'The doctor was fated to go back to Bombay; he would keep returning again and again - if not forever, at least for as long as there were dwarves in the circus'. Born a Parsi in Bombay, sent to university and medical school in Vienna, Dr Farrokh Daruwalla is a Canadian citizen - a 59-year-old orthopaedic surgeon, living in Toronto. Once, twenty ...
'The doctor was fated to go back to Bombay; he would keep returning again and again - if not forever, at least for as long as there were dwarves in the circus'. Born a Parsi in Bombay, sent to university and medical school in Vienna, Dr Farrokh Daruwalla is a Canadian citizen - a 59-year-old orthopaedic surgeon, living in Toronto. Once, twenty years ago, Dr Daruwalla was the examining physician of two murder victims in Goa. Now, two decades later, the doctor will be reacquainted with the murderer...
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This book is uproarously funny, entertaining and even a bit educational. If you like Irving, or if you just like a twisted plot (a LOT going on in this book) then read A Son of the Circus. The characters never get boring- I'm always a little sad when I'm finished reading it (I've read it several times) because the characters are so outrageous.
Publishers Weekly, 1994-07-04 Though there are flashes here of the dramatic verve of The World According to Garp and Cider House Rules , Irving's long-awaited eighth novel is generally a tedious affair: rambling; lacking suspense; devoid of energetic or lyric prose; sometimes verging on farce and other times almost as lethargic as the sultry atmosphere of Bombay, where it is set. Here Irving is concerned again with people who do not feel at home in the world: immigrants, social outcasts, pariahs because of physical handicaps, those uncomfortable with their sexual orientation. The characters include a Bombay-born physician and secret screenwriter who feels as much a foreigner in India as he does in his new home, Toronto; a movie star who is synonymous with the role he plays; his twin brother, who aspires to be a priest but doubts his vocation; assorted circus performers, dwarfs and cripples, prostitutes, transsexuals, policemen, Hollywood figures, a blonde American hippie, Jesuit missionaries and more sad folk teeming with strange quirks and shameful secrets. The plot revolves around the murders of prostitutes by a transsexual serial killer, who carves a winking elephant on their bodies, and the legacies from the past that bring the main characters to the hunt for the murderer. The hefty narrative gives Irving plenty of room to speculate on outcasts of all kinds, the volatility of sexual identity, the false lure of organized religion, the insidious evil of class distinctions, the chasm between appearance and reality. For those looking for his trademark leitmotifs, Irving provides two: falling into the net and allowed to use the lift . He titillates by equipping a character with a giant dildo. He includes a strange homage to novelist James Salter. His attempt to provoke readers into empathy for humanity's lost souls is admirable, but his novel does not engage the reader until the last hundred pages, and that may not be soon enough to satisfy those yearning for a seductive story. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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