Summary

Maximillian Bacchus is the ringmaster, ruler, guide, and owner of what he considers the greatest show in the world. Traveling with a crocodile named Malachi, a trapeze girl named Ophelia, a strongman they call Hero (which is short for Hieronymus), and a clown named Domingo de Ybarrondo, who paints in a wagon pulled by a giant ibis bird, the troupe wanders from adventure to adventure with mythic aplomb.
From the first story, in which Indigo Murphy, the best bird handler in the world, leaves the show to join in matrimony with the Duke Lorenzo de Medici, to the fabled court of Kubla Khan, the magic never stops. You will meet a young apple thief named Angelo with magic eyes, an orangutan named Bathsheba, and a host of other amazing characters with names and personas cut like a patchwork quilt from the mythologies and dreams of the world.
Though written 40 years ago, these stories are full of the same magical side steps that have always been woven into Clive Barker's fiction. These are worlds not quit our own, and yet so real they ring with truth and leave you wishing you could step from your mundane life into that other place - into those caves of ice - if only long enough to catch Maximillian's show.
©2009 Clive Barker (P)2011 Clive Barker
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Scott Fabel on 04-06-12

Weird Circus and Great Story

I love Clive Barker. He ranks as one of my favorites. I found this gem here on Audible.Com, and I had never heard of it. It was a like a surprise treat! The story was great, and I loved the setting of the travelling circus. It's not Barker's best work, but it sticks to his asthetic and leaves you wanting more by the end. I would love to see a sequel from Barker that tells more of Mr. Bacchus' adventures.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Benjamin Orchard on 12-06-18

Whimsical children’s fantasy, that has some appeal for adults

Clive Barker is an author best known for writing violent horror fiction, but this is a series of light, heartwarming and whimsical fantasy stories aimed at children (though it contains sufficient wit and intelligence to entertain adult readers too).

These four stories of a magical travelling circus are rather slight in terms of plot, but make up for it with vividly colourful characterisation and some memorably snappy dialogue.

Bruce Donnelly’s amiable narration, and the distinctive voices he gives to each member of this quirky ensemble, only add to the charm of this delightful escapist fantasy.

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