The Dead Circus by John Kaye

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



Of John Kaye's first novel, Newsday wrote, "an utterly original L.A. novel ... the fiction debut of the year." Now, with The Dead Circus, Kaye again shows us another side of Los Angeles -- a city of rockers and private eyes, script girls and wiseguys, whose golden orbit is pierced by a streak of American evil named Manson. It's 1986. Gene Burk is an ex-cop, a fanatical record collector, and private eye. Devastated by the death of his fiancee, Gene becomes obsessed with an unsolved mystery from his days with the LAPD: the death of up-and-coming rockabilly star Bobby Fuller. As Gene attempts to reconstruct the circumstances that led to Fuller's demise, he is unexpectedly contacted by a survivor of the Manson family, who needs Gene's help to bury her past. As Gene travels back in history to the moment Manson partied alongside Bobby Fuller and the Beach Boys, John Kaye spins a masterful, disturbing portrait of twenty years in Los Angeles, of the promise of the sixties and the hellish realities of the morning after. "Kaye's touch is so light, the naturalism of his scenes is like an ambush." -- Greil Marcus, Interview

About John Kaye

See more books from this Author
A native of Southern California, John Kaye has been a journalist, a playwright, and a screenwriter on films including American Hot Wax and Where the Buffalo Roam. He made his directorial debut with Along for the Ride, starring Melanie Griffith.
Published July 1, 2002 by Grove Press. 320 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Dead Circus

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Meanwhile, Kaye often writes in a distant, character-building screenwriter tone: “Two weeks earlier on a stroll to the drugstore, Nathan Burk took a false step .

| Read Full Review of The Dead Circus

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Burk is able to connect McMillan's comings and goings to the death of '60s rockabilly star Bobby Fuller, whose mysterious demise—possibly ordered by Frank Sinatra when the star dated Sinatra's daughter—is an obsession of Burk's.

| Read Full Review of The Dead Circus

Book Reporter

During the first half of 1966 you couldn't turn on the radio without hearing a great tune by The Bobby Fuller Four titled "I Fought the Law."

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Dead Circus

Reader Rating for The Dead Circus

An aggregated and normalized score based on 6 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review