Cirque du Freak, Essential Revision Notes

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Table of Contents

Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan 4

Context 4

Author Notes 6

Summary 7

Characters 9

Darren Shan 9

Larten Crepsley 9

Steve ‘Leopard’ Leonard 10

Annie Shan 10

Tommy Jonnes 10

Alan Morris 11

Mr. Dalton 11

Mrs. Quinn 11

Mrs. Leonard 11

Rhamus Twobellies 11

Truska 11

Gertha Teeth 11

Hans Hands 11

Man 12

Alexander Ribs 12

Hibernius Tall 12

Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan

Context

Cirque du Freak is Darren Shan’s first children’s book. It is about something out of the ordinary, but set against the background of children's normal lives to chilling effect. J.K. Rowling describes it as, a compelling book... a plot full of twists which leaves the reader hungry for more’, while TES describes the book as, ‘a compelling page-turner’.

The book’s narrator and main character, Darren Shan, is a strange boy. He goes to a freak show with his friend, Steve. It’s the gothic ‘Cirque du Freak’, where weird, half human/half animals appear and interact with the audience. Darren falls in love with a tarantula and is determined to steal the spider so that he can train it to perform amazing deeds.

Soon, Darren and his friend Steve are caught up in a deadly trap. Darren must take a bargain with the one person who can save him. But that person is not human and only deals in blood. Darren must become the vampire’s assistant and a half-vampire himself in a bloody initiation ceremony:

He dug his nails into the soft tips of my fingers, all ten of them at once. I cried out with pain and fell back, tucking my hands in at my sides, rubbing them against my jacket.

“Do not be such a baby,” he jeered, tugging my hands free.

“It hurts!” I howled.

“Of course it does”, he laughed. “It hurt me too. Did you think becoming a vampire was easy? Get used to the pain. Much of it lies ahead.”

He put a couple of my fingers in his mouth and sucked some blood out.

I watched as he rolled it around his mouth, testing it.

Finally he nodd...

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