Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Literature of choice: Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan

by HissyFit

Heyheyhey! Today, for this post, I would like to tell you about my favorite book. If you wonder if our book interests match, well, I like chillers and mysteries. Who doesn’t? This book is a vampire-based novel, but please don’t relate it to twilight already, LOL.

This is a story about a young man named Darren Shan, who is friends with the widely known “wild child”, Steve Leonard. One day, word spreads that there is a freak circus in town, and Darren and Steve decide to go. They see acts starring a wolf man, contortionists, and much more, but their favorite act was the vampire Larten Crepsley and his performing spider, madam octa! That night, while Darren was supposed to be headed home, he stumbled upon Steve asking Mr. Crepsley to turn him into a vampire; but Larten refused, saying that Steve had evil blood in his veins. Darren is not interested in vampires, but rather Mr. Crepsleys’ spider! So he takes an unthinkable risk and steals madam octa.

A few weeks later, while playing with madam octa and Steve, Steve is bitten and injected with a venom that would have him paralyzed and in a coma for a week, then kill him. Desperate to save his best friend, Darren finds Mr. Crepsley in search of an antidote. But the vile is rare and precious, and has a heavy price: Darren becoming Crepsleys’ half-vampire assistant! Darren resents the idea, but he has no other choice.

After a painful procedure, Darren is a half vampire, and Steve, with the help of the vile, will be okay. Now that he got what he wanted, Darren escapes from Mr. Crepsley, though it doesn’t really work out for him. He ends up taking blood from his injured friend, and almost biting his sister! Desperate, Darren seeks help from Mr. Crepsley, who reveals that the only way to escape would be to fake his death. But his troubles would not end there.

Something I found interesting was when Darren throws away home as he knows it to save Steve, but is that really the only reason he becomes Mr. Crepsley’s assistant? The answer is no. In the book, Darren begs his sister not to tell on him for having the spider because he doesn’t want to go to jail. If your friend was in trouble, would you throw away home and security as you know it to save him or her? Maybe not. But now say if you didn’t save them, somebody would find out it was your fault and bust you for it! That would make the decision a little easier to make. So, clearly, saving Steve was not the only reason Darren became a half vampire. He also had saving his own butt in mind.

Now, back to that other question, if your friend was in trouble, would you throw away home and security as you know it to save him or her? Let’s have a better look at that. Identify what your home feels like. Now recognize your family, and how it feels to be around them. Even if you live in emptiness or perhaps isolated from your family, doesn’t your go-to place feel whole to you? It is your definition of ‘home’. Now say your good friend was kidnapped, and you are the ransom price. Of course, you won’t have your family to go to or your home to shelter yourself anymore. Are you willing to save your friend if it means losing everything that comforts you?

As you may have already guessed, this is my favorite book. It is a 12 volume long series, and I only summarized volume 1. I was not much of a vampire fan until reading this. I like it for how well written it is, its plot, and its characters. My favorite character is Mr. Crepsley for his overall attitude. Also, I am very much interested in the graphic novel version. Because I like the book so much, I was excited to see the movie. DON’T EVER WHATCH IT. The movie enraged me because it was unrecognizable compared to the book. For instance, Steve and Darren were older, and all of the action scenes were WAY out of order! AAAAARUGH! Unless you want to ruin your vision of Cirque Du Freak, never watch the movie. If you do get around to reading the book or the manga, I hope you enjoy it!

Peace, me out! –HissyFit


  1. I've read both of your posts and absolutely love them!
    Long Live HissyFit!