The Trapeze Artist

Overview

A man will endlessly torture his muscles until they shriek and complain. But he will not give in. He will take a hammer to his ceiling until the neighbors begin to watch from the window and the journalists knock at the door. He will continue to train and hack away at the house until it is finished and the trapeze is in place.

Although his parents thought he was nice and kindhearted and teachers saw him as a good boy, secretly he hated his drab, ordered world and longed for more....

See more details below
Paperback
$14.19
BN.com price
(Save 11%)$16.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (28) from $1.99   
  • New (11) from $3.50   
  • Used (17) from $1.99   
The Trapeze Artist

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$1.99
BN.com price
(Save 87%)$15.99 List Price

Overview

A man will endlessly torture his muscles until they shriek and complain. But he will not give in. He will take a hammer to his ceiling until the neighbors begin to watch from the window and the journalists knock at the door. He will continue to train and hack away at the house until it is finished and the trapeze is in place.

Although his parents thought he was nice and kindhearted and teachers saw him as a good boy, secretly he hated his drab, ordered world and longed for more. Then, when he was fourteen, Edward arrived at his school. Edward exuded the coolness of a latter-day Oscar Wilde. Edward listened to Patti Smith, watched Fassbinder films, knew the writings of Gore Vidal, and, one evening, would kiss him in the moonlight. Forty years old and fleeing from a life he can no longer handle, he stumbles upon the circus. Not knowing why, only that he must, he gets in his car and follows after it, refusing to listen to the doubts that plague him, determined to build a new home and family.

The Trapeze Artist draws together the past, present, and future of one life to create a work of startling dexterity and vision-a haunting and heartbreaking account of a child, a boy, a man, desperate to free himself from the suffocating weight of his desires, his family, and his grief. It speaks of what it is to grow up gay in a straight world, to be unable to communicate with those you love, of the sweat, passions, and tempers of circus life, and, above all, of the joyous longing to break free, and to swing higher and higher...

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The unnamed protagonist in Davis’s semiautobiographical third novel (after Dream Machine), unhappy with his dreary existence living with his mother and working as a caretaker for elderly invalids in provincial England, literally runs off with the circus, where he finds a home on the road and love with the star attraction, a Romanian aerialist named Vlad. When the third-rate traveling show breaks up, our lovesick hero goes home to find his mother incapacitated by strokes, and in order to build his own indoor trapeze, he takes a sledgehammer to the family house. Whatever nutty charm this premise suggests is sundered by Davis’s leaden prose. It is unfortunately ironic that a novel that takes as its subject frustration with the drabness of ordinary life should itself be so cluttered with clichés and stock characters. An overly complex narrative structure, interweaving three separate time frames in the protagonist’s life, cannot save this novel from crashing to earth. Agent: Peter Buckman, the Ampersand Agency (U.K.). (Dec.)
Library Journal
A closeted gay man in England sits in the audience of a small circus. He is compelled to follow it, leaving behind his disapproving mother, menial job, and narrow life. He falls in love with Vlad, a less-than-faithful aerial artist, but also with circus life, despite the hazing he receives from the established members. The unnamed protagonist, however, can take all kinds of humiliations, as they are minor compared with the punishment he's been dealing himself since adolescence, when he lost Edward, his charismatic, confident, bohemian teen love. Sandwiched between the narratives of past and present is a third narrative in future tense—describing how the protagonist creates a trapeze rig out of his mother's suburban house and a trapeze artist from his imperfect, aging body. Full of technical detail about how circus equipment works, this novel is also a portrait of how convention and parental expectation can tragically warp a person's potential. VERDICT For those who've always wondered about running away with the circus, this bleak tale by the award-winning author of My Side of the Story and Dream Machine may make you think twice.—Devon Thomas, DevIndexing, Chelsea, MI
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781620400036
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 12/11/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 833,883
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Will Davis is the author of two novels, My Side of the Story, which won the Betty Trask Prize in 2007, and Dream Machine. He has trained as an aerialist and specializes in corde lisse (rope), tissu (silks), and static trapeze. He lives in London.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)