Friday, February 14, 2020

Book Beginnings: The Circus

The Circus, by Jonas Karlsson (Hogarth Press, February 2020). This is the book's first sentence:
It all started with the usual discussion: is it possible to be friends with someone who listens to "Fix You" by Coldplay?
About the Book:
"The gentle, off-beat narrator of The Circus is perfectly content with his quiet life. By day he works in a bakery, and by night he obsessively organizes and reorganizes his record collection: it’s all just the way he likes it. But when his childhood friend Magnus comes calling out of the blue, the contours of our narrator’s familiar world begin to shift. On a visit to the circus together, Magnus volunteers to participate in the magician’s disappearing act, and midway through the routine he vanishes. Is this part of the act? What’s happened to Magnus? And who is it calling on the phone in the dead of night, breathing into the receiver, but never saying a word?.... The Circus is a funhouse mirror of a read—one that ingeniously reveals the way we see ourselves and the stories we tell. "
Initial Thoughts:

Well, first of all — I realize I have no idea what "Fix You" sounds like. I have no idea what Coldplay sound(s) like. I know it's a music group, but (as far as I know) I've never heard any of their music. I suppose that could have made a difference in my reaction to this book. So let me just nip over to YouTube and listen a bit.

OK — I'm back. I will probably never be a Coldplay fan. But I don't think I'd rule you out as a pal if you were a fan. That seems a little extreme.

But let's get back to the book at hand. The Circus is the third work I've read by the Swedish writer Jonas Karlsson. I loved the first two novels: The Room and The Invoice. This one was also enjoyable and clever, and definitely worth reading, but just didn't have the wow-factor of the others. Will try to get a short review up in a day or so.

Darn. Can't get that Coldplay tune out of my head now.

Happy Friday, everyone! And happy reading! And have a lovely weekend.

Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday.  As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.


  1. Sadly, I have heard Coldplay! But, I still like the sound of this.

    Lisa @

  2. I am now curious about this book. Thanks for sharing, and I liked how you couldn't get Coldplay tunes out of your head. LOL.

    Here's mine: “THE JANES”

  3. I am not sure I've heard Coldplay's Fix You, but I do enjoy some of their songs. I like the circus setting. This sounds like a lot of fun and a great mystery. Have a great weekend!

  4. Funny, now I'll have to go to YouTube and listen, too. I read a mystery not long ago with a similar set up -- a character disappears during a magic act. It was set in Las Vegas.


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