Nick Tosches is the author of fifteen books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. His most recent novel, In the Hand of Dante, was published in seventeen languages and selected as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He has long been working on a book about William Lindsay Gresham.
Nightmare Alley begins with an extraordinary description of a freak-show geek— the object of the voyeuristic crowd’s gleeful disgust—going about his work at a county fair. Young Stan Carlisle is working as a carny, and he wonders how a man could fall so low. There’s no way that anything like that will ever happen to him.