by Will Elliott


Not for the faint-hearted. There are shades of Papa Lazarou here, on hard drugs and with a grudge (and a chainsaw). A very dark horror-comedy about a hidden circus with pitiful freak-show characters, angry dwarves and deranged clowns, if you love (the BBC’s) League of Gentlemen this story will suit you very well. The clowns get the best of it in general but Goshy was my favourite, a shrieking, staring grotesque whose unnatural love for his ‘wife’ was horrible and touching and made me laugh out loud.

The cruelty and violence is extreme and so casually detailed and with so much humour, I wasn’t surprised to find the author is a schizophrenic law-school drop-out and that the book was written on anti-psychotics.

The Pilo Family Circus is horribly, frighteningly funny and I can’t wait to see what Will Elliot writes next.