Alibi Bucks


V.20 No.8 | 2/24/2011

Book Review

Straight Outta Swampton

Karen Russell's debut novel illuminates carnies, nature and innocence lost

Review by Sam Adams


Ava Bigtree is a third-generation "equestrian of Mesozoic lizards"—an alligator wrestler, if you speak mainlander. She lives with her eccentric circus family on a small island off the coast of southern Florida. There, at their bizarre theme-park, the titular Swamplandia!, they've made a business of wowing tourists with death-defying acts in their stadium-seated Gator Pit.

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