We Are All His Creatures: Tales of P. T. Barnum, the Greatest Showman

Featured
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
542 0
We Are All His Creatures: Tales of P. T. Barnum, the Greatest Showman
Author(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
March 10, 2020
ISBN
9780763659813
Buy This Book
      

In a series of interwoven fictionalized stories, Deborah Noyes gives voice to the marginalized women in P. T. Barnum's family -- and the talented entertainers he built his entertainment empire on. Much has been written about P. T. Barnum -- legendary showman, entrepreneur, marketing genius, and one of the most famous nineteenth-century personalities. For those who lived in Barnum's shadow, however, life was complex. P. T. Barnum's two families -- his family at home, including his two wives and his daughters, and his family at work, including Little People, a giantess, an opera singer, and many sideshow entertainers -- suffered greatly from his cruelty and exploitation. Yet, at the same time, some of his performers, such as General Tom Thumb (Charles Stratton), became wealthy celebrities who were admired and feted by presidents and royalty. In this collection of interlinked stories illustrated with archival photographs, Deborah Noyes digs deep into what is known about the people in Barnum's orbit and imagines their personal lives, putting front and center the complicated joy and pain of what it meant to be one of Barnum's "creatures."

Editor reviews

1 reviews

We Are All His Creatures
(Updated: January 15, 2020)
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
WE ARE ALL HIS CREATURES by Deborah Noyes is a series of eleven short stories about the beloved showman, P.T. Barnum, his family, and performers in his show. Though fictionalized, we get a deeper look into the lives of his daughters, General Tom Thumb, Jenny Lind, the Bearded Lady, and many more. Each story offers a new perspective and different time in Barnum’s life, painting him as a more nuanced man than the one in the most recent movie, starring Hugh Jackman. Still, those who are fans of the movie will find this book to be a special treat.

My favorite stories in this novel are the ones about his daughters. Though the movie paints Barnum as quite the family man, Noyes’ stories suggest it wasn’t always easy to be his children. In fact, instead of a childhood steeped in magic and mystery, in Noyes’ version, the girls are kept away from the museum and left with their despondent mother. The only way they get to see the museum is by sneaking into it. Later on, the eldest travels with the show, but even then, she’s just a decoy for Jenny Lind.

I also wasn’t aware that Barnum’s third daughter died at such a young age, or that he had fires at both his home and museum. He had even bigger troubles than I originally realized and it’s amazing that he found the strength to keep rebuilding. In this vein, I love how Noyes painted the relationship between the third daughter and General Tom Thumb, and how when she passed due to illness, we feel the loss through Thumb.

Overall, WE ARE ALL HIS CREATURES gives us snapshots of what P.T. Barnum’s life and show could have looked like. We get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what it would be like to run off and join the circus and what it would be like to work with such a visionary and supreme entertainer. The book echoes many similar themes to the movie, such as fitting in when you feel and appear to be different, attempting to make a mark on the world, resilience, the public’s attraction to the unusual, and losing oneself in the pursuit of success. Beyond that, the book’s cover is beautiful and vibrant, just like Barnum himself.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Nest That Wren Built
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Nature lovers and poetry fans alike will be drawn to...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
So, you want to know about Jack Wilson? Here’s some...
Elysium Girls
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
From a lush, dazzlingly original new voice in young adult...
The Lost Legends
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
A plague. A prophecy. A centuries-long curse. All her...
In the Hall with the Knife
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A murderer could be around every corner in this...
Girls With Razor Hearts
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Make me a girl with a razor heart… It’s...
Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children #5)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The fifth installment in Seanan McGuire's award-winning, bestselling Wayward...
When Wishes Bleed
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
One Prince. One Witch. One Fate. The upheaval in...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ali McMillian almost drowned. It wasn’t a run-of-the-mill accident either;...
Ember Queen (Ash Princess, #3)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The thrilling conclusion to the New York Times bestselling...
Moonscript
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
"It is said that Darkness is empty and whatever vanishes...
The Lucky Ones
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Thirteen Reasons Why, This Is How It...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A captivating and utterly original fairy tale about a girl...
Meet Me at Midnight
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
They have a love-hate relationship with summer. ...
Sword in the Stars (Once & Future, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this epic sequel to Once & Future, to save...
11004295_10203571569113600_1962266189_n.jpg
 
3.8 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
*****Best YA Book & Author of the Year***** The...

Latest Member Reviews

Elysium Girls
 
4.3
"ELYSIUM GIRLS is an engaging YA historical fantasy/dystopian. In the 1930s, an area of Oklahoma suddenly got cut off from..."
Girls With Razor Hearts
 
5.0
"Now that Mena and the other girls have escaped Innovations Academy, they find their past hasn't left them. Mena vows..."
The Lucky Ones
 
5.0
"THE LUCKY ONES is quite an emotional ride. The book follows May and Zach in alternating first person points-of-view. May..."
 
4.0
"GIRL, SERPENT, THORN is a YA fairytale retelling by Melissa Bashardoust. The story follows Soraya, a princess who is cursed..."
Meet Me at Midnight
 
4.0
"MEET ME AT MIDNIGHT is a book that reminds readers of all the possibilities and freedom of summer vacation. We..."
Sword in the Stars (Once & Future, #2)
 
5.0
"SWORD IN THE STARS is a satisfying conclusion to a delightful YA fantasy retelling of King Arthur in space! Picking..."
The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising, #1)
 
4.0
"THE GUINEVERE DECEPTION by Kiersten White is the first book in a YA retelling of the classic Arthurian legend. Guinevere,..."
Crave
 
4.3
"CRAVE is a really engaging new YA fantasy/paranormal romance that follows Grace in the first person. Grace lost her parents..."
Golden Arm
 
5.0
"Lazarus Weathers lives in the Jet City trailer park in Seattle with his mother and half brother, Antonio. He has..."
Ember Queen (Ash Princess, #3)
 
4.3
"EMBER QUEEN is a great conclusion to the Ash Princess trilogy. Picking up right where book 2 left off, Theo..."
Kissing Lessons
 
5.0
"'Kissing Lessons' by Sophie Jordan is a well-written, entertaining story about a variety of main characters, including Hayden Vargas, Nolan..."
Lady Smoke (Ash Princess, #2)
 
5.0
"LADY SMOKE is every bit as addictive as the first in this engrossing trilogy. Picking up where the first book..."
The Queen's Assassin (Queen's Secret, #1)
 
4.0
"The Queen's Assassin is a fantasy romance geared toward the younger YA reader. It is told from the first person..."
Ash Princess (Ash Princess, #1)
 
5.0
"ASH PRINCESS is an engaging YA fantasy that takes us to the conquered land of Astrea. Theodosia's mother, the Fire..."
The Everything I Have Lost
 
4.3
"At age twelve, Julia starts writing in a diary. She writes about what she witnesses in her town of Juarez,..."
Sting
 
3.3
"STING is an intriguing YA dystopian retelling of THE COUNT OF MONTE CHRISTO. The world has been ravaged by climate..."
The Paper Girl of Paris
 
4.0
"The Paper Girl of Paris is written by journalist Jordyn Taylor and is set in both historical 1940’s and nowadays..."
The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie, #1)
 
5.0
"THE MIDNIGHT LIE is a lush and atmospheric YA fantasy. The book transports us to another world, where people are..."
Defy the Sun (The Offering Series, #2)
 
4.7
"DEFY THE SUN is a fantastic conclusion to this YA fantasy duology. This book picks up right where the first..."
We Unleash the Merciless Storm
 
3.7
"Carmen Santos cover as a La Voz soldier has been exposed. She flees back to the La Voz's headquarters, leaving..."