|Foreword by:||Jillette, Penn|
|Publish Date:||Feb 2011|
|Number of Pages:||110|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||1.24|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||8.25 x 0.65 x 8.2|
Penn Jillette is a magician, comedian, illusionist, juggler, and writer known for his work with fellow illusionist Teller in the team Penn & Teller. He is an advocate of atheism, libertarian philosophy, free-market economics, and scientific skepticism. His books include Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends, Penn and Teller's How to Play In Traffic, How to Cheat Your Friends at Poker: The Wisdom of Dickie Richard, and God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales.
Award-winning illustrator Friedman (Too Soon?: Celebrity Portraits) is known for oddball collections, and this volume might be the oddest. He profiles 50 world-famous sideshow and circus "freaks" from the late 19th through mid-20th centuries. Many toured with Ringling Brothers and also appeared in Hollywood films; several of the little people served as Wizard of Oz munchkins, while others with more serious conditions were cast in Freaks by Tod Browning, to whom the book is dedicated.
Each person is presented in a two-page spread, with on the left-hand page a brief biography including his or her real name, country of origin, birth and death dates, the illness that caused the distinct appearance, and some interesting side notes, then the portrait by Friedman on the right. While they might seem miserable outcasts to be pitied (and some were), many made lucrative livings and enjoyed pleasant lives.
Verdict: The freak shows that performers like these appeared in have since been placed on the politically correct chopping block, so this book may upset and disturb some readers. Nonetheless, it could also be seen as a record of how despite their physical anomalies, these "freaks" were regular folks.
-Mike Rogers, Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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