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Hölle by Will Elliott
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2561444,720 (3.85)28
Authors:Will Elliott
Other authors:Birgit Reß-Bohusch, Will Elliott (Author), Birgit Reß-Bohusch (Author)
Info:Piper Verlag GmbH (2008), Broschiert, 400 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Pilo Family Circus by Will Elliott


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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
I did not expect that ending. I expected the ending from the John Cusack/Ray Liotta movie, IDENTITY.

This one started off devilishly good. Original, dark, funny-as-hell, nasty, twisted, and more words and stuff and things. I loved it. Every paragraph had me either disgusted, intrigued, or laughing my balls off.

Then the scenery changed. We go from Brisbane to the Pilo Family Circus and, oddly enough, the book became boring for me. I found the day in and day out ritual rather banal. JJ's actions didn't shock me because Winston said "The nicer the guy the meaner the clown," so it ended up being all very predictable. I think this is what led me to believe that the book was going to turn out like IDENTITY. The twin sides of the MC, so I just figured everyone was Jaime. Or... Jaime was everyone. Whichever.

Now, about the two of the clowns (and this is probably only me), they kinda blended together into my head. Goshy and Doopy seemed like the same clown, and it wasn't until the honeymoon scene (which was sheer fucking genius in my opinion; sick and brilliant) that I finally put a wedge between the two clowns and separated them. Both spoke in different speech patterns, but when they weren't talking and the author was just describing them doing things, I had a hard time keeping up with who was who. Gonko, Rufshod, and Winston all had their own separate personalities, but Goshy and Doopy seemed interchangeable. Like I said, though, this was probably just my own brain's problem and not the fault of the author.

Speaking of the author, I've never heard of Will Elliott. I don't know his story, but it supposedly explains what he went through while writing this and strengthens most readers' enjoyment of the piece. I plan on reading his memoir, STRANGE PLACES, as soon as I can talk myself into its twelve dollar price point. Which brings me to the price of this book. I bought it on Amazon for $11.79, blindly. Well, kinda blindly. There's this reviewer I trust whole-hog. If she likes a book, it goes on my TBR list, no questions asked. Then I buy said book, no matter the price. Did I get my $12 worth? Yeah, but only because of that ending.

SPOILERY SPOILS await the SPOILED because SPOILERS. Read the following SPOILERIFIC SPOILED SPOILERS at your own risk...

This motherfucker ended like Stephen King's NEEDFUL THINGS. Which made me think... isn't the entire book a bit like NEEDFUL THINGS? People wishing for shit and getting it. People being set against one another. Everything devolving into an utter clusterfuck of chaos. Yep, the only thing missing was Leland Gaunt, but, when you think about it, Kurt Pilo was kinda that guy. Okay, maybe this isn't completely fair, but when I read the final page of Will Elliott's mindbending carnival story, I felt as if I'd just reread NEEDFUL THINGS. Do not get me wrong. This read like a tribute, not a rip off, so Elliott gets massive points for that.


Welcome back to those of you who didn't want spoilers. I just noted why I liked the book. Yeah, ya kinda missed it... Sorry about that. Oh well, maybe next time.

Should you run out and buy this for $12? Probably not. This will not be everyone's cuppa coco, and I don't want anyone popping back up offering to violate my rectum with their size tens because they spent the last of their meth money on THE PILO FAMILY CIRCUS and were disappointed because it's not their thing.

In closing, I dug this book, a lot, but the middle droned on. The ending was perfect, though, which completely made up for the lackluster midsection.

I'm off to read my first bizarro story. Wish me luck.
( )
  Edward.Lorn | Feb 13, 2015 |
Not quite as much horror as a very dark comedy, this book I sped through as a Halloween read. Its themes of addiction, identity, community, and evil really make for an interestingly thinky book. ( )
  pewterbreath | Nov 3, 2013 |
I read this a few years back when it won the ABC inaugural fiction award. It's truly original and if you ever found clowns just that bit too weird to pass as humorous, this book will reinforce that impression forever. The book itself is oozing with humour; I found it extremely funny, and it had some brilliant character descriptions. I'd go as far as to say I've not read anything quite like it - it's macabre in a less than obvious way, contemporary, stylish. It lagged a bit for me mid-way, but never lost me. Honestly, I had a wail of a time reading this book. ( )
  ZenMoon | Mar 31, 2013 |
Born and based in Brisbane, Will Elliott is the author of the multiple award winning fantasy novel The Pilo Family Circus.

After a bizarre incident in Brisbane on his way home from work, Jamie finds himself being harassed by clowns who trash his house in an obscene manner and eventually recruit him as a clown in their circus. The Pilo Family Circus is located on a different plane between earth and hell, and Jamie finds he is trapped in this strange community.

When Jamie puts on the white face paint of the clowns he becomes a different person, JJ an angry and vicious clown. When the paint is removed, Jamie re-emerges, horror struck at the behaviour of his nemesis JJ.

Not having read a lot of fantasy, the genre was a little unfamiliar to me, however I immersed myself in this new world as much as I could. The blurb promised the book would be 'darkly funny' and 'gleefully macabre' and it certainly was all that. The writing was strong, the violence and conflict felt very sharp and unique and the dilemma Jamie finds himself thrown into was very original and equally as dangerous.

I enjoyed reading about the different sections within the circus (i.e. acrobats, dwarfs, carnies) and would have liked to have discovered more about their individual stories and how they became trapped in the circus. I also recognise however that this would have slowed down the pace of the book, so I guess you can't have it all.

Will Elliott has certainly found success with The Pilo Family Circus, winning the ABC Fiction Award in 2006, amongst many others, including a nomination for the International Horror Guild Award. Will is the first Australian to be nominated in the novel category for this award, and I believe more Australian readers should be familiar with his work. ( )
  Carpe_Librum | Dec 9, 2010 |
very disturbing, the only book I have read that has given me nightmares, but i had to finish it. ( )
  jhnhoc | Jun 14, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Will Elliottprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dunn, KatherineIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Für meine Eltern
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Jamie's tyres squealed to a halt, and the first thought to pass through his head was I almost killed it, rather than, I almost killed him.
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Book description
“You have two days to pass your audition. You better pass it, feller. You’re joining the circus. Ain’t that the best news you ever got?” Delivered by a trio of psychotic clowns, this ultimatum plunges Jamie into the horrific alternate universe that is the centuries-old Pilo Family Circus, a borderline world between Hell and Earth from which humankind’s greatest tragedies have been perpetrated. Yet in this place - peopled by the gruesome, grotesque, and monstrous - where violence and savagery are the norm, Jamie finds that his worst enemy is himself. When he applies the white face paint, he is transformed into JJ, the most vicious clown of all. And JJ wants Jamie dead!
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Jamie is plunged into the horrific alternate universe of the Pilo Family Circus, a borderline world between Hell and Earth from which humankind's greatest tragedies have been perpetuated. Yet, in this place - peopled by the gruesome, grotesque, and monstrous, where violence and savagery are the norm-Jamie finds that his worst enemy is himself. When he applies the white face paint, he is transformed into JJ, the most vicious clown of all. And JJ wants Jamie dead.… (more)

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