The Circus at the Edge of the Earth: Travels with the Great Wallenda Circus
The Great Wallenda Circus represents a form of art that's rapidly dying out, a cirrus complete with tigers, clowns, acrobats, and other traditional acts. Charles Wilkins, son of a circus enthusiast, travelled with this circus, from Thunder Bay, Ontario, to Flirt Flon in northern Manitoba -- "the edge of the earth, " as far north as any circus ever goes.
His exquisitely crafted story is by turns funny and moving, sad and shocking, as it introduces readers to the rigours, the freedoms, the announces, and the horrific risks of circus life, as well as to some of the most fascinating and offbeat people in show business.
Meet Rick Wallenda, grandson of the late circus daredevil, Karl Wallenda. Rick, once a high-wire walker himself, is now crippled from a near-fatal fall. This is his circus's first tour of Canada, and he leads his troupe along the frost-shattered highways, through freezing weather, truck breakdowns, and one of the greatest floods in Canadian history. Still, the show must go on, even in the face of unexpected (and vindictive) competition from a rival circus.
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