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From the Midway: Unfolding Stories of…

From the Midway: Unfolding Stories of Redemption and Belonging (edition 2019)

by Leaf Seligman (Author)

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1161,219,737 (3.21)None
Title:From the Midway: Unfolding Stories of Redemption and Belonging
Authors:Leaf Seligman (Author)
Info:Bauhan Publishing (2019), 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, trade paperback, ARC

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From the Midway: Unfolding Stories of Redemption and Belonging by Leaf Seligman



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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book was about the traveling carnival through the south early 1900's. The Beasley's (the owners) went around recruiting people for their "attractions". Oddities or "freaks" as they were referred to. Each chapter looks into the lives of these "odd" people who were hired for acts in the Midway. Some with very sad stories of how their families just let them go, they thought of them as a "curse from God", or as a burden or embarrassment and thought their lives would be better off with sending them away.
Overall, a good story, although outside of the usual genre that I read.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review (less) ( )
  vintage-series-Lisa | Aug 24, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I requested this book hoping it would be similar to 'Water For Elephants'. I also liked the idea that each short story led into another like 'Der Spiegel im Spiegel' by Michael Ende. In the second respect it was wonderful, in the first respect it was far from it. The stories did flow into each other and characters you got to know in one story made appearances in the others. Each story flowed into the last one which was meant to bring the characters full-circle. Except it didn't. The entire last story seemed forced, like the author was trying to find a neat way to wrap it all up. The characters themselves were't very likable, and despite having their back stories were not very well developed. They seemed as one-dimensional as their painted midway signs.

My overall opinion is that the book is crude and has waaay too much religion for my taste. But then, any story that takes place in the Deep South would not be true to place without lots of religion. ( )
  sailorfigment | Aug 19, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a set of related stories about performers in a carnival, many of whom have physical diseases or defects to make them "freaks of nature". The stories are interesting, but the characters are shallow -- they all focus on wanting to be "normal" and returning home to those they miss. They don't appear to think beyond that. The author is a religious woman and a minister, and this comes through in her writing, in that many of the families of the deformed circus members are being "punished" for their sins by having to live with these "freaks". The author didn't seem to do much research in her writing; for example, her "fat lady" only weighs about 200 pounds, which is a fair amount during the depression, but certainly doesn't make her the "heaviest woman on earth" as claimed. All in all, what could be an interesting story gets bogged down by religious values. Not recommended. ( )
  cattriona | Aug 17, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this uncorrected proof from Bauhan Publishing and Librarything Early Reviewers giveaways in exchange for an honest review.

It's hard to review an uncorrected copy, not knowing how much will be corrected at the final printing, but here it goes.
From the Midway is a series of short stories, each focusing on a different character involved with Beasleys' Traveling Amusements, set during the first half of the 20th century. We have the usual "oddities" including the bearded lady, the shortest and tallest, Lizard Man, Flipper Boy, as well as stories about one of the dancing girls and a couple of the workers.
I found some of the stories pretty intriguing and well written. Some, however, didn't seem to be complete and were almost like an afterthought or filler in order to plump up the book.
About a third of the way in, I also realized I was reading essentially an adult Sunday School sermon, which may work well for some readers but it was not what I was expecting.

Overall, not bad, I was just expecting more story and less sermon. ( )
  glendalea | Aug 16, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Received this as an ARC copy from Library Thing. Kind of mixed feelings on it, it's not really a story but more character studies of circus freaks in the deep south. There's the Lizard Man who has scaly skin and a bad view on God thanks to his mother. The fat lady who they want to get even fatter. A boy with malformed hands and legs whom they keep strapped to a chair in water all day. A foul mouthed and promiscuous midget lady. A geek who bites the heads off chickens who has a prison past. Again the character studies were nice, but it's not really much of a story per say. ( )
  ChrisWeir | Aug 13, 2019 |
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