cover image Pickle Family Circus

Pickle Family Circus

Chronicle Books, Carrol J. Lorant, Terry Lorant. Chronicle Books, $12.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-87701-377-8

This is a lavishly illustrated history and celebration of the Pickle Family Circus, a cooperative circus that has toured on the West Coast since 1976 and was founded by members of the San Francisco Mime Troupe. With detailed quotations from former and current circus people, the text provides an unusual behind-the-scenes look at life in a modern circus that has its roots in the counterculture of the '60s. A clown re his costume: ""People expect big noses and white paint and stuff, you can't completely get away from that. But I try to show my eyes.'' One former juggler on his motivation: ``You do get to live your ideals. . . . When I left the circus, after a while I realized that I was no longer surrounded by people living their ideals.'' An acrobat: ``There's no way to cheat in ballet. That goes double for the trapeze. There's no way to cheat up in the air.'' One member on the rigors of circus travel: ``After a few years with the Pickles, I felt like I could do a gig hanging from a tree in a hurricane.'' The many photographs of the circus people at work and at play are further evidence of their dedication and enjoyment. (March)