CIRCUS AND CARNIVAL BALLYHOO is an insider's look at sideshows that takes readers where none have ventured before.  It is a history of the world's oddest business where freaks are window dressing, the oddball variety acts are the main entertainers and the lecturers delivering the spiels, dings, pitches and blow-offs make the whole operation tick.


From the time you stop in front of the bally until you are dumped out of the blow-off, everything you see, hear and feel has been carefully orchestrated towards relieving you of your cash.


Few midway sideshows remain in business.  None display living human freaks.  Yet in popular culture, the sideshow is still with us and a new generation of sward swallowers, fire eaters, pin cushions, cockroach glommers and regurgitation specialists have emerged from the bowels of weirdom.  For a century and a half, sideshow adorned the midways of both circuses and carnivals.  Their attractions were not only found on show lots but in vacant stores, on vaudeville stages, in film and even on whale shows.


You can meet the showmen, the freaks, the crazy variety acts, the tattooists, the mind readers and the glass blowers.  Learn how sideshow hustlers opened the tips' wallets at every opportunity.  Step up and see the blade box queen.  Go behind the blow-off curtain to gawk at the double-sex enigma.  It's never out - and thank goodness, it's never over.  Pay up.  Go inside. Buy the giant's ring!


Since retiring in 1991 from nineteen years of touring his circuses across Canada, A. W. Stencell has spent his time writing about the outdoor show world he loves.  There is nobody better at taking readers inside the circus and carnival world. 


Above information from the back cover and inside book leaves of Circus Carnival Ballyhoo.




Circus Carnival Ballyhoo - A Review


From the opening of Circus Carnival Ballyhoo, until the closing on page 391 Al takes you on an adventure through the history of the worlds most unusual business.  Al's book is jam packed with hundreds of photographs showcasing the back-end shows from the early days right through to today performers. 


Step Right Up, Go In Now, It's all Alive on the Inside of the Show!  See Strange People! the Giants, Tiny People, the Mule Face Woman, They're all here and their all on the inside!


Al shares page after page of history, which takes the reader deep into the history of the show.  In his book you will learn about the fascinating people that lived and loved the business.  You will see behind the sidewalls of the show tops and inside the grindshows,  you will meet the freaks, the performers and the showmen that made their living on the midways of the Americas.


Al's book is a fantastic read, you will become lost in the world of the sideshow as you read through its pages,  A master piece which helps unfold a business that is as American as apple pie.


So Go In Now, Enjoy What You are about to Read, It's All On the Inside of the Circus Carnival Ballyhoo.


John Robinson Sideshow World


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