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A cool, cruel, rediscovered classic of American noir in which a ruthless conman who preys on the wealthy and the weak finally meets his match when he teams up with a beautiful female psychologist
Soon to be a major motion picture, directed by Guillermo del Toro.
Stanton Carlisle, employed as a carny at a travelling circus watches their freak-show geek - an abject alcoholic, the object of the voyeuristic crowd’s gleeful disgust and derision - and wonders how a man could fall so low. There’s no way in hell, he vows, that anything like that will ever happen to him.
Unlike the tragic figure he sees before him, Stan is young, clever and ambitious and quick to learn from the other carnival acts. Initially teaming up with a beautiful but vulnerable woman as part of a double act in which he mesmerises her, Stan soon leaves his circus days behind him, becoming a successful spiritualist who exploits the weak and the wealthy.
But even the very best con men can meet their match....
Nightmare Alley is a forgotten classic of Depression-era America, a brilliant, horrifying, compulsive journey into the true darkness of the human mind.
'More than just a steamy noir classic. As a portrait of the human condition, Nightmare Alley is a creepy, all-too-harrowing masterpiece' Washington Post
'Along with The Grapes of Wrath and They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, this is a great American Depression-era novel. Read and shudder. And relish' Guardian
'A brilliant and horrific book' The Times
'The ‘nightmare’ of the title rings true, for this delirious and unstoppable novel ... inverts the American dream ... Never was noir more autobiographical than here… Nightmare Alley remains a masterpiece' Los Angeles Times