[Paperback cover]

Willard Manus' book which inspired Guy Stevens was first published in 1966. It is about a misfit who ended up joining a circus of freaks. Critically acclaimed at the time of its release, it sold poorly in the States. It did even worse in the UK, despite good reviews, and was soon deleted.

It was picked up again in the early 80's, this time in paperback, but again sold poorly and was soon deleted. It has, sadly, remained so to this day. A few copies are still available from the author - details are on the back of the MTH box set.

The book is about a chap called Norman Mott. He's basically a lazy so-and-so, preferring to work as little as possible, earning money on the side by running every scam going. He's also a gambler and not a very good one at that, the result being he has to keep working, keep scamming... and keep moving on since he's anxious to avoid being drafted (which would mean going to Vietnam). He is, however, driven by his love for his handicapped brother and does what he can to make sure he's well looked after.

This is very much a book of the 60's, and so in some regards has dated somewhat. In the context of this website it is an interesting read, since it was this book that inspired the name to Guy Stevens. In a wider context I'm not so sure, and if I hadn't been a fan of the band I probably wouldn't have bothered. But if you grew up in 60's America it might be enough to bring back a few memories...

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