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Download The Circus Fire: A True Story of an American Tragedy Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Circus Fire: A True Story of an American Tragedy (Unabridged), by Stewart O’Nan
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (811 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stewart O’Nan Narrator: Dick Hill Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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One of America's most acclaimed novelists turns to nonfiction in this powerful re-creation of the great Hartford circus fire, which took the lives of 167 people and forever changed the city and its people.

On July 6, 1944, in Hartford, Connecticut, the big top of Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus caught fire during the middle of the afternoon performance. Nine thousand people were inside. The canvas of the big tent had been waterproofed with a mixture of paraffin and gasoline. In seconds, the big top was burning out of control. Bleacher seats were fronted by steel railings with narrow openings; the main exits were blocked by caged chutes in which leopards and lions were maddened by the fire.

In re-creating the horrific events of one of America's most cataclysmic civic tragedies, Stewart O'Nan has fashioned both an incomparably gripping narrative and a profound, measured glimpse into the extremes of human behavior under duress. In the madness of the inferno, some, like animal trainer May Kovar and the tragic Bill Curlee (who tossed dozens of children to safety over the lion's chute), would act with superhuman bravery. Others, like the sailor who broke a woman's jaw to get past her, would become beasts. The toll of the fire, and its circumstances, haunt Hartford to the present day - the identity of one young victim, known only as Little Miss 1565, remains an enduring mystery and a source of conflict in the city.

But it is the intense, detailed narrative - before, after, and especially during the panic under the burning tent - that will remain with listeners long after they finish this exceptional book. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Teena | 2/20/2014

    " This is a very difficult book to get through. The graphic descriptions make you understand exactly what it was like to be in the inferno. Photos drive home the horror of the day. This book makes you truly appreciate our current fire and safety codes for large venues. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lilith | 2/13/2014

    " Indrukwekkend hoe de schrijver dit wrede verhaal heeft kunnen reconstrueren. Bepaalde omschrijvingen ga ik echt van mijn leven niet meer vergeten, vrees ik. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Susan Crane | 2/3/2014

    " The tragic story of the Hartford, CT Ringling circus fire. The book was researched well, very detailed (maybe too much detail), but overall a good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lynne | 1/31/2014

    " Some may not like how detail oriented this is - which put me off at first - but as I got into it and after the fire occurred in the book, I found it to be interesting and thorough. "

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