O's Top 20 Books to Read This Summer
The must-reads that'll take you straight through to Labor Day.
14 of 20
Set against the backdrop of a Fellini-like circus, the Crying Game director's spellbinding novel opens with an escape act: One teenage boy wanders into an exhibit and another—same whorl of hair, identical eyes and chin—wanders out. The tale toggles between Andy, who lives with his troubled parents on a tree-fringed cul-de-sac, and his doppelgänger, Dany, who apprentices with the carnies as they move stealthily from town to town, continent to continent, century to century, abducting fresh talent. Jordan crafts his story from reminiscences of real-life circuses outside Dublin, where he and his daughters meandered among trapeze artists and lion tamers, a melting pot of Polish, Italian and Ethiopian immigrants. Seasoned with Irish lore and other European legends, Carnivalesque contorts with magic and otherness, conjuring an eerily seductive shadow world that entrances as it repels.