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April 2010 Indie Next List
“Carny Stan Carlisle turns himself into a spiritualist/con-man and slowly builds his 'act' for the biggest take of his life, and then sees it all fall hideously apart. The aptly drawn sketches of lowlifes, losers, geeks, and limelight seekers are masterful. I'm so glad to see this classic noir thriller from 1946 be reissued in the great New York Review of Books Classics series.”
— Carl, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
Stanton Carlisle is smart, good-looking, and ambitious. Among the outcasts, freaks, and geeks of the Ten-in-One sideshow, he learns that the public is there to be gulled, and he learns how to do it. Amoral and brilliant, he aims for the brighter lights of vaudeville before a much bigger coup faking spiritualism for the rich. But his own dark fears haunt him, and he is not the only one taking advantage of terror and desire.
Published in 1946, Nightmare Alley is a noir classic--at once a vivid insight into the subculture of the carny and a bleak and gripping fable.