Friday, January 25, 2013

The Trapeze Artist by Will Davis

About the Book

A man will endlessly torture his muscles until they shriek and complain. But he will not give in. He will take a hammer to his ceiling until neighbours begin to watch from the window and journalists knock at the door. He will continue to train and hack away at the house until it is finished and the trapeze is in place.

Although his parents thought he was nice and kind-hearted and teachers saw him as a good boy, secretly he hated his drab, ordered world and longed for more. Then, when he was fourteen, a new boy arrived at his school. Edward exuded the coolness of a latter-day Oscar Wilde. Edward listened to Patti Smith, watched Fassbinder films and knew the writings of Gore Vidal, and one evening, would kiss him in the moonlight.

Forty years old and fleeing from a life he can no longer handle, he stumbles upon the circus. Not knowing why, only that he must, he gets in his car and follows after it, refusing to listen to the doubts that plague him, determined to build a new home and family.

The Trapeze Artist draws together the past, present and future of one life to create a work of startling dexterity and vision - a haunting and heartbreaking account of a child, a boy, a man, desperate to free himself from the suffocating weight of his desires, his family and his grief...
I’ll be the first to admit that this book would have been lost in the vast expanse of my bookshelf. I’d have glanced over the blurb and relinquished it back to the pile awaiting reading. This book really wouldn’t strike me as a MUST READ and for those who’d know me well enough (and my reading tastes) would scoff at the notion of me reading this book – by looks of the blurb. Now didn’t anyone teach you not to judge a book by its blurb? Huh!

With that said, it truly did strike me. An atmospheric book wrapped in the on-goings of the circus from the point of view of a gay man who cannot handle the menial entrapment of his life and job that he pretends to like. So he gives it all up and joins the circus. How many of us dreamt of doing that exact same thing at the age of 5?

Sliced and buttered together with visions from the past, future and present – this book weaves together grief, heartbreak, suffocation and homosexuality.

I’ll warn you, it isn’t for the faint hearted of readers – it’s a slow-paced novel with much left to be desired in pace and exuberance. However, this book enlightens the darkest of minds to the world of the circus!

This one is for those quiet reading excursions we dream of...  

About the Author

Will is an aerialist who specialises in corde lisse (rope), tissu (silks), static trapeze and cerceau (aerial hoop). He has long been fascinated by the beauty of movement and the danger of circus, and nowhere are these two extremes more sublimely fused together than the aerial arts.
He has performed at many venues in the UK, including The Place, The Box, Old Vic Tunnels, The Vauxhall Tavern, Supperclub, McQueen, Volupté, The Lowry, St Paul's Church, and The Albany. He has presented work at Glastonbury Festival, Secret Garden party, Edinburgh Festival and Bestival. He is a regular performer for The Wam Bam club at Café de Paris. Will has a range of acts readily available for performance, and is happy to create new pieces for special occasions, functions and site-specific events. Will is based in London. Will also teaches aerial at Gravity Aerial Academy.
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