Free ↠ Goldenland Past Dark By Chandler Klang Smith –

Goldenland Past Dark A Hostile Stranger Is Hunting Dr Show S Ramshackle Travelling Circus Across S America His Target The Ringmaster Himself Struggling To Elude The Menace, Dr Show Scraps His Ambitious Itinerary Ticket Sales Plummet, And Nothing But Disaster Looms The Troupe S Unravelling Hopes Fall On Their Latest And Most Promising Recruit, Webern Bell, A Sixteen Year Old Stunted Hunchback Devoted Obsessively To Perfecting The Surreal Clown Performances That Come To Him In His Dreams But As They Travel Through A Landscape Of Abandoned Amusement Parks And Rural Ghost Towns, Webern S Bizarre Past Starts To Pursue Him, As WellAlong The Way We Meet Nepenthe, The Seductive Lizard Girl Brunhilde, A Shell Shocked Bearded Lady Marzipan, A World Weary Chimp A Cabal Of Drunken, Backstabbing Clowns Webern S Uncanny Sisters, Witchy Dogcatchers Who Speak Only In Rhymes And His Childhood Friend, Wags, Who May Or May Not Be Imaginary, And Whose Motives Are Far Sinister Than They Seem

10 thoughts on “Goldenland Past Dark

  1. says:

    This is exactly the kind of book that makes reading such a joy For all the pedestrian and average and slightly entertaining books out there, one of these makes it all worth the effort My friend had given it to me for my birthday based solely on the fact that I liked stories about circus and sideshow freaks From Chizine publications new to me and of excellent quality I had expected this to be horror, but it defies any such genre categorization It s simply such a marvelous work of fiction, it effortlessly does that thing that great books do when they take you out of your world and transport you into theirs The story is dark, moving, romantic, exciting, sad, strange, happy, surprising, moving, epic, cinematographically vivid and so incredibly well written, I read it all in the same day Chandler Klang Smith shows so much promise with this most auspicious debut, it is most exciting to discover such a terrific new talent Highly recommended.

  2. says:

    I selected this book rather randomly while browsing the shelves at a local bookstore looking for something that would be appropriate for me to read with my new prison penpal I didn t want anything violent, prison related or with too much sexual tension and it had to be something I thought a man who d spent the last 20 years of his life in prison might enjoy reading And something I wanted to read myself Wow, did I do a good job My penpal got the physical book and I read it on my kindle Both he and I loved it And it gave us a lot to write about in our snail mail exchanges.The book is a wonderful and engaging tale from the beginning Webern is quite a character Everything is so bizarre and yet easy to relate too Each character has a unique personality that completely meshes with their circus talent And Webern, along with Dr Show, is a person who has found his calling His love of clowning, his view of it as an art, his dedication, all allow us to know him without feeling sorry for his deformity While some of the characters are trapped and pitiful, Webern is not This is the life he would always have chosen Or is it The best thing about this book is that the ending does not disappoint And it isn t really until the end of the book that we understand Webern and the world that he lives in It is a great read all the way to the end, which cannot be said for a lot of novels.

  3. says:

    Readers intrigued by intelligent narratives and complex themes should not hesitate to seek out this haunting debut novelFull review

  4. says:

    This is a very cool book I admit that I resisted it for the first couple of chapters, because I m not particularly a fan of circuses or sideshows and I don t like clowns, but Ms Smith has created a wonderful Kafkaesque dream novel in which she performs a very neat trick she presents the normal world, and she presents the circus as viewed by the normal world, and then she shows us the circus behind the circus where the performers know that the whole thing seen by the normal world is just a show they put on, but then there s another circus behind that circus, a world where men and women have relationship problems, job problems, drinking problems, etc that are shared by their counterparts in the normal world Smith cleverly illustrates through her collected freaks that everyone is performing for an audience and that everyone is trapped in a freakshow with the same life problems That was pretty great Goldenland is a darkly atmospheric search for identity, with memorable characters, startling plot developments and moments of breathtakingly beautiful prose There s also a Scotch drinking monkey and some very scary sisters.

  5. says:

    An accomplished and beautifully written debut novel from an author from whom I m sure we ll be hearing a lot A coterie of circus freaks, a cynical helper monkey, and a seriously disturbed family all share the spotlight in this affecting tale of a circus clown named Webern who is losing his grip on sanity Webern may be the protagonist, but it s the female characters in his life who are the most interesting to me Nepenthe, the reluctant lizard girl of the freak show Bo Bo, Webern s outlandishly eccentric grandmother who really should have been in the novel for longer than she was and perhaps most of all, the twins Willow and Billow, Webern s spooky, witchy sisters who share their own nonsense language, speak to others only in rhyme, and make art out of dead animals While the characters are extraordinarily well drawn, I did find myself wishing there were of a through plot on which to hang my hat But it s not really that kind of novel It s far interested in letting you explore its world at a leisurely pace, much like the sideshows to which it pays such loving homage Well worth reading I m looking forward to whatever the author comes up with next

  6. says:

    Goldenland Past Dark is a very impressive first novel It held my attention start to finish, very creative and inventive, at the same time, grounded in the universal truths of humanity all across the board The novel reminds me of a spiral in how it moves, going from the outer layers, the outer pictures of the main character, Webern, the clown,spiraling down to the and surprising inner world and history of Webern It is a heartfelt, deep and true story, wonderfully told.

  7. says:

    Book Info Genre Dark speculative fictionReading Level AdultRecommended for Fans of the journeyTrigger Warnings murder, clownsMy Thoughts I think this book would have been better if it had focused on Dr Show s circus As it is, about halfway through the action jumps ahead five years and Webern and Nepenthe join another circus A lot of the heart goes out of the story when that happens with the loss of so many characters with whom we had bonded.Don t misunderstand, this is a well written book, with great descriptions and well developed characters I just wasn t as engaged as I had hoped to be, and I really have no idea why other than what I mentioned above I think people who enjoy the journey than the destination will like this book well enough.I really liked Bo Bo She was just such a character, and the scene with the coffin was hilarious the first one, I mean I would read an entire book just about Bo Bo and her activities and adventures Unfortunately she was a very minor part of the story.I did wonder if a chimp would be capable of all the things that Marzipan does all the time, cooking and cleaning and knitting and so forth I also had to wonder how old she was It is mentioned that she is graying, but not how long she had lived with Bo Bo Chimpanzees can live up to 60 years in captivity, but often become aggressive as they age.So, not a bad book It made me think and I did quite enjoy several of the characters, but there was just something missing from it Still, if it sounds like something you would like, check it out.Disclosure I received a copy of this book from ChiZine in exchange for an honest review All opinions are my own.Synopsis A hostile stranger is hunting Dr Show s ramshackle travelling circus across 1960s America His target the ringmaster himself Struggling to elude the menace, Dr Show scraps his ambitious itinerary, ticket sales plummet, and nothing but disaster looms The troupe s unravelling hopes fall on their latest and most promising recruit, Webern Bell, a sixteen year old stunted hunchback devoted obsessively to perfecting the surreal clown performances that come to him in his dreams But as they travel through a landscape of abandoned amusement parks and rural ghost towns, Webern s bizarre past starts to pursue him, as well Along the way, we meet Nepenthe, the seductive Lizard Girl Brunhilde, a shell shocked bearded lady Marzipan, a world weary chimp a cabal of drunken, backstabbing clowns Webern s uncanny sisters, witchy dogcatchers who speak only in rhymes and his childhood friend, Wags, who may or may not be imaginary, and whose motives are far sinister than they seem.

  8. says:

    Original review posted at Layers of Thought.Shellie s quick take A sweet yet dark and mind bending coming of age romance about a sensitive and small clown who is traveling with a circus during the 1960s.Shellie s description It s a slightly bizarre novel based upon the experiences of its relatable main character Webern Bernie Bell What is special about Bernie is that he is only about 4 feet tall and has a hunch on his back Not a typical person physically, he is, however, a natural fit as a circus clown for a small traveling show While riding his unicycle near his home, he is discovered by the show s dramatic owner, Dr Shoenburg Dr Show for short Dr Show recognizes Bernie s talent and propositions him for the circus Bernie is happy to leave behind his childhood home to join the troupe, because he s always felt like he doesn t fit into a normal life Within the circus he meets Nepenthe, the lizard girl, and falls in love and finally he feels at home.As this crazy story about love and growing up unfolds and events push him to face his inner workings, it becomes apparent that Bernie has his demons to work through but he has his work cut out for him Things become out of the ordinary when Bernie faces issues of death and has to question his identity, his familial attachments, his heart and some other weird happenings that he experiences.Shellie s thoughts This is a terrific story with fun characters I was completely intrigued about the main character Bernie, who is a sensitive soul and easy to like, which creates a desire to continue reading the story Consequently I would say that this is of a character driven novel rather than action based, although it has its drama with its far fetched ideas and happenings It is certainly weird fiction, though what I liked best about Goldenland Past Dark is that it also feels realistic well, almost.In addition I particularly enjoyed the author s simple and straightforward writing style which also sucked me in Very clear and thoughtful, the writing just flowed for me It s a writing style that is relaxing without having to reread parts or to look up definitions for words.I d recommend this for fans of the circus and for those who enjoy likable yet non mainstream characters for example a bearded lady, a chimpanzee who s behavior is almost human, a lizard girl with a disfiguring skin condition, and a grandmother who captures, cooks, and eats raccoons It s especially for those who want realism included within surreal events 3.5 stars for this heartfelt and offbeat novel I will definitely be looking for from this author.

  9. says:

    Beautiful ProseI was introduced to Chandler Klang Smith by an interview she did with Writer s Digest She suggested that a novel is a fractal The recovering mathematician in me found the idea intriguing and elegant, so I posted a rather detailed response in the comments Sadly, that response vanished into the bowels of the Interwebs never to be seen again, so I re posted with a simple I love the idea of a novel as a fractal For my efforts, this lucky and random responder was rewarded with a copy of Goldenland Past Dark.I was really looking forward to seeing the writing of an author who sees the novel as a fractal And I wanted to read about a killer chasing a circus caravan across the US in the 1960s.The first thing that struck me, however, was the beautiful prose.Chandler Klang Smith is smart and paints a vivid picture The first half of Goldenland Past Dark introduces us to Dr Show and his traveling circus troupe The world is haunting with a layer of circus fun applied like whiteface over a disconcerting, gloomy reality Her Pipe Her Eye Patch Her MonkeyWhile the first part of GPD was beautiful, I was a little bothered by the fact that neither the circus nor the characters seemed to be going anywhere By the midpoint of the novel, most of Dr Show s troupe were gone and I felt lost and a bit disappointed at what could have been I felt like our protagonist clown, Webern.Wait a minute actually, that s pretty cool.The second half of Goldenland Past Dark takes place around a different, upscale, circus five years later Webern experiences loss, including his Bo Bo, whom he sees in a vision with her pipe her eye patch her monkey Pipe, eye patch, monkey Love it Colour me re hooked.Whether by design, or by serendipiditous collision of quirk and curiousity, I found the story not only moving forward, but accelerating The last few pages evoked a surprisingly personal catharsis.Looking back, I see what was invisible to me at the time the recursive symmetry of the fractal You would think that since I was intrigued by the notion of fractals in her work, I would have recognized them while reading Nope I was utterly distracted by the richness of Webern s world.I am going to have to re read this book to see if, as I suspect, my impression of the pacing and the eventual release are due to being taken on a tightening decent down the arm of a fractal.Well played, Ms Smith Well played.I close with a thank you to Chandler Klang Smith for my copy of Goldenland Past Dark and a shout out to Writer s Digest for bringing her to my attention originally posted at

  10. says:

    While Goldenland Past Dark was far from my normal genres to read, by the time the book was over I really got sucked into it The first half is a bit slow, starting as a book about circus life and those that live it All the characters are written as normal people or at least as normal as circus freaks in the sideshow can be just doing an abnormal job.Slowly, their lives begin to devolve from the mythical, mysterious, and wonderful world of the circus into and of a mess as things begin to fall apart around them At the turning point of the book, the story takes a much different turn, and you start to realize that the people you learned were normal are anything but As it further progresses, characters begin to lose their grip on reality, or they may not have had much of one to begin with, and you begin to learn that not everything you knew about the characters was true.In the end, it really reminded me of movies such as Pi, Requiem for a Dream, and Fight Club, as the story moved towards it s conclusion I loved watching everything fall apart around the characters Webern and Dr Show are really wonderful characters, that both get wrapped up in their own very specific view of the circus and what makes it special.

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