During the Victorian era there weren't many places people with birth defects or abnormalities could call home but there was one place that would welcome them with open arms, freak shows.
Dirty Boy was purchased by an infamously twisted show, nicknamed The Carnival of The Flesh. Raised within the confines of a two foot tall glass jar Dirty Boy was not only born with abnormalities but had them forced upon him by cruel relatives, the same relatives that sold him. His new family of bearded ladies, dwarfs, hermaphrodites and deformed individuals travelled their show far and wide, even investing in a boat to get themselves around. But when their boat sinks and they're left stranded on what appears to be an uninhabited island the sickest of the troop, Brigadier and Kitten take control. With a twisted regime at its head and broken minds all around the island becomes an orgy of insane behaviour. Murder, torture and mayhem ensue and when Brigadier discovers a potentially world changing egg is hidden somewhere on the island things turns from bad to worse.
Hopefully it's obvious from my description of the narrative that this novel is NOT for the faint hearted. Nor is it for those with a love of political correctness as this novel can be appreciated as an extreme work of fiction or some may see it as negative representation of people with physical disabilities, it completely depends on how the reader takes it. I really enjoyed the main theme that revolves around an egg which hatches a very strange creature (no spoilers) and Andrew Lambie certainly writes characters you feel very strongly about, mainly disgust and pity. If you enjoy a novel that pushes you out of your comfort zone then this really is it.
Looking at this book from an aesthetic point of view the physical copies are breathtakingly beautiful. A small embossed hardback filled with stunning detail that made a number of people stop me and ask what I was reading, including strangers at train stations which is something I have never experienced before. Guerillla Publishing certainly know how to spread book lust.
There are parts of this novel I adored and Andrew Lambie's novel is certainly full of interesting ideas. I must admit I was not a huge fan of what some may see as the most shocking scenes simply as they just didn't feel necessary. Lambie's writing had already given me full impressions and assumptions about characters without excessively violent or sexual scenes. It was the ideas that originated from the all important egg that captured my imagination and will keep be looking out for Andrew Lambie's work in the future.
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To buy A Carnival of the Flesh by Andrew Lambie from Guerilla Books click here.