June 12, 2005

30. Eyeing the Flash: The Education of a Carnival Con Artist, Peter Fenton

Peter Fenton spent a portion of his adolescence working the games at a carnival--all of which are rigged. This memoir is fascinating, if perhaps of dubious veracity, as Mr. Fenton spent a long time writing for the Enquirer. It certainly painted a different pictures of the carnivals I remember going to and loving as a kid. As a matter of fact, as the carnival he describes in the book traveled throughout Michigan, chances are pretty good that at some point I went to the carnival he writes about.

The biggest trouble with the book, though, is that absolutely none of the characters are the least bit likeable, not even the narrator. One of the reviewers on Amazon commented that after he or she had finished the book they felt like they needed a shower--and that's completely accurate. Everybody in this memoir is greasy or slimy in some way or another, it's hard not to come away from it feeling a little soiled. Still, if you're a bundle of naivete (like me), it's an intriguing look at the other side of the world.

Posted by Lisa at June 12, 2005 09:17 PM | 2005
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