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"I absolutely loved this book. It sells the carnival life to you so well, you almost want to pack a suit case and join the next one coming to town."

--James Harrison

"I picked this up at the Salvation Army in Buffalo. It's certainly dated, but does have some laugh-out-loud lines. If you've any interest in the old-fashioned carny life and are willing to overlook the politically incorrect tone of a book written in the late forties, this is worth a read."


Step Right Up!
Memoirs of a Sword Swallower

Daniel P Mannix

Read an excerpt (opens in a new tab)

Daniel P. Mannix's father and grandfather were distinguished navel officers who expected Daniel to keep up the family tradition. Daniel tried, he really did, but when all those attempting to mold him into a respectable cadet eventually gave up, well, what else can a navel academy flunkie do — TA DA! Join a carnival, of course.

Inspired by the perseverance, bold imagination, and showmanship of the performers, Daniel was soon eating flaming torches, swallowing swords and neon lights, walking on knives, assisting as a mentalist, and writing stories about all he experienced.

From the pen of a man who lived the life and loved and respected carnival folk, Step Right Up! will take the reader on a comprehensive and highly entertaining excursion into the vanishing world of sideshow performers. Fire-eating and sword swallowing are not tricks, ladies and gentlemen. Allow the talented Daniel P Mannix to explain!

Step Right Up! - cover

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