This post first appeared in slightly different form on June 28, 2007.
CIRCUS PARADE is pretty episodic, and some of the episodes are so grotesque and over-the-top that you have to wonder if Tully made them up or at least embellished them. His books are supposed to be non-fiction, but I have a feeling that he didn’t always let the facts get in the way of a good story. Also, the sex and violence in this book must have been pretty shocking to readers in 1927, when it was originally published. Even a cynical old Adult Western writer like me was shocked a few times.
I didn’t like CIRCUS PARADE as much as I did BEGGARS OF LIFE, but I did enjoy it and found it to be well worth reading. I’m sure I’ll read more of Jim Tully’s books, too, but I’ll probably wait a while before trying another one.
By the way, I read the original edition, but the retitled paperback reprint has a better cover, so that's the one I've posted above.