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Publisher's Summary

The Flaherty Brothers Traveling Carnivale and Freakshow has come to the quiet town of Pleasant Hills, Tennessee. But this is no ordinary sideshow and these are not the usual "freaks" on display. As the unsuspecting townsfolk gather for an evening of strange spectacle, the slaughter is set to begin...

©2012 Bryan Smith (P)2021 Fireside Horror

Critic Reviews

"The Freakshow is one of the most fun reads I've had in a long time." (Dread Central)

"The Freakshow is a sure bet to cement Bryan Smith's position in the forefront of the bold and shocking writers producing exceptional books within the horror genre." (Horror World)

What listeners say about The Freakshow

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Extreme horror paints a bloody picture

For fans of movies like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Dead Alive, this book brings together extreme gore and mind-bending absurdity in an entertaining ride. An exploitation film in book form, filled with the most vile characters and horrible, violent abuse that brings to mind splatter cinema from an earlier era.

Dean Gallagher as the narrator brings each character alive and enriches the text with nuance and energy. Dean masters the pace and ratchets up the tension and horror with every chapter. Each character is distinct and expertly portrayed.

3 people found this helpful

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Insane, crazy & fun

I went into this audiobook with some basic expectations, based on what I heard about the book - no specific details, just some basic feedback about the tone and subject matter. I knew it would be over-the-top and pretty messy, in all the best ways books like this are supposed to be. What I wasn't ready for was the level the insanity hit when things got REALLY messy, and some of the gruesome things that were done to (and by) some of the characters. Yikes. I felt some tweaks to the story could have elevated the quality even more, but I came away satisfied with a very, very weird story that took some unexpected twists and turns. I'm definitely intrigued enough to listen to more tales in this bizarre world.

I have only listened to a small number of audiobooks, as it's not a medium I listen to regularly, but now that I have a job with a decent commute, I see more audiobooks in my future. Having said that, the story moved along briskly, and I was surprised at how quickly the end came. Not that it's a short story, by any means, but I think it shows that I was entertained enough that I was surprised when the (almost) ten hours came to an end.

Dean Gallagher did an excellent job voicing and creating unique characters, and was able to nimbly bounce between them with skillful grace, yet was able to return as narrator to move the story on with an impressive level of consistency.

I definitely recommend this audiobook - just be ready for many, many gross, cringe-inducing moments. It's a wild ride.

1 person found this helpful

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yuck

sorry I blew a credit or money on this one
not worth it
awful

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Another win for fans of REAL HORROR(no freakin’ kids)!!!

After devouring Smith’s “Depraved”, I knew I had found something good. I’m not sure which came first but I’m really diggin’ this book. Only for those brave enough to pierce the veil of true “Hardcore Horror” should buy a ticket for this ride! And of course, I leave you with the obligatory “You’ve Been Warned”!
One last thing; the woman who narrated “Depraved” was spectacular, but this guy is just your “generic male voice” and with subject matter like this, it’s a lot easier to hear it from a woman’s voice. Coming from the voice of a male can make some things in Smith’s writing to come across as misogynistic in tone, though this is just tone and our own preconceived notions, not a reflection of Mr. Smith’s intentions. Thanks for using my review to help you find the right book; GOOD LUCK BOOK HUNTING!!!!

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DNF

I could not follow the story. it's about as consistent as a butterfly. I want my credit back.

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Not memorable, kind of boring

The book was ok, doesn't stand out much. Some moments were cool but overall it was kind of boring.

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Loved it! What a fun story

The performance and the story the characters and everything were great. If you are looking for a very interesting and twisted story look no further.

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Fast moving, Freaky clown, Complex characters

Wow. There was no lead up on this book as Smith jumps us straight into the action. Character introduction happens along with death and mayhem. Personally I liked it; a little more effort to figure out the story threads in my head but also nice because there's a higher likelihood that anyone could die. In other words, the main protagonist that most likely survives the book is not yet set.

The story focuses on The Flaherty Brothers Traveling Circus and Freakshow which goes around to small towns across the country. A strange, mysterious beckoning would bring almost the whole town to the festival. However, this circus and freakshow has a deadlier purpose than entertainment as people are consumed and stolen by the real freaks of the show.

In a normal fashion for Smith's books, there is a lot happening. There are multiple story threads following different groups of people as they survive the chaos they've fallen into. One of the fun things is while the events in one thread will appear and affect other threads, the characters won't necessarily meet. Kind of like real life where someone's actions might affect you despite you never meeting that person. The only other thing I wanted to point out was that I liked how some of the characters were hard to figure out. Were they "good" people? Did they want to help the different people or out for themselves? It kept things slightly off-kilter. Not too much more to say. A good book that I would recommend if you like people trying to survive crazy freaks doing a bunch of weird stuff.

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bryan you're

you need therapy man. what did i just read? pretty entertaining but man never has a book ever wanted to make me gag like this did. im disgusted but intrigued and im probably gonna check out bryan smiths other books in the future

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C movie style horror.

this is a Troma style book. good but not great. Definitely a late night horror movie style.

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Profile Image for Kaz Whymark
  • Kaz Whymark
  • 04-24-21

KAZ 😃 Bedford 🇬🇧 Ok 📖

I enjoyed the story even though it's kinda out there & some stuff is really gory definitely wayyy to much graphic sex for my liking but won't knock the book for that it's more SciFi than horror but still has some good character's & plenty of FREAK'S 🤣 like the creepy ring master I'd give it 2&a half ⭐ out of 5 prefer my horror stories to scare me 😂 Still worth a credit though Try Ron Ripley or Scare St 😃

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  • Janet Wilkie
  • 08-23-22

the new circus hits town

there were parts of the storyline i struggled thru keep going it is worth it