FROM 2010 Shirley Jackson Award winner, 2011 Sydney J. Bounds Award winner, and 2012 Edgar Award winner Robert Jackson Bennett comes THE TROUPE!
Vaudeville: mad, mercenary, dreamy, and absurd, a world of clashing cultures and ferocious showmanship and wickedly delightful deceptions.
But sixteen-year-old pianist George Carole has joined vaudeville for one reason only: to find the man he suspects to be his father, the great Heironomo Silenus. Yet as he chases down his father’s troupe, he begins to understand that their performances are strange even for vaudeville: for wherever they happen to tour, the very nature of the world seems to change
Because there is a secret within Silenus’s show so ancient and dangerous that it has won him many powerful enemies. And it’s not until after he joins them that George realizes the troupe is not simply touring: they are running for their very lives.
And soon, George is as well.
Mat Johnson, author of Pym:
The Troupe is true magic: a gripping tale that reminds the audience why we fell in love with reading. This book enchants, leaving the audience on their feet, yelling for an encore.
Bennett (The Company Man) melds an energetic reimagining of medieval myth with an engrossing backdrop of impresarios, puppeteers, and amazing feats of strength in this tale of turn-of-the-century vaudevillians. …Bennett’s finely crafted novel rises on a wave of suspense to a place of beauty and hope.
Bennett’s novel calls to mind the stylings of Neil Gaiman and lives up to the comparison[...] I couldn’t stop the emotional response at the novel’s closing moments, leaving me breathless and in awe of Bennett’s ability to distill the most familiar of themes from the abstract.
Eliot Swanson, Booklist (starred review)
Troupe is a fairytale for grown-ups about love and betrayal and redemption, set against the grungy backdrop of a vaudeville stage and revealing along the way a bit of the deep magic to which all life resonates. [...]this is the kind of book that will find its ways into one’s hands again and again over the years.
Kristin Centorcelli, My Bookish Ways
The Troupe was as much of an emotional journey as it was a fantasy for me, and I cherished every bit. Haunting, terrifying, and achingly beautiful, The Troupe is a book to be savored. Very highly recommended.
Sarah Chorn, Bookworm Blues (5/5 star rating)
I absolutely loved The Troupe and I devoured every word of it. The Troupe was a breath of fresh air. It charmed me from the first page. In this book you’ll find shocking depth, fantastic writing, loveable characters and even a bit of education. While it’s nearly impossible for me to say if this would be classified more as fantasy or horror, that’s also a great appeal. Who wants the same-old-same-old when you can have a story that blazes its own trail and will stick with you long after you finish its last page?
Simon Dawson, The Book Bag
If books were music this would be a symphony performed at the proms; it’s round, and full, and big, and packed with ideas. The characters are alive, the horror deep and dark and moody and mean, the story tight and the twists appear out of the blackness like sudden bolts of lightning. The whole thing is an utter delight and highly recommended.
Paul Simpson, the Sci-Fi Bulletin
There are books that require you to savour them as you read them, and Bennett’s third novel (after the chilling Mr Shivers and The Company Man) is one such. The characters are so deep and multi-layered, and the mystery at the heart of the troupe so all-encompassing that you want to let the various developments register at their own speed.
Darren Guest, author of Dark Heart
The Troupe is something of a departure from Bennett’s usual laconic style, and is pacier and more energetic for it. And although there is still a good amount of darkness to fear, there’s a warmth to the story that we haven’t seen in his previous work. [...]it shows that expectation is a fruitless exercise where Bennett is concerned. I guess that’s why I always get excited about a new Robert Jackson Bennett release, as you should too.
Lauren Smith, Violin in a Void
The resulting novel is not just a tale about saving the world, but a well-rounded story vividly written characters, emotional depth and existential musings. In fact, I’d say the large-scale, world-in-peril aspect of the plot is in couched in a character-based drama.
Saxon Bullock, SFX
…the mixture of emotional characterisation and surreal horror eventually builds up to a moving and mythic climax. At its strongest, The Troupe is a genuinely powerful piece of work…
All in all The Troupe is magical. It is filled with excitement, intrigue, and will captivate readers to the end. But most importantly it is a beautifully written work of art that will grip your heart with its final words, tugging at the essence of your soul.
Niall Alexander, Tor.com
…an exhilarating story about family, and friendship… about love, legacy and inheritance. An odd, off-beat narrative that is down-to-earth and utterly unearthly all at once. The Troupe is easily Robert Jackson Bennett’s most intimate and accessible novel so far.
John Loyd, We Love This Book
..for the fantasy fan Bennett drops in everything very satisfactorily, with a gothic-tinged, low-key American style of legend. …The intrigue is the perfect match of what one can guess and what will surprise one.
Dros Delnoch, Falcata Times
The prose is top notch, the pace is one that really doesn’t want to let you go and with the dialogue the reader is in for a real treat. Add to this a modern reworking on classic mythology blended with the authors own unique style of telling a story and its been a real joy to read.
Matt Gillard, 52 Reviews
[...]Bennett has produced a novel that defies easy description, blending elements from genre and story into a rare hybrid that can appeal to all lovers of well crafted tales. When I recommend this book in the future, as I know I will, I will take an approach I save for only the most prized books on my shelves. I’ll simply ask; do you like to read?