Roll up, roll up…the Tough Guide to Travelling through fantasy..

Each Thursday, the Fantasy Review Barn takes a look at ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland’.  This gives us all an opportunity to become travel reviewers of the land of fantasy. Join in and take a look at what’s a ‘hot spot’ and what’s not!   This week’s topic:

Fairground- This is like a MARKET, except it is much , much bigger and planted somewhere right in the middle of nowhere so that everyone can get to it.  There will be rows and rows of TENTS and BOOTHS…


This is actually a bit tougher than I first expected.  I confess that I’ve cheated a little!! These might not ALL be fairgrounds as such! 


Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

A dark, gothic tale of two teenage boys who save their town after it falls under the throes of an evil carnival that comes to town in the deep of night.  What else would you expect – you can’t have a respectably sinister carnival that arrives in broad daylight after all!  Primarily a halloween tale this particular story has a spectacular fairground with rides, stalls, attractions, a witch like woman, a carousel that literally ages you or makes you younger (maybe worth visiting if you’re interested in the secret of everlasting youth)!  Visit this fair if you enjoy the buzz of adrenalin that you will undoubtedly receive as you barely escape with your life!


2. The Troupe by Robert J Bennett




The Troupe is a coming of age fantasy about a young boy who runs away to join the fair!  Well, he runs away to join the Vaudeville circuit and search for his father.

So George, much like Nellie the Elephant, packed his trunk and joined the strange and mysterious world of The Troupe.  They follow a gruelling schedule, in fact you’ll be lucky in you can catch a performance.  Are the Troup running away from demons, they’re certainly followed by faceless men in grey who blend with the shadows.  The imagination and fantasy contained here is really fantastic.  It’s a gripping story.

The Troupe has it’s own strong man and a puppet master (creepy at all) and the Master of the show gives a spellbinding performance at the conclusion of each event that leave the audience, quite literally, spell bound.





Stardust by Neil Gaiman is a magical story of a boy who goes in search of a star, crossing beyond the wall in his village into the unknown and coming face to face with unicorns, witches and pirate ships that sail in the clouds rather than the sea.  Where did the story start.  It started with a faerie fair.  An occasion that happens only once every nine years in the field beyond the village of Wall.  On this one particular day the regular mundane people of the village mix with the fantastical, anything is possible and everything is probable.  Visitors to the faerie fair beware however.  Tristan’s father visited the fair and 9 months later found a small bundle wrapped in a blanket and placed in a basket left on his doorstep and so Tristan’s story did begin.

Finally – and this is a BIG liberty – The Lost Boys.  It’s not a book is it!!  But, a lot of the action takes place at the fairground (or the Boardwalk).  There’s more to this fairground than meets the eye as Santa Cruz Boardwalk is home to vampires.  



21 Responses to “Roll up, roll up…the Tough Guide to Travelling through fantasy..”

  1. Rabindranauth

    I KNEW IT! I only remembered Something Wicked This Way Comes a bit earlier, when I checked out Mogsy’s list! Awesome, and welcome 😀 I’ll add you to my page of folk to check out 🙂

    • Rabindranauth

      Added! Stop by, check out some of the other lists. Next week’s gonna be easier 😀

      • lynnsbooks

        Next week I’m not cheating! I’m coming up with some proper hidden kingdoms. This was good fun though.
        Lynn 😀

    • lynnsbooks

      This was tougher than I expected! Will check out everyone’s posts later. Just on way to work and no good on this phone

    • lynnsbooks

      I think that’s the only one on my list that truly counts. I remembered the Troupe and I so wanted it to fit in here so I just plain cheated!
      Lynn 😀

  2. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    Fun list 🙂 I had Something Wicked this Way Comes and Stardust on my list, but took them off for some reason. (I had a very hard time picking.) I really need to read the Troupe! Already ooking forward to next weeks lists.

    • lynnsbooks

      I’m looking forward to next week because I’m hoping I won’t be such a big cheat! Not sure that The Troupe or Stardust should be on this list but I decided to get creative.
      Lynn 😀

      • Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

        No, I think they count! Don’t take my second guessing of Stardust and SWTWC as any indication they’re not valid. Honestly, I haven’t read Stardust (only saw the movie), so that’s probably why it got the axe. And the other has been so long, I can’t remember much about it. I think its a great list 🙂

  3. Mogsy

    Wonderful list! And I have been meaning to read The Troupe for ages. Figured there would definitely be a fairground/funfair in there, but you make it sound even more awesome 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      I really enjoyed The Troupe – but, I’ve liked all of Bennetts books so far. They’re very unusual and I imagine that people will either love them, or not!
      Lynn 😀

  4. Nathan

    Damn. Stardust. I have read it at least three times and we just watch the movie again a month ago. Didn’t even think about it.

    Surprised Something Wicked didn’t come up more to be honest, and now that I am published I am thinking Midsummer Night’s Dream should have been on my list too.

    • lynnsbooks

      Midsummer Night’s Dream – of course! I read that about 18 months ago so you’d think it might have come to mind. It’s amazing how quickly you forget!
      Lynn 😀

  5. jessicabookworm

    Great choices! I love Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Lost Boys (even if that isn’t a book I know where you’re coming from) 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      I was trying to get to 5 – I was going to see if I could wangle Neverwhere on there or even Scott Lynch’s Red Seas Under Red Skies – but both of those have markets really, not fairgrounds. I also love The Lost Boys – proper, nasty vampires!
      Lynn 😀

  6. Marie

    I had no idea what Something Wicked This Way Comes is about! I’ve been meaning to read more Bradbury for a while now and this has probably just given me the push I need to do it. It sounds great. Love Stardust and The Lost Boys too.

    My ultimate fairground book has to be The Night Circus (though does that count, being a circus and all? hmm…)

    • lynnsbooks

      It’s on some of the lists so I’d say it counts. I love Something Wicked this Way Comes – some people seem to find Bradbury a bit ‘wordy’ but I didn’t feel this tbh. It’s a great, gothic creepy halloween tale – probably needs reading when the nights draw in.
      Lynn 😀

  7. Maija Reads

    This was a a fun list! I didn’t know about this meme. I gotta go check out the Fantasy Review barn.

    • lynnsbooks

      Definitely join in. This is a really good weekly meme and the bloggers who take part are great fun. Next week is all about hidden kingdoms! See you then. 😉

      • Maija Reads

        Hmm, hidden kingdom… That’s a hard one! I better start thinking about it already.

  8. nrlymrtl

    The Lost Boys was later novelized by Craig Shaw Gardner and contains some scenes dropped from the movie, so sure, it counts. 🙂 IMBD has more info:

    And I love that you included Stardust as the market played a pivotal role in kicking off this tale. I would also include the floating market from Gaiman’s Neverwhere.

    • lynnsbooks

      Ahh, I did wonder about The Lost Boys whether it was a book or not – and extra scenes! Interesting.
      Stardust – I loved that one.
      Actually, finding fairs was pretty difficult and made me realise that I could probably find more circuses in books!
      Lynn 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s