Clown Girl

Clown Girl

A Novel

Book - 2007 | 1st ed.
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Clown Girl lives in Baloneytown, a seedy neighborhood where drugs, balloon animals, and even rubber chickens contribute to the local currency. Against a backdrop of petty crime, she struggles to live her dreams, calling on cultural masters Charlie Chaplin, Kafka, and da Vinci for inspiration. In an effort to support herself and her layabout performance-artist boyfriend, Clown Girl finds herself unwittingly transformed into a "corporate clown," trapping herself in a cycle of meaningless, high-paid gigs that veer dangerously close to prostitution. Monica Drake has created a novel that riffs on the high comedy of early film stars -- most notably Chaplin and W. C. Fields -- to raise questions of class, gender, economics, and prejudice. Resisting easy classification, this debut novel blends the bizarre, the humorous, and the gritty with stunning skill.
Publisher: Portland, Or. : Hawthorne Books & Literary Arts, 2007, c2006.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780976631156
0976631156
Branch Call Number: FIC DRAKE
Characteristics: 297 p. ; 23 cm.

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m
munkypunks
Aug 04, 2017

As though the poverty of Baloney town extends to the words on the page, the neighborhood and the story are sparely drawn, with no wasted words. The writing brings the characters to life in a way that allows the reader to laugh with and at them in turns. The protagonist, a female clown already some ways along the fool's journey, thinks she's way tougher and more street-smart than she is. And in the streets of crime-filled Baloneytown (the section of the city being the best character in the story), having a hustle is the only thing that matters.

Predictable (although the denouement hinged on a different failing than I expected, which added a bit of complexity to an otherwise lame character), but engaging. The writing shines more than the plot.

l
lukasevansherman
May 03, 2014

"Gacy. 'That guy ruined the gig for a lot of clowns.'"
Things are tough in Baloneytown, especially for a serious clown who can tie balloon animals into Biblical figures and scenes. Monica Drake, who emerged from Tom Spandauer's "dangerous writing" club, along with Chuck Palahniuk, has a very peculiar and dark sense of humor, reminiscent of both Palahniuk and Kathleen "Geek Love" Dunn. It also taught me the meaning of the word "coulrophilia," which is attraction to clowns. Also check out "Shakes the Clown."

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