Step Right Up: Stories of Carnivals, Sideshows, and the Circus

by Nathaniel Knaebel

Everyone loves a carnival, whether it’s the Big Top or a traveling midway kicking updust.

  • Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages
  • Average Rating: 3.53 out of 5
  • Published April 15th 2004 by Carroll & Graf
  • Original Title: Step Right Up: Stories of Carnivals
  • Sideshows
  • and the Circus
  • ISBN: 0786713321 (ISBN13: 9780786713325)
  • Edition Language: English

Everyone loves a carnival, whether it’s the Big Top or a traveling midway kicking up dust. These roving extravaganzas are as amusing as they are mysterious and as innocent as they are sordid. Step Right Up is a one-of-a-kind anthology that collects the finest literature and the most absorbing first-person accounts about carnivals, sideshows, and the circus, capturing all of the spectacle and sensation of this unusual and treasured tradition. A colorful assortment of characters populate the fairgrounds and circus tents of this unique collection from circus legends like P. T. Barnum and Otis Jordan the Frog Prince to a motley crew of ride monkeys and rubes. Step Right Up takes the reader everywhere from a small village in Romania to the streets of Coney Island and offers everything from Fred Rosen’s account of the scandalous demise of Grady “Lobster Boy” Stiles Jr. to imaginative fiction like Michael Chabon’s macabre take on the origin of clowns. The bizarre romance and mystery of the world’s oldest and oddest traveling institution come to life in selections from Katherine Dunn, Kevin Baker, Jim Tully, Flannery O’Connor, Lee Durkee, Robert Hough, Michael Chabon, Fred Rosen, Susan Dickinson, Joseph Michell, Edora Welty, and Ellen Hunnicut.