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Circus   By: (1928-1992)

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In Alan Edward Nourse's thrilling and captivating novel, Circus, readers are transported into a world of mystery and intrigue. Set in a dystopian future where the remnants of humanity struggle for survival, this gripping tale combines elements of adventure, science fiction, and moral dilemmas to create an unforgettable reading experience.

The story follows the journey of young protagonist Josh, a resourceful and determined teenager who finds himself swept up into the dark underbelly of a traveling circus. As he navigates through this twisted world, readers are taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and unforeseen plot twists.

Nourse's vivid and detailed descriptions bring the circus to life, its vibrant and outlandish characters, and the eerie atmosphere lurking beneath the surface. From the menacing ringleader to the enigmatic performers with their dark secrets, each character adds depth and complexity to the narrative. The author's ability to create believable and relatable characters is commendable, as readers find themselves rooting for Josh and feeling a genuine connection to his struggles.

One of the book's greatest strengths lies in its exploration of ethical principles and the blurred lines between right and wrong. Through the circus, Nourse delves into themes of exploitation, morality, and personal choices, forcing readers to question their own values and judgments. This thought-provoking aspect elevates Circus beyond a mere tale of adventure, engaging readers in introspection and highlighting the importance of empathy and compassion.

Nourse exhibits expert pacing, ensuring that the story never lags or becomes predictable. The tension builds steadily, and just as readers believe they have everything figured out, another layer of mystery is revealed. The author's skilled storytelling keeps readers on the edge of their seats, eagerly turning the pages to uncover the truth behind the circus' sinister motives.

It is worth noting that the book does contain some dark and intense scenes, which may not be suitable for younger readers. However, these moments of darkness serve to underscore the contrast between the desolate world outside the circus and the supposed entertainment within it. It adds an unsettling layer of realism, further immersing readers in the grim reality of Nourse's dystopia.

In conclusion, Circus by Alan Edward Nourse is a captivating and thought-provoking novel that defies genre conventions. With its richly developed characters, ethical quandaries, and exciting plot twists, it is sure to leave a lasting impression on readers. Nourse's masterful storytelling skills shine throughout, ensuring that Circus will be a cherished addition to any bookshelf.

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Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from The Counterfeit Man More Science Fiction Stories by Alan E. Nourse published in 1963. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed. Minor spelling and typographical errors have been corrected without note.


"Just suppose," said Morgan, "that I did believe you. Just for argument." He glanced up at the man across the restaurant table. "Where would we go from here?"

The man shifted uneasily in his seat. He was silent, staring down at his plate. Not a strange looking man, Morgan thought. Rather ordinary, in fact. A plain face, nose a little too long, fingers a little too dainty, a suit that doesn't quite seem to fit, but all in all, a perfectly ordinary looking man.

Maybe too ordinary, Morgan thought.

Finally the man looked up. His eyes were dark, with a hunted look in their depths that chilled Morgan a little. "Where do we go? I don't know. I've tried to think it out, and I get nowhere. But you've got to believe me, Morgan. I'm lost, I mean it. If I can't get help, I don't know where it's going to end."

"I'll tell you where it's going to end," said Morgan. "It's going to end in a hospital. A mental hospital. They'll lock you up and they'll lose the key somewhere... Continue reading book >>

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