Friday, June 8, 2012

The Troupe by Robert Jackson Bennett

photo courtesy of
February 2012

Robert Jackson Bennett has won multiple awards for his novels, including the Shirley Jackson Award, the Sydney J. Bounds Newcomer Award, and the Edgar Award. The Troupe is Bennett's third novel.

George Carole is a talented, 16-year-old pianist searching for the father he's never met after having lost his mother at childbirth. In an effort to locate his father—a man he believes to be the infamous vaudeville troupe leader Heironomo Silenus—George joins the vaudeville industry with hopes of coming one step closer to a reunion with his father.

After finding his father and attending a performance by his troupe, George learns there is far more behind the troupe's performance than just a handful of freakish acts. In fact, the effect Silenus' troupe has on audiences is changing the world for the better—so much that the troupe is constantly running from those intent on destroying them.

After joining Silenus' troupe in an effort to help cure the world through numerous vaudeville acts, George finds himself faced with new magical possibilities and theories—theories that if proven true, may rid of the world of evil for good.
Set in the early 20th century, The Troupe opens onto the rich vaudeville scene in all its captivating and seductive splendor. After a brief few chapters of learning more about George and his purpose, the novel swiftly picks up in chapter 3 when George is able to locate his father's troupe and finally attends their show. The rest of The Troupe is a wild journey that encompasses a slew of genres including fantasy, horror, and mystery. All in all, The Troupe is a true literary jackpot.

After having read the publisher's synopsis for The Troupe, as well as the descriptions of Bennett's other novels, I expected a horrifying, make-me-cringe-and-puke experience. However, this novel is surprisingly pleasant and absolutely genius. The Troupe's plot is so complex and intricate it will leave you digesting it long after you finish the book.

The Troupe is highly creative and has a calming effect—you can read this novel and simply enjoy it after a long day. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. The Troupe is impossible to predict, which makes it an amazing and golden find for readers who want to exercise their brain and creativity.

Robert Jackson Bennett is also the author of American Elsewhere (2013), Vigilance (2019), In the Shadows of Men (2020), and the Divine Cities trilogy and Founders series. 

If you enjoyed Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman or Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder, you will most likely really love The Troupe by Robert Jackson Bennett.

What did you think about The Troupe? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


  1. Sounds interesting - I will have to check it out. Nice review!!!

  2. Vaudeville is cool - I like mysterious circus-y books. I recently read the Night Circus and that was really good. I should probably look for a copy of the Troupe online.


Thanks for stopping by - can't wait to see what you have to say!