Ø Nightmare Alley é Download by º William Lindsay Gresham

Ø Nightmare Alley é Download by º William Lindsay Gresham Stars, Millions of them Space, reaching out into nothing No end to it The rotten, senseless, useless life we get jerked into and jerked out of, and it s nothing but whoring and filth from start to finish The narrator is conflicted, so I was a sure mark from the start Psychologically realistic characters with believable backstories are presented with fine descriptive prose Brilliant at times Elegant and literary, mixed with cheese dialogue from the 1940s and lots of tits Baby, it s Noir It features a fun, twisty plot with a satisfying ending that I didn t see coming I recommend reading it quickly in big gulps which should be easy to do I was only able to read it in small segments over a long period of time If you ve read Chandler, and you ve read Hammett If you prefer a cigarette to a dame, and a rotgut rye whiskey to both, you ll love this If you like a little Cain, some Goodis or Willeford, even a little raunchy Simenon when he s feeling unreconstructed this one is for you This is American Gothic, a noir madhouse on wheels The major opus of cult writer William Lindsay Gresham, this is a fullscale assault on everything legit, anything on the up and up Nightmare Alley has exactly no characters that have an observable moral compass, nobody who gives a damn It doesn t succumb to the clich or conventions of the genre it lives for them So while the novel has the traditional noir concern for Redemption, in both popular flavors, Fleeting and Lost there will be no second chances or consolation prizes Your choice in leading lady, let s see, here we ar Nightmare Alley Begins With An Extraordinary Description Of A Freak Show Geek Alcoholic And Abject And The Object Of The Voyeuristic Crowd S Gleeful Disgust And Derision Going About His Work At A County Fair Young Stan Carlisle Is Working As A Carny, And He Wonders How A Man Could Fall So Low There S No Way In Hell, He Vows, That Anything Like That Will Ever Happen To HimAnd Since Stan Is Clever And Ambitious And Not Without A Useful Streak Of Ruthlessness, Soon Enough He S Going Places Onstage He Plays The Mentalist With A Cute Bimbo Before Long His Harried Wife , Then He Graduates To Full Blown Spiritualist, Catering To The Needs Of The Rich And Gullible In Their Well Upholstered Homes It Looks Like The World Is Stan S For The Taking William Lindsay Gresham S Novel Is A Dark Jewel, A Classic American Tale About The Varieties Of Deception And Self Deception And The Dream Of Redemption A Dream That Is Only A Nightmare In Disguise Fans of illusion and noir, rejoice I see this 1940s pulp novel in your future.
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Back in the day when hobos jumped freight trains and alkies slugged Sterno, traveling carnivals offered small town delight and a sideshow of unhappiness to middle America.
Stan Carlisle, the young and ambitious carnie is blonde and handsome, full of charm, and easy with memorized Bible verses He sees a way to climb beyond the footlights and into success by moving from swiped tarot acts and horoscopes for a dime to mind reading If you ve seen the recent movie abd sequel Now You See Me, then envision the blonde, good looking mentalist played by Woody Harrelson and BAM Just like that, you ve got Stan Carlisle as he ages over a couple of decades.
From side show performers all the way to seances held for the rich and famous, Stan s affluence grows But as his p What is it with carnivals I guess it s where the marks meet the grifters, the palms meet the mittreaders, the straight world meets the freaks, the geeks and the lady who can be electrocuted as 5000 whole entire volts pass right through her body, and everybody gets what they came for, their future told in the Tarot, a goggle at the half a man, hilarity in the Hall of Mirrors always tinged with that note of hysteria all those mad sequences in movies and tv shows where our hero is drawn into the insanity of the Hall of Mirrors, he he hee, haw haw haw and the little kids who always go missing on the carousel, one minute whirling around in joy, next minute gone Ray Bradbury s carnival in Something Wicked This Way Comes, Charles Finney s circus carny in The Circus of Doctor Lao, Bob Dylan s carnival on Desolation Row, Stan Carlisle is a mentalist in a traveling carnival But the young man has higher aspirations and not many moral qualms In the carnival he hooks up with Molly, an attractive young woman who becomes his partner in a vaudeville routine Still aiming higher, Stan buys a mail order divinity degree and sets himself up as a spiritualist.
Stan is looking for the one big mark that will make his fortune, but his own life is beginning to unravel Molly possesses the moral compass that Stan lacks, and she is becoming increasingly reluctant to take advantage of impressionable victims who constitute the couple s bread and butter Additionally, Stan has begun drinking heavily and is haunted by his complicated past.
Finally, Stan joins forces with an unscrupulous psychologist named Lilith Ritter The beautiful and whip smart Lilith mesmerizes Stan and steers him toward an industriali 1 This afternoon, after finishing this book and having a great lunch with Karen I couldn t stop thinking about this song and about how in a roundabout way it reminded me of Nightmare Alley I m not going to do than just share the video, which is kind of amusing in an almost hipster kind of way.
http www.
youtube.
com watch v NSdZy2 How to make a geek, paraphrased poorly from the first chapter of Nightmare Alley Find a drunk who has no money and is suffering from the DT s Tell him you need someone to stand in till the real geek is found Instead of biting the heads off of chickens you have him fake it Give him all the alcohol he needs Once he s comfortable tell him that his time is up, he s going to be back on his ass, no money, no booze, with the DT s coming back hardcore The locals aren t going to pay to see no fake assed



Find out what people are afraid of and then sell it back to them Good advice if you re a politician, a quack religious leader, an ad man, or in this case, an inexperienced carny who learns to be a mind reader It s just a short jump from that to being a spiritualist who reconnects gullible mourners to their dead relatives People will believe anything if they want it bad enough.
I was really not expecting to like this book as much as I did, but it s a book from Kirk Smith s shelf that I wanted to read to honor his reading life, after his sudden death a couple of weeks ago Noir is not one of my usual genres, but if they are all written this well, that could change Yes, there is some cheesy 40 s dialogue Whadaya say we blow this joint, kid , that type of thing But the author also had a pretty good eye and ear for some deep psychological insight Oh fuck yeyah Some things I love carny tales, equally comic and tragic spiral into substance abuse tales, cynical some would argue realistic love stories, multi character studies where the people actually have convincing voices that are distinct from one another and present very different perspectives on the same story because that s life, occasional fits of flowery why fucking bother prose, critiques of pseudoscience it s fleas, dude , critiques of religion as corporation ravenous, swarming fleas , critiques of mysticism it s, like, still fleeeas, maaan , manipulative asshole antiheroes, antagonists who are manipulative and even bigger assholes than the manipulative asshole antiheroes, dark comedy, dissections of the inevitable intricacies of predatory types, and this book b Early reports from friends suggested that this was a lurid melodrama set in a carnival a warped carnie fantasia with freaks foregrounded While the first few chapters fit this description fairly well with a somewhat fragmented narrative accentuating the fun house mirror effect which by the way has an ill fit with the remainder of the book , and the melodrama thick and lurid until the end what I ultimately found interesting were the occult themes running throughout, as related by an author obviously versed in their real life twisted intricacies, where elusive uncanny fact flip flops with outright scam, where sincere spiritual longing confronts capitalistic snake oil salesmen Though Gresham presents these occult themes as a vehicle for the main character s unscrupulous despicableness, as he uses every trick

William Lindsay Gresham

Ø Nightmare Alley é Download by º William Lindsay Gresham Joy Davidman, a poet, with whom he had two children, David and