Masterwork Spotlight: The Circus of Dr Lao

This month we’re featuring The Circus of Dr Lao, Charles G. Finney’s first and most famous novel, and winner of one of the inaugural National Book Awards in 1935. It was filmed by George Pal as The 7 Faces of Dr Lao.

The Circus of Dr Lao

A dazzling and macabre masterpiece of dark fantasy in the tradition of Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes.

To the residents of Abalone, Arizona, a sleepy southwestern town whose chief concern is surviving the Great Depression, the arrival of a circus in town is a chance to forget their woes for a while. But this is the circus of Dr. Lao and instead of relief, the townsfolk are confronted with an array creature seemingly straight out of mythology: a chimera, a Medusa, a sphinx, a sea serpent and, of course, the elusive, ever-changing Dr. Lao. As the circus unfolds, it spins events towards a climactic final act that will change the lives of Abalone’s residents for ever.


The Circus of Dr Lao is available as an SF Masterworks paperback and a Gateway eBook

You can read more about Charles G. Finney in his entry in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.