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Carnivalesque

by Neil Jordan

Run into the hall of mirrors and lose yourself for a few hours! This rite-of-passage story has it all: it is eerie and familiar, funny and moving, beautiful and terrifying. All that and a new twist on Irish folklore too.

Extract

But before the word 'mother' emerged, she clutched his hand once more, drew him, step by step, over the enormous guy-ropes that led like parallel strings on a concert harp to a canvas entrance beyond. Some words were forbidden here, it seemed. Mother and spice amongst them. And he was remembering a nursery rhyme, when the curl of her hand diverted him once more. Mother and spice and all things nice. No, it wasn't mother, he fretted: sugar - sugar and spice - when her fingers rubbed off his palm and he felt that tingle again and was confronted with yet another reality.

Parallels

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter
 

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