Reading The Pilo Family Circus is like being invited to a family reunion with VERY distant relatives. You know the kind. So distant you don’t want anyone knowing you ARE family. All you know going in is that some craziness is about to go down. And as much as you expect it, as much as you know it’s coming, the insanity that ensues is far more alarming, (and entertaining), than anything you might have imagined.
The novel has almost a stream-of-conscience approach to it, with characters moving throughout without what might seem like a through-line or clearcut plot. It makes for a fascinating, if somewhat frustrating, read. With the mythology behind the Pilo Family Circus sprinkled sparsely throughout, it’s worth continuing on, if only to see how crazy things can get.
While the plot itself may not be the strongest aspect of this novel, the characters certainly shine. From Kurt and George Pilo and their attempts to kill each other, to the clowns and the individuality with which they’re imbued, to some of the minor characters, who are equally memorable. In fact, probably the weakest character for me was the one whose story we were following. Jamie / J.J. was difficult to identify with, while the world in which he had been deposited was as fascinating as any world I’ve encountered.
Unlike many books, the flaws in this novel are part of what make it shine. I’m reminded of Marcus Arelias’ classic line in Gladiator — “Are you not entertained?” There’s no question with this book, you will be.
** The ebook is on sale right now on Amazon for just $4.99. Great time to check it out**