A Son of the Circus

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A Son of the Circus
ASonOfTheCircus.JPG
First Edition
Author John Irving
Country United States
Language English
Publisher Random House (US)
Publication date
August 1994
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 633 p.
ISBN 0-679-43496-8
OCLC 29566583
813/.54 20
LC Class PS3559.R8 S64 1994

A Son of the Circus (1994) is John Irving's eighth published novel. The novel was a return to his first publisher, Random House, under whose imprint Irving's first three novels appeared.

In terms of its setting and cast of characters, the novel seems a significant departure for Irving. Though the setting is Mumbai, India and though the book describes the "Great Blue Nile" circus in detail, the novel has many other storylines. A key narrative thread is the growing human understanding in the main character, Farrokh Daruwalla.

The novel includes a crime-story that links the other plotlines: A series of murders take place in Mumbai and nearby places. When this affects an upper-class club and Daruwalla's "dear boy" - an adopted family member - is threatened, the killings are investigated by a sympathetic criminal inspector who long ago married a girl who had witnessed one of the murders.

Another story line concerns twin brothers who do not know each other at first. One is a famous movie actor starring in the Inspector Dhar series, which are scripted by none other than Dr. Daruwalla. The other is a Jesuit who causes all sorts of confusion when he arrives and gets on everyone's nerves. The twins meet when the Jesuit apprentice leaves his religious ambitions behind.

References[edit]

In an interview with Irving, the author noted that he considers the characters of his novels, including "A Son of the Circus", to be products not of imagination but of keen observations.