Under the Big Top

A Season with the Circus

Both a great American adventure and a rare entry into a sheltered world, UNDER THE BIG TOP describes one man’s pursuit of every child’s fantasy: running away to join the circus. Bruce Feiler’s unforgettable year as a clown will forever change your view of one of the world’s oldest art forms and remind you of how dreams can go horribly wrong — and then miraculously come true.

Media + Press

“A stunning collective portrait of an ingrown community with its own history, hierarchy, and traditions.” —The New Yorker

“Inspirational.” —New York Times

“Bruce Feiler is a keen and thoughtful observer . . . he forces circus goers to see the familiar spectacles anew.” —New York Times Book Review

“A colorful, sometimes unsettling, pageant of circus life.” —Entertainment Weekly

“As irresistible as cotton candy, as attention-grabbing as the death-defying trapeze act.” —Indianapolis Star

“A gritty, haunting story.” —People

“Sure-handed . . . dark-hued . . . extraordinary.” —Christian Science Monitor

“Startling . . . romantic . . . seductive.” —Denver Post

“Spellbinding . . . captivating . . . truly touching.” —Princeton Times

“A mud and sweat-filled, but ultimately loving portrait of the circus.” —New York Post

“Incredible . . . exciting . . . unbelievable . . . ” —Chattanooga Free Press

“Writing beautifully. . . Bruce Feiler penetrates the heart and soul of circus life with such stark clarity.” —Douglas Brinkley, author of The Majic Bus: An American Odyssey

“A three ring triumph . . . the best book ever written about the circus.” —Jim Foster, editor of The White Tops