Born in 1811, joined at the chest and sharing a stomach, Chang and Eng were the original Siamese twins. This is their amazing story - a story that follows them from the royal court of Siam, through their working lives as the most famous freaks in the world and finally to small-town America where they fall in love, marry sisters and father 21 ...
Born in 1811, joined at the chest and sharing a stomach, Chang and Eng were the original Siamese twins. This is their amazing story - a story that follows them from the royal court of Siam, through their working lives as the most famous freaks in the world and finally to small-town America where they fall in love, marry sisters and father 21 children! The tale is told by Eng looking back over his life in the hours between his brother's death and his own inevitable demise. Exploited and exalted, and encountering everyone from royalty to the infamous Barnum; the twins have led a truly intriguing life. Set against the backdrop of America's Civil War, the novel raises many interesting ideas about individuality, union and separation. Darin Strauss has produced an eye-opening and thought-provoking novel that goes beyond voyeurism to provide real insight into the unusual life of the twins.
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UNUSED, LIKE NEW, NOT EX-LIBRARY, 348 pages. 'Chang and Eng were born on the Mekong River in 1811, bound together by a ligament between their chests which gradually lengthened to allow them to stand and live side by side. Kept locked up by the King of Siam, then taken to Europe and America as freaks, they settled in the American South, marrying two sisters, fathering 21 children and living into old-age. Strauss has taken the historical evidence and the myths and turned them into something extraordinarily immediate; he has Eng as his narrator, bringing the reader right inside the head of a man bound to another and with sympathy, imagination and sharp writing, he has made it work rather well. ' The Times 'This striking, evocative story, with its subtle language and word-play, is told from the perspective of a man seeing the world from a unique position-with his brother always looking over his shoulder Scarlett Thomas, Scotland on Sunday 'Strauss has produced a book which gets beyond the freak show of reportage to explore, in depth and with compassion, issues of union and separation, of individual identity, and of the ways in which humans share or protect their inner selves...It is as if we are being shown the world through a different set of eyes...this is a rare feat. ' Financial Times Strauss writes movingly and perceptively from the heart of a man who has spent the first half of his life dreaming of freedom and the second craving an impossible romantic intimacy. ' Daily Telegraph Wondertullv evocative' Daily Mail.
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