Darren Shan's an ordinary schoolboy, until he and his best friend Steve get tickets to the Cirque Du Freak, a bizarre freak show featuring such arcane performers as Hans Hands, Gertha Teeth, the Wolf Man and Rhamus Twobellies. In the midst of the ghoulish excitement, true terror raises its head...
View full details for Cirque Du Freak

Global Cover Variations

  • Book Cover Image
  • Book Cover Image
  • Book Cover Image
  • Book Cover Image
  • Reviews for Cirque Du Freak


  • Downright Dystopian

    Downright Dystopian | 05 May 2014

    I watched the movie for this series a few months ago, so I decided it's time I give this series a read. The movie is based off of the first three books, which is pretty cool.

     

    Darren is just...

    Read full review: Downright Dystopian
  • Markham Reviews

    Markham Reviews | 15 April 2014

    I’ve been getting hooked on Darren Shan via his ZOM-B series, and have come to the Vampire novels really late in the day, but what a treat!

     

    I read Cirque du Freak in one sitting and adored...

    Read full review: Markham Reviews
  • Ice Queen’s Bookshelf

    Ice Queen's Bookshelf | 14 April 2014

    Ok so this book is not as great as I thought it would be, it is pretty slow, but maybe that's just because it is the first book in a serie of 12 or maybe because I have seen the movie before...

    Read full review: Ice Queen’s Bookshelf
  • Fantasy Literature

    Fantasy Literature | 14 February 2014

    A Living Nightmare is a horror novel for older children and young teens (I’d say ages 10-15 are probably the target audience) and it’s pretty effective. As an adult, I found it scary and it even...

    Read full review: Fantasy Literature
  • Growing Wings

    Growing Wings | 05 February 2014

    I ended up getting this book on Kobo before I went to Italy in case I couldn’t sleep in the night and wanted to read, turns out I got through about five chapters while I was out there and then...

    Read full review: Growing Wings
  • Edith Kleberg Library

    Edith Kleberg Library | 09 January 2014

    Vampires, vampires, and even more vampires! This enjoyable and imaginative story has so many twists and turns, you’ll be on the edge of your seat for the entire book. This first person narrative...

    Read full review: Edith Kleberg Library
  • Zoe Markham

    Zoe Markham | 12 November 2013

    've been getting hooked on Darren Shan via his ZOM-B series, and have come to the Vampire novels really late in the day, but what a treat!

     

     

    I read Cirque du Freak in one sitting this...

    Read full review: Zoe Markham
  • Let Us Nerd

    Let Us Nerd | 16 October 2013

    There is a moment in the first book of Irish author Darren Shan’s first Cirque Du Freak novel, A Living Nightmare, that really, really scared me. Surprising given that the book is aimed towards a...

    Read full review: Let Us Nerd
  • The Vampire Source

    The Vampire Source | 13 August 2013

    When you look up Darren Shan's Cirque du Freak book series, you will find it categorized in either the "children" or "young adult" sections online and in stores. I will admit, I was twelve when I...

    Read full review: The Vampire Source
  • The Guardian

    The Guardian | 25 July 2013

    Darren Shan is an ordinary boy and when his friend finds a leaflet for Cirque Du Freak (The Circus Of Freaks), a banned freak-show, they all decide to go. But when they find out that they can...

    Read full review: The Guardian
  • The Reader Of Books

    The Reader Of Books | 10 March 2013

    One of the lovely things about teaching very small groups is that the students are able to choose from many different books to read during lessons. Having so far read War Horse and Mr Stink my...

    Read full review: The Reader Of Books
  • YA Bookmark

    YA Bookmark | 14 January 2013

    The Saga of Darren Shan is one of those series that you hear about from everyone. I've heard so much about it that I decided I needed to give it a shot and I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't...

    Read full review: YA Bookmark
  • The Guardian

    The Guardian | 06 December 2011

    Darren Shan is an ordinary boy who lives an ordinary life. But this all changes when he takes a trip to the Cirque Du Freak with his best mate Steve. They have a great time until Steve points out...

    Read full review: The Guardian
  • The Fandom Post - Manga review

    The Fandom Post | 20 July 2011

    Yen turns in another quality release with the first volume Cirque du Freak. The cover is printed to look black and textured like leather, with the Cirque du Freak novel logo in the center. Above...

    Read full review: The Fandom Post - Manga review
  • The Star Online

    The Star Online | 29 March 2011

    ***THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE MANGA***

     

    USUALLY I do not have high expectations for adaptations – they are often bland and colourless, and fail to capture the charm and spirit of the original...

    Read full review: The Star Online
  • Books4Hearts

    Books4Hearts | 12 January 2011

    Darren Shan is your average boy (I imagine around 11 or 12, it never says) who likes being with his friends, playing soccer, and messing with creepy animals like big furry spiders. His life is a...

    Read full review: Books4Hearts
  • Cirque du Freak Manga (Tiamat’s Manga Review USA)

    tiamatsreviews.com | 25 May 2009
    This series is one I was least looking forward to, in fact it’s on my shit list. I read the first two novels of the series some time ago and was not Impressed by it. So, the manga version was not...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak Manga (Tiamat’s Manga Review USA)
  • Cirque du Freak Manga (Teens Read Too USA)

    goodreads.com | 24 April 2010
    Relive the first novel in the most action-packed, fast-paced thriller of a series ever to rule the human and vampire world with this newly published CIRQUE DU FREAK manga. The story surrounds...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak Manga (Teens Read Too USA)
  • Cirque du Freak Manga (School Library Journal USA)

    schoollibraryjournal.com | 13 August 2009
    Okay, I confess! There are some popular teen fiction series that I have not read. Shocking, but true. Many times it's not that I've been avoiding them because I don't want to read them, but more...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak Manga (School Library Journal USA)
  • Cirque du Freak Manga (Manga Recon USA)

    popcultureshock.com | 28 May 2009
    Cirque du Freak is an excellent offering from Yen Press. Takahiro Arai’s strange-but-lovely character designs and a second half that rushes forward at a breakneck pace make Darren Shan’s tale a...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak Manga (Manga Recon USA)
  • Cirque du Freak Manga (Kuri-ousity USA)

    kuri-ousity.com | 14 July 2009
    While I make a habit not to judge a book by its cover, it’s still more often than not a deciding factor in the order of my ever-growing stack of books to read. In the case of Cirque Du Freak, the...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak Manga (Kuri-ousity USA)
  • Cirque du Freak Manga (Graphic Novel Reporter USA)

    graphicnovelreporter.com | 24 April 2010
    Cirque du Freak is a manga starring Darren Shan based on a novel of the same name written by Darren Shan. That may sound confusing, but it’s rather simple, actually. Shan (the real one, although...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak Manga (Graphic Novel Reporter USA)
  • Cirque du Freak Manga (Comic Mix USA)

    comicmix.com | 15 May 2009
    Some people stay in the same place their entire lives: joining the family business, marrying their childhood sweethearts, growing old in the bosom of their loved ones underneath the spreading...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak Manga (Comic Mix USA)
  • Cirque du Freak Manga (CBR USA)

    comicbookresources.com | 04 June 2009
    Cirque du Freak — adapted from the young adult novels by Darren Shaw and illustrated by Takahiro Arai — is an engaging story about two young boys whose lives are forever changed by their visit to a...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak Manga (CBR USA)
  • Cirque du Freak Manga (BSC Review USA)

    bscreview.com | 01 July 2009
    “My favorite things in the world are spiders!” Spiders give me the chills. I have no idea how or why I read past the beginning of either the original book or the manga edition of this now...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak Manga (BSC Review USA)
  • Cirque du Freak Manga (About.com USA)

    about.com (USA) | 24 April 2010
    Darren and Steve are best friends who share a fascination with monsters. Then a visit to an unusual circus forces them to make heart-wrenching choices that change their lives in strange and...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak Manga (About.com USA)
  • Cirque du Freak (Rebecca’s Reads USA)

    rebeccasreads.com | 24 April 2010
    Cirque Du Freak is the wacky, chilling tale of vampires, spiders, & friendship. Author Darren Shan narrates this story of ordinary boys' lives until the day one of his friends brings a flyer to...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Rebecca’s Reads USA)
  • Cirque du Freak (The Observer UK)

    guardian.co.uk | 22 October 2000

    This is a horror story that will very pleasurably curdle the blood of nine to 13-year-olds. The narrator of the story mysteriously has the same name as the author, but says: 'Everything's true in...

    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (The Observer UK)
  • Cirque du Freak (Nancy Keane’s Book Talks USA)

    nancykeane.com | 24 April 2010
    Ever want to run faster than a deer, play soccer better than a pro, have broken bones mend themselves in a few hours, and meet interesting and amazing people and things while traveling across the...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Nancy Keane’s Book Talks USA)
  • Cirque du Freak (My Shelf USA)

    myshelf.com | 24 April 2010
    This book is reminiscent of Richard Laymon's Traveling Vampire Show, but written for a younger audience with a non-evil vampire monster, compelling characters, and a hook at the end of each...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (My Shelf USA)
  • Cirque du Freak (Mrs Mad’s Book-a-Rama UK)

    mrsmad.com | 01 January 2000
    Mrs Mad's humble opinion 9/10 Very good. I am pleased with this. What's it about? A teenager whose life is changed forever when he becomes involved with a freak show, an enormous spider and a...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Mrs Mad’s Book-a-Rama UK)
  • Cirque du Freak (MEGA In The Times UK)

    MEGA [In The Times] (UK) | 24 April 2010
    Harry Potter author JK Rowling rates this, and book recommendations don't come any better! Forget trapeze artists, this Cirque has Darren and Steve gawping at the bearded lady, snake-boy and...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (MEGA In The Times UK)
  • Cirque du Freak (Manchester Evening News UK)

    Manchester Evening News (UK) | 24 April 2010
    When Cirque Du Freak came out last year, hearts skipped a beat all over the country. Vampire novels don't come much scarier than this, especially since it was told from the spine-tingling...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Manchester Evening News UK)
  • Cirque du Freak (Mail on Sunday UK)

    Mail on Sunday (UK) | 24 April 2010
    The author is the central character in this brilliant Gothic fantasy. In search of thrills, Darren and his friend Steve go to a freak show. What happens next is not for the squeamish. To save...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Mail on Sunday UK)
  • Cirque du Freak (Locus USA)

    Locus (USA) | 24 April 2010
    Darren Shan is the young narrator of this young-adult dark fantasy novel, first in "The Saga of Darren Shan"; just to add a layer of complexity, Darren states in his introduction that his name...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Locus USA)
  • Cirque du Freak (Kids’ Turn Central USA)

    kidsturncentral.com | 24 April 2010
    The freak show was all I could think about last night. I tried forgetting it, but couldn't, not even when I was watching my favorite TV shows. It sounded so weird: a snake-boy, a wolf-man, a...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Kids’ Turn Central USA)
  • Cirque du Freak (Kids Reads USA)

    kidsreads.com | 24 April 2010
    If you heard that an old-fashioned "freak show" were coming to your town, showing in an old theater the middle of the night, would you be brave enough to go? And if when you got there you saw the...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Kids Reads USA)
  • Cirque du Freak (Kids Book Shelf USA)

    kidsbookshelf.com | 24 April 2010
    When the Cirque Du Freak (Circus of Freaks) comes to town Darren and his friend Steve will do anything to go. But something happens at the show that has Darren a little freaked out, and it only...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Kids Book Shelf USA)
  • Cirque du Freak (Island Packet USA)

    kids.islandpacket.com | 24 April 2010
    Not a lot of new books enjoy the buzz surrounding "Cirque du Freak: A Living Nightmare" ($15.95, Little Brown & Co.). Warner Bros. is making it into a movie, more books are planned in the series,...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Island Packet USA)
  • Cirque du Freak (The Examiner Ireland)

    examiner.ie | 12 May 2000
    Darren Shan is an ordinary boy with an obsession with spiders who’s also considered to be a soccer genius in his school. But then Darren’s best friend Steve gets two tickets for Cirque du Freak....
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (The Examiner Ireland)
  • Cirque du Freak (The Independent UK)

    THE INDEPENDENT | 24 April 2010
    Darren Shan is undoubtedly a literary find for children. Still in his twenties, he has produced a genuinely original story that combines near-horror with mainly good-humoured, everyday reality....
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (The Independent UK)
  • Cirque du Freak (Greenman Review UK)

    greenmanreview.com | 24 April 2010
    I have a twelve-year old daughter who is seriously into fantasy novels. She reads everything she can by Jane Yolen, and has recently discovered Garth Nix and Nancy Farmer. Given her interest in...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Greenman Review UK)
  • Cirque du Freak (Funday Times UK)

    Funday Times | 24 April 2010
    * * * * * (5 stars) This is the first book in the Darren Shan saga, and what a beginning it is! Darren visits a mysterious freak show that leads him on a spiralling journey into a dark world of...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Funday Times UK)
  • Cirque du Freak (Feo Amante USA)

    feoamante.com | 24 April 2010
    CIRQUE Du FREAK the first book in a series of dozens by Darren Shan reminded me of what it was like to be a kid again first getting interested in horror and stories of a macabre design. The...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Feo Amante USA)
  • Cirque du Freak (Fantasy Freaks Forum USA)

    fantasyfreaks.org | 24 April 2010
    The World Somewhere on earth (probably Ireland) in what looks like modern times. A date is not specifically mention, nor a country, and the names used are ‘false’. The Characters Young Darren...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Fantasy Freaks Forum USA)
  • Cirque du Freak (Epinions USA)

    epinions.com | 05 July 2005
    The Blooding of Darren Shan: Welcome To “The Cirque Du Freak” Jul 05 '05 (Updated Sep 17 '05) Author's Product Rating Product Rating: 5.0 Pros Good introduction to the series, great read for...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Epinions USA)
  • Cirque du Freak (DAILY TELEGRAPH UK)

    DAILY TELEGRAPH UK | 23 April 2010

    [...] slightly younger brothers and sisters might be drawn to Cirque Du Freak. It is a fevered tale of circus freaks, killer spiders and vampires, the author's name being that of the narrator,...

    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (DAILY TELEGRAPH UK)
  • Cirque du Freak (Crowgrll’s Perch USA)

    crowgrrl.com | 01 February 2005
    Darren Shan’s Cirque du Freak: A Living Nightmare was one of the most deliciously macabre books The Crowgrrl has had a chance to sink my fangs into! The first in a collection of vampiric...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Crowgrll’s Perch USA)
  • Cirque du Freak (CM Magazine Canada)

    CM Magazine Canada | 23 April 2010
    It was a flyer, an advertising pamphlet for some sort of traveling circus. There was a picture of a wolf's head at the top. The wolf had its mouth open and saliva was dripping from its teeth. At...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (CM Magazine Canada)
  • Cirque du Freak (Children’s Literature USA)

    Children's Literature USA | 23 April 2010
    Wasting no time in setting a tone of spine-tingling horror, Darren Shan tells his readers right at the beginning, "This is a true story." Darren and his best friend, Steve, secretly buy tickets...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Children’s Literature USA)
  • Cirque du Freak (Books for Keeps UK)

    Books for Keeps | 23 April 2010
    The first title of "The Saga Of Darren Shan" (author and the "ordinary schoolboy" main character), this novel has some grand horrors, most spectacularly in the Circus itself, and it includes...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Books for Keeps UK)
  • Cirque du Freak (Bookloons USA)

    bookloons.com | 23 April 2010
    First the cover intrigues with its R. L. Stine look and 'Compelling' recommendation from J. K. Rowling. Then Darren Shan lures the reader carefully into his 'living nightmare' and builds up the...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Bookloons USA)
  • Cirque du Freak (Booklist USA)

    Booklist | 23 April 2010
    When Cirque Du Freak comes to town, Darren and his friends are obsessed with seeing the acts, which include a performing spider; spiders are a particular fascination of Darren's. It is a...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Booklist USA)
  • Cirque du Freak (Bella Online USA)

    bellaonline.com | 23 April 2010
    This has been one of the most challenging books for me to review for two reasons: First, I hate horror, especially vampire stories, and most especially stories that contain spiders. Secondly, once...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Bella Online USA)
  • Cirque du Freak (Barnes and Noble USA)

    Barnesandnoble.com | 23 April 2010
    "I loved being scared when I was little." Those are the words of Darren Shan, the young, adventurous narrator and author of Cirque Du Freak, and I understand him very well. Just like him, I grew up...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Barnes and Noble USA)
  • Cirque du Freak (Amazon USA)

    Amazon.Com (USA) | 23 April 2010
    Anyone who loves the humorous but hair-raising horror in R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series will devour British author Darren Shan's first novel with equal zeal. Some books are born with a surrounding...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Amazon USA)
  • Cirque du Freak (Amazon UK)

    Amazon UK | 23 April 2010
    Darren Shan seems like your average boy--he likes playing football with his mates, passing notes in class and loves spiders. Then, one day, his best mate Steve gets tickets for a banned freak show...
    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (Amazon UK)
  • Cirque du Freak (About.com USA)

    About.Com (USA) | 23 April 2010

    Darren Shan (yes, the author named his main character after himself) is just an ordinary boy who enjoys hanging out with his three best friends. One day they stumble across an invitation to visit...

    Read full review: Cirque du Freak (About.com USA)
  • Room On The Shelf

    Room On The Shelf | 05 April 2010

    Darren Shan and his friends are just looking for a fun adventure, a forbidden circus held in the dead of night. But when Darren decides to steal a vampire's pet, he discovers the consequences...

    Read full review: Room On The Shelf
  • Manga Recon

    Manga Recon | 28 May 2009

    THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE MANGA ADAPTATION OF CIRQUE DU FREAK.

     

    Cirque du Freak is an excellent offering from Yen Press. Takahiro Arai’s strange-but-lovely character designs and a second half...

    Read full review: Manga Recon