Freak Like Me:
Inside the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow

by Jim Rose, Dell 1995 ($13.95 USA)

What really grosses out Jim Rose? You would think that nothing would get to him, right? Well, in Jim's book, Freak Like Me: Inside the Jim Rose Circus, he tells all. Apparently the only things that make him queasy are selling used cars for a living and spraying for bugs. This from a man who considers a fainting person to be a falling ovation?

The selling of cars, etc., were former occupations held by the Czar of the Modern Rock and Roll Geek Show. He is reminded of these previous jobs nightly, as the Enigma (a gentleman whose physique is frescoed with blue puzzle pieces and who has no taste buds) devours his creepy-crawly snacks with more aplomb than the fictional Renfield ever possessed. Jim also dedicates an entire chapter to Nine Inch Nails. The Circus are fans, as if anyone who had seen their recent stage show couldn't tell.

While this is not strictly a how-to book for the young freak or freakette to be, it does have its moments. (Hint: Light bulbs are best followed by bananas.) What makes this book worth its cover price is the humor and honesty. Jim is a natural tale-spinner, and like his stage show, he knows how to get your attention. As he says: "Don't try this at home -- go over to someone else's house, practice, get real good, and join our circus!"

-- lisa livingston

Lisa Livingston ( lives in Oklahoma City. She is publisher of hope and vaseline.

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