Before “geek” became synonymous with computer wizardry, the term referred to the lowest of all carnival acts. Wild-eyed and unkempt, the geek would bite the head off of a chicken or rodent, splattering blood and crunching bone, as the animal writhed in death throes and horrified audiences looked on in disgust. Steeped in cruelty and controversy, not to mention dubious hygienics, geek shows are now largely a thing of the past. For hundreds of years, however, geeks were a popular form of entertainment, though farfetched promotional puffery, hyperbolic portrayals in books and films, and the sheer lack of credible information regarding the lowest of all lowbrow entertainment, have made it difficult to separate fact from fiction.
“The Rise and Fall of the Sideshow Geek” is the first book to present a detailed and unflinching history of the sideshow geek. Variety entertainer Nathan Wakefield sifts through historical documentation to answer all the burning questions about this gruesome variety act: “Who was the first sideshow geek?” “How did geek shows operate?” “What were some notable geeks?” In addition, the book examines adjacent genres of live entertainment including wild men, stone eaters, human ostriches, and competitive goldfish swallowers.
Outside Talker Press is an Imprint of Vaudevisuals Press.
“An impressive survey drawing back the curtains on one of the most strange and macabre corners of the history of popular entertainment and a must read for sideshow fans and performers… Step right up and peak inside (if you dare).” – Mistress Kali, The Southern Sideshow Hootenanny
Nathan Wakefield (Author) is a variety performer and sideshow historian from Southeast Michigan. Under the stage name “Nathan McScary,” he specializes in macabre juggling acts and innovative fire entertainment with exclusive props. Wakefield enjoys exploring the creative possibilities of object manipulation, re-creating 19th century gentleman juggling tricks, and studying performance styles that are just plain weird.
James Taylor (Forward) is the planet’s foremost authority on sideshow. He is the mastermind behind Shocked and Amazed! – On & Off the Midway, the only journal devoted to variety exhibition and life in the sideshow, published through Dolphin-Moon since 1995. Taylor has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, the Learning Channel’s Sideshow: Alive on the Inside and NPR’s The Derek McGinty Show.
Presales: March 8, 2023
Publication Date: June 1, 2023
Retail Price: $24.95
Presale price: $20 + postage & tax
Discount code: sideshow
Books purchased during pre-sale will be shipped after the publication date.
Press Update For Studio CarryOnHarry
Find Holiday Deals Flights Attractions and Hotels !
For Interviews At Studio CarryOnHarry Online Submission Form Click Here