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Cirque du Freak (#1 Darren Shan)

Darren Shan



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Harper Collins
01 August 2000
Horror & ghost stories; Horror & ghost stories, chillers (Children's&YA); Vampires Horror; Young Adult; Young Adult Horror
The chilling Saga of Darren Shan, the ordinary schoolboy plunged into the vampire world.

Darren goes to a banned freak show with his best mate Steve. It's the wonderfully gothic Cirque Du Freak where weird, frightening half human/half animals appear who interact terrifyingly with the audience. Darren - a spider freak - 'falls in love' with Madam Octa - an enormous tarantala owned by Mr Crepsley. Darren determines to steal the spider so that he can train it to perform amazing deeds. But his daring theft goes horribly wrong and Darren finds himself having to make a bargain with a creature of the night.

Something out of the ordinary is set against the background of children's normal lives to chilling effect. Atmospheric, funny, realistic, moving and... terrifying.
By:   Darren Shan
Imprint:   Harper Collins
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Volume:   No. 1
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 12mm
Weight:   140g
ISBN:   9780006754169
ISBN 10:   0006754163
Series:   Darren Shan
Pages:   192
Publication Date:   01 August 2000
Recommended Age:   9-11
Audience:   Children/juvenile ,  9-11 years ,  English as a second language
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Author Website:

Born in London in 1972, Darren O'Shaughnessy [writing as Darren Shan] moved to Limerick with his parents and younger brother. Returned to London to study Sociology and English then worked for a TV cable company. His first adult novel Ayuamarca has been published by Orion and his writing has been likened to Clive Barker and Iain Banks. He is now a full-time writer of TV scripts and novels. Cirque du Freak is his first title for children.

Reviews for Cirque du Freak (#1 Darren Shan)

Shan's 'true story of his bizarre life begins in this first title in a series of what promise to be chilling reads. Darren and friend Steve sneak off to an illegal freak show in the middle of the night and encounter such delights as Rhamus Twobellies and a savage wolfman. This is captivating insider stuff for pre-teens, and tension mounts as Darren steals Madame Octa, the deadly performing spider belonging to vampire Mr Crepsley. Things spiral out of control for Darren as Madame Octa attacks Steve, leaving him paralysed. Mr Crepsley makes Darren a terrifying offer: he will save Steve's life, but only if Darren agrees to leave everything behind and become an assistant vampire. Cirque Du Freak is a truly twisted tale, a strange mix of hammy gothic horror and emotional realism, and the feeling of being let in on the dark truth about a secret world keeps you turning the pages. It is a stylish book that deserves to be devoured. The children I tested it out on were better than scared: they were fascinated, and listened with rapt attention. (Kirkus UK)

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