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Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lauren Owen: IMG The Other Vampire



It's a wild and thundery night. Inside a ramshackle old manor house, a beautiful young girl lies asleep in bed. At the window, a figure watches... Continue »
  1. $18.90 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Quick

    Lauren Owen 9780812993271

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Customer Comments

Jennifer Graham has commented on (1) product.

Clown Girl: A Novel by Monica Drake
Clown Girl: A Novel

Jennifer Graham, January 2, 2011

It's so hard to write a comedic novel--especially one that allows for genuine human absurdity rather than some forced ironic posturing. Clown Girl somehow finds the perfect center of black comedy: the space where the humour comes not from a diminishment or belittling of the protagonist's pain but a bottomless acceptance of it. Kafka, Chaplin, Emmet Kelly, and W.C. Fields are all invoked here, quite appropriately. Slapstick collides with existential conundra; our heroine's search for love, community, family, and art are all ennobled by the patent ridiculousness of her life.

Did I mention it's really damn funny?

Don't be fooled by the wacky premise; this isn't a gimmick kind of book. Yes, it pivots around the world of clowning; and yes there is a heartbreaking quest for a lost rubber chicken; and yes our heroine does get involved in the seamy coulrophiliac underbelly of Baloneytown; and yes, there is a mystery involving stolen pee. It's a comedy, after all. But like all the best comedy it invites both the sympathy and the intellect to come out to play.
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