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American OZ: An Astonishing Year Inside Traveling Carnivals at State Fairs & Festivals: Hitchhiking From California to New York, Al (Hardcover)
The real traveling carnival is in the pathos of carnival lives behind the scenes.
American Oz is a rollicking, gritty, adventurous story of life in the secretive subculture of traveling carnivals. You'll never see your state fair or neighborhood festival the same way again
Comerford writes a bold, inspiring true story of a year working shoulder-to-shoulder with the colorful characters and legends of carnivals.
He shares stories of freaks, a carnival pimp, a tramp gold miner, and the last King of the Sideshows. An insult dunk tank clown is shot. Masked gunmen rob his carnival. And a young showman friend dies on the road.
It's a new classic American road story as he hitchhikes to shows in California, New Jersey, New York, Chicago, Alaska, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Texas, Georgia, and Florida where he works in a freak show.
He becomes the #1 hitchhiker in the USA and a top agent at the State Fair of Texas.
He travels to the lawless foothills of Mexico to see the new face of the American carny. He exposes the truths about immigration, labor abuse, and living between two worlds.
Comerford finds carnival people seeking meaning and love in their lives, and the answers always seem to be somewhere down the road.