A horror classic, but you will have to work for it! I probably spent five days trying to get through this book. Is it rewarding? Yes. But you will have to work for it! My best guess is that I became stalled because the writing is very poetic, and my brain didn’t logically follow the prose as quickly as I normally would. One example on Page 257: “Every glass threw javelins of light which invisibly pierced, sank deep, found heart, soul, lungs, to frost the veins, cut nerves, send Will to ruin, paralyze and then kick-football heart. Hamstrung, the old old man foundered to his knees, as did his suppliant images, his congregation of terrified selves one week, one month, two years, twenty, fifty, seventy, ninety years from now!”
Multiply that paragraph to fill up a 290 page book, and you can see why I did not exactly fly through this book. It was work for me, not an easy pleasure read.
There are plenty of terrifying scenes involving the carnival and its characters, and the book is absolutely a prime example of how “to get it right” if you are an author studying such things. I’m just saying read this when you have a caffeine buzz, and not when you are tired from having already worked all day!
I did enjoy the feel-good aspect of the father (a janitor in the town’s library) getting to play the hero to his son and his son’s friend, although some might say the Aw Shucks aspect of the early 1960’s does not translate so well to today’s times (which is a shame).