Lives of the Circus Animals

Lives of the Circus Animals Critically acclaimed novelist Christopher Bram has written some of his best work about life in the performing arts In Father of Frankenstein the basis for the Academy Award winning movie Gods and Mon

  • Title: Lives of the Circus Animals
  • Author: Christopher Bram
  • ISBN: 9780060542535
  • Page: 117
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Critically acclaimed novelist Christopher Bram has written some of his best work about life in the performing arts In Father of Frankenstein, the basis for the Academy Award winning movie Gods and Monsters, it was Hollywood in the thirties and fifties In The Notorious Dr August His Real Life and Crimes, it was the strange world of Victorian music and spiritualism Now,Critically acclaimed novelist Christopher Bram has written some of his best work about life in the performing arts In Father of Frankenstein, the basis for the Academy Award winning movie Gods and Monsters, it was Hollywood in the thirties and fifties In The Notorious Dr August His Real Life and Crimes, it was the strange world of Victorian music and spiritualism Now, in Lives of the Circus Animals, Bram explores contemporary New York theater, spending several days and nights with a diverse handful of men and women.There is Caleb Doyle, a hot new playwright whose newest work, Chaos Theory, has just bombed His sister, Jessie, also loves theater but has no outlet for her talents except to work as the personal assistant to British actor Henry Lewse, the Hamlet of his generation, while he does a Broadway musical Henry loves Shakespeare, money, grass, and boys.Then there s Frank Earp, an ex actor who courts Jessie and is directing a troupe of acting students in a homemade play Among the students is Toby Vogler, a nice kid from the Midwest who has a whole other career at night Toby was once Caleb Doyle s boyfriend.Overseeing this world like an unhappy god is Kenneth Prager, second string theater critic for the New York Times.Leaping from one life to another, one day to the next, the novel throws these people together in a serious comedy about love and work and make believe Lives of the Circus Animals is a cross between a Mozart opera and a Preston Sturges movie A look at theater people who are just like everyone else, only so, it s a comic celebration of how we all strive to stay sane while living in the shadow of those two impostors, success and failure.

    One thought on “Lives of the Circus Animals”

    1. Starting this book was very confusing to me, and it took me a while to figure out why. One of the main characters, a playwright, is famous for having written a celebrated stage adaptation of a short story, Venus in Furs. Of course, Venus in Fur has been the hot play of the last few years, written by David Ives. In fact, I think one of my sisters was the stage manager for the Canadian premiere of the show. (I couldn't be thinking of another play, but I think I have the right one.)Note: The rest o [...]

    2. Vale: a lo mejor le podía haber dado las tres estrellas, puesto que en la medianía lo dejo y, desde luego, está bien escrito y es ameno pero es que a mí esta historia de actores y dramaturgos, que son personas antes que artistas, me ha entretenido y me ha agradado, pero no me ha llegado como para no pasar a formar parte de la neblina de los miles de páginas difusas en breve.No obstante, decir que Bram sabe cómo construir personajes y, aunque todo el conjunto se queda bastante en el costumb [...]

    3. Incredibly well written, funny, and touches on the human condition in the arts. I loved how he wrote about so many different personalities and professions, from a critic to actors to writers, and all with the same sympathy and understanding of each and every individual. The surprise at the end was a bit startling, but I really enjoyed this book. There is a passion here that moves the reader.

    4. This book makes a fine choice for a bit of light reading. Not great literature, but I enjoyed reading it. The characters are compelling enough that I read it over the course of a few days. Bit heavy-handed at points. Definitely laughed while reading it, so, overall, if you're looking for a quick comedy, this one works.

    5. A Word from the Other End of the Spectrum of Critics Christopher Bram is simply one of our best writers of fiction today. His previous works have met with well-founded acclaim ("The Notorious Dr. August: His Real Life and Crimes", and "Father of Frankenstein"), but for some reason THE LIVES OF THE CIRCUS ANIMALS isn't popular with most readers. I'm not at all sure why. This beautifully constructed book has vividly drawn characters, humor, scandal, absurdities, love form all sides of the sexual s [...]

    6. This book started on such a high note for me and then quickly went over the cliff. The characters are so self-absorbed and that they just started to grate on me after awhile. Jessie, sister of the playwright Caleb, really worked my nerves and I found her relationship with Frank to be unrealistic and downright bizarre. What man gets you out of your clothes and then doesn't want to do the deed? I did enjoy the neurotic personalities of the actors and the people around them, but I could only take t [...]

    7. Bram is one of my favorite authors, with a direct, honest style, and a clear view of gay literary history and his place in it. Lives of the Circus Animals is a quick and fun view into a week in the lives of interrelated characters involved in the New York theater scene: actors, producers, directors, writers, and their family members. As such, it couldn't help but be interesting.I do have a few complaints. It was written in 2003 - really not that long ago - but Bram pins much of the disfunction b [...]

    8. This post-9/11 novel chronicles the madcap struggles of a small group of New Yorkers trying to “make it” in the Big Apple. Here’s a few of the “animals” that will be found in this particular circus: Caleb, a gay playwright who’s nursing a major writer’s block; Henry, a British actor who’s so talented, he can’t take care of himself; Jessie, his long-suffering personal assistant; Frank, a former actor who spends his life on the outside looking in; and Kenneth, a theater critic fr [...]

    9. A well paced book by one of America's best gay themed writers. Bram's truly loves his characters writing them fully human and with ease. In LOTCA we quickly devour each one of them while he shows us the joys and sorrows of everyday life in the big city. Anyone who loves NYC will love his comical, smart and fascinating view of the theater scene. Although, coincidence may seem to some very unbelievable for even fiction he still manages to leave even the cynical of heart believing that serendipity [...]

    10. It was a rough start for me, as the six main characters are presented in rotation, a short chapter at a time. What caught my interest was the humour of and in Henry, the eldest of the bunch. Despite his arrogance and practiced manufacturing, he presents the funniest, most honest and (oddly) vulnerable observations of the cast. The rest are still wrestling with their personal concepts of success and failure. The strands are, perhaps, a little too neatly woven but I accepted this in the overall th [...]

    11. Lives of the Circus Animals by Christopher Bram 2003 read in Feb 2010A novel about a group of friends; actors, playwrights, theatre critics and such. NYC is a small town where everyone has a connection to everyone else. A bit like Armistead Maupin’s novels. More froth than Mr. Brams Father of Frankenstein that I really enjoyed. This was fun entertainment.

    12. Mr. Bram is undoubtedly a gifted writer but, personally, I didn't LOVE this story. The dynamics of show business and the stage and emotional detachment and such all came through loud and clear, but over-all it wasn't a very satisfying read for me. I couldn't really invest in any of the characters and I guess they were written to be just that shallow.

    13. "YOU: Why do you think you need to be happy?ME: Aren't we supposed to be happy? Isn't that why we're here? We're obligated to be happy like we're obligated to succeed. Happiness is the point of life. Are the dead happy?YOU: We transcend happiness. Unhappiness too."The storyline was pretty mundane, but I found myself relating to characters and the real emotions they were going through.

    14. I enjoyed the book, but I'm still not sure that I liked any of the characters and for me that is important. But it was fun and quirky and I will read other books by Christopher Bram.Lives of the Circus Animals

    15. A wonderful book full of characters that I, in turn, wanted to hug and wanted to smack. I have heard people complain that they couldn't connect with Bram's characters, but being a theater person myself, I felt like I knew every one of them. Overall, this was a sweet, touching novel with emotional writing that I felt in my chest, and I only wish it had been even longer.

    16. Light, funny, not great literature but a pleasant read about a mix of contemporary characters in the Broadway theater world. A little slow to start but it builds to a climactic gathering at the end that brings all the characters together. Nothing apocalyptic--it's a birthday party.

    17. Good story. The lives of a theater troupe. I received this book as a gift from someone whom I told my grandfather was a clown.

    18. A good fast read with a peak inside the New York theatre world: Love, loss, success and failure. And of course a cute twink at the center of it all.

    19. This book was a guilty pleasure. Reading about screwed up lives in America makes you feel slightly better about yours.

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