Cirque du Freak is unusual in the fact that it is said to be written by it’s narrator, Darren Shan. In the introduction Shan states emphatically, “This is a true story.”
Shan all but spells out that this book will not have a happy ending.
I had heard of Cirque du Freak, but because of it’s tween POV and the Harry Potter craze, I stayed away. As the movie drew near I gave in and downloaded the Kindle version. I was not disappointed and am now looking forward to the movie – even though just seeing the trailer lets me know it differs a lot from the novel.
Darren Shan is a compelling narrator of his own tale. He spins a story, while juvenile, it is also dark and sometimes horrific. The author did a wonderful job with the tone of the book, it is reminiscent of Lord of the Flies – sounding as if you are reading a 13 year old’s diary, instead of a novel. The plot line of the book is so believable that you almost find yourself believing that this could really be non-fiction and not just from the depths of the author’s mind. In some parts the novel did tread a little too dark for a young teenager, while in others it had a very immature tone that I thought older teens might be dissatisfied with. Some parts are very fanciful and Darren’s actions can be a bit overly dramatic for a 13 year old, but overall the story was well done.
The plot was well paced and kept you going. The beginning did take a little longer to get into than I expected, but once in, it kept you there. I definitely recommend this book to adults and young readers alike. While on the creepy side, there is nothing really inappropriate to be worried about.
If you ask me if I liked the book more than the movie, I can’t ever recall responding, I enjoyed the movie better. There is just something more fulfilling about a book. I will enjoy a movie and agree that it was a well-done piece that did the book justice, but never do I believe a movie can surpass its book. Therefore, if I hear of a movie based from a book, if I find it interesting I will try and read the book first. I’m glad that I took the time to read this book and now I’m looking forward to the movie.
The Vampire Assistant in theaters today!