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The Circus of Dr. Lao
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Last updated by: Scott Laz

The Circus of Dr. Lao

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Author: Charles G. Finney
Publisher: Gollancz, 2016
Bison Books, 2011
Viking Press, 1935
Series: Frontiers of Imagination: Book 20
Book Type: Novel
Genre: Fantasy
Sub-Genre Tags: Weird (Fantasy)
Alternate History (Fantasy)
Comic Fantasy
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Synopsis

Abalone, Arizona, is a sleepy southwestern town whose chief concerns are boredom and surviving the Great Depression--that is, until the circus of Dr. Lao arrives and immensely and irrevocably changes the lives of everyone drawn to its tents.

Expecting a sideshow spectacle, the citizens of Abalone instead confront and learn profound lessons from the mythical made real--a chimera, a Medusa, a talking sphinx, a sea serpent, witches, the Hound of the Hedges, a werewolf, a mermaid, an ancient god, and the elusive, ever-changing Dr. Lao himself. The circus unfolds, spinning magical, dark strands that ensnare the town's populace: the sea serpent's tale shatters love's illusions; the fortune-teller's shocking pronouncements toll the tedium and secret dread of every person's life; sensual undercurrents pour forth for men and women alike; and the dead walk again.

Dazzling and macabre, literary and philosophical, The Circus of Dr. Lao has been acclaimed as a masterpiece of speculative fiction and influenced such writers as Ray Bradbury.


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