Synopses & Reviews
Vaudeville: mad, mercenary, dreamy, and absurd, a world of clashing cultures and ferocious showmanship and wickedly delightful deceptions.
But sixteen-year-old pianist George Carole has joined vaudeville for one reason only: to find the man he suspects to be his father, the great Heironomo Silenus. Yet as he chases down his father's troupe, he begins to understand that their performances are strange even for vaudeville: for wherever they happen to tour, the very nature of the world seems to change.
Because there is a secret within Silenus's show so ancient and dangerous that it has won him many powerful enemies. And it's not until after he joins them that George realizes the troupe is not simply touring: they are running for their lives.
And soon...he is as well.
"Bennett (The Company Man) melds an energetic reimagining of medieval myth with an engrossing backdrop of impresarios, puppeteers, and amazing feats of strength in this tale of turn-of-the-century vaudevillians. The performances of Hieronomo 'Harry' Silenus's quartet leave audiences dazzled yet unable to remember what they have seen. Teen piano prodigy George Carole, believing that Harry is his father, joins the quartet and learns their actual mission: to sing the song of creation that keeps the world alive and safe. As darkness closes in, the exhausted and increasingly fractious performers gamble everything for one more bit of the song. True motives borne of old sadness are revealed with delicate precision, and even the most terrifying creatures are invested with a heartrending pathos. Narrated perfectly by a baffled young man whose zealous pursuit of a father's love is often outpaced by his alternately endearing and dangerous vanity, Bennett's finely crafted novel rises on a wave of suspense to a place of beauty and hope. Agent: Donald Maass Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Bennett's finely crafted novel rises on a wave of suspense to a place of beauty and hope."
"This is the kind of book that will find its ways into one's hands again and again over the years."--Booklist
"...a melancholy coming-of-age tale with a moody atmosphere... The Troupe is a genuinely powerful piece of work."--SFX
"The Troupe is true magic: a gripping tale that reminds the audience why we fell in love with reading. This book enchants, leaving the audience on their feet, yelling for an encore."--Mat Johnson, author of Pym
"Thought-provoking, beautifully written, and highly recommended"--Sci Fi Bulletin
About the Author
Robert Jackson Bennett was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Winner of the Shirley Jackson Award, the Sydney J. Bounds Award, and an Edgar Award, he is the author of the novels Mr. Shivers, The Company Man, The Troupe, and American Elsewhere. Find out more about the author at www.robertjacksonbennett.com.