After writing two novels, Nightmare Alley and Limbo Tower, Gresham tries his hand at non-fiction in this. The novels- though not conspicuously well-written- were morbidly interesting. The new book is neither well-written nor interesting. In selecting his subject- the behind the scenes life of people who work for carnivals- Gresham has fallen into a trap that has snared better writers than he. He takes people who by any objective standards lead abnormal lives and are often physical or mental freaks; he paints a romanticized picture of them for he sees them as perhaps a little better than normal people. He attempts to dignify their way of life by supplying historical background for their acts; he has no use for the person who does not accept the hardships with gusto. But he fails to endow his ""carnys"" with either the individuality or the color he claims for them. Maybe he intends this as an apology for Nightmare Alley?