted man falls in love with a mirror and a white man is unmade by the Indian sun.

In this book are tales for every season and every reason. Tales of human depravity that take innocent lives, and of a murderers’ insanity that follows, a fitting revenge by nature, red in tooth and claw.

These stories are told in the form of narrative poems in rhyming couplets.

Look inside and you will find, you have been to this Village. Surely, you have been to this Circus too.

Disclaimer: I received a physical copy of the book from The Author in exchange for an honest review! However, the thoughts, opinions expressed in the review are entirely my own.

 Circus Folks & Village Freaks is an exceptionally written, and inventive collection of poems, told in prose by the author. It explores a diverse set of topics, some uncomfortable, some downright visceral but all of them with a same foundation of focus on people marginalized by the “normal” society.

The quirky collection of characters that are all part of the village surrounding a circus are not just limited to homosexuals, a man with serpentine skin condition, conjoined twins, a man’s love with his own reflection and so many others.

What the author does, is using this diverse set of characters, holds up a mirror to the society’s own hypocrisy, greed, racism and bullying – while these issues might be something that you and me would be blind not to notice in our society, the author has taken it one step further and enunciated the effect such issues have on the people, no matter how and why they were discriminated against, their stories and plight will strike a chord within you.

The book isn’t long – in fact it will take you about an hour (if you are a fast reader like yours truly!) but the freaking amazing part of the experience of reading this book? Its been weeks since I closed the book; yet there are times when I end up thinking about one or the other poems!

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ .25


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