Features
Reviews
Must Hear Music
Reviews Archives
Archives
Bargain Basement
Downloads
Music DVD
Upstart
Pipsqueaks
 
 
 
Features
Reviews
Archives
Send Us Mail
Contact Us
 
 


The Final Confession of Mabel Stark

by Robert Hough

Random House of Canada
May 2002
ISBN: 0679311327



Not many stories depict strong, passionate women the way Robert Hough's debut novel, "The Final Confessions of Mabel Stark" does. This historical fiction focuses on the life and career of Mabel Stark, one of the first and arguably the best, tiger trainers of all time. Mixing fact and fiction, Hough is able to flawlessly create a character so real the reader is unable to determine where the fiction begins.

Hough's Stark is a female protagonist complete with a human side. She is flawed, courageous and driven by a passion that propels her to the top. The daughter of tobacco farmers, Mabel was orphaned at age 11 and forced to learn how to survive alone in the world. This tragic yet uplifting tale leads Mabel to the circus in the early 1900s during the height of the venue's popularity. America's previous fascination for the circus provides the backdrop for the story that intertwines America's fickle love for stars. The reader is transported to the19 20's during a time when the circus was a magical event that would close down entire towns to ensure everyone could attend.

Hough unfolds Mabel's journey through the ranks of the circus - starting as a 'cooch dancer,' she learns the ability to hypnotize crowds and make men fall at her feet. She attracts a famous lion tamer, who agrees to train her and make her a star. Her natural talent, driven by the depth of her passion and willingness to go to any lengths, is what ultimately propels her to the top. Her unconventional life manifests in her relationships with men. "My men. Whew. Had a slew of them." Married five times, her passion generally remained reserved for the tigers. Hough's description of her interaction with the tigers leaves the reader breathless. One scene describes a lion teaching Mabel a lesson - the hard way…"Then he ripped. Pulled open my arm as slowly as you or I would open a letter…"

Throughout the tale, Hough is able to create a character that is unconventional and eccentric, yet able to teach the reader the power of compassion and overcoming adversity. The reader is able to absorb her life, empathize with her autonomous character, and walk away with an understanding how heroic her life really was.

Patty Hirsch - Staff Features Writer


Mike Doughty



none now
-------


South By Southwest 2014
David DeVoe

South By Southwest 2013
David DeVoe

Red Hook Music Festival
George Dow

SXSW 2012
David DeVoe

Our Favorite Records 2011
Hybrid Staff

AWOLNation
Rachel Fredrickson

Kanrocksas
Rachel Fredrickson

Warped Tour 2011
Rachel Fredrickson

Eddie Spaghetti
Melissa Skrbic-Huss

Murder By Death
Mike DeLeo


Mike Doughty
Boulder, CO

Epilogues
Denver, CO

Imagine Dragons
Denver, CO

Sebadoh
Cambridge, MA

Young Magic
Denver, CO

Warped Tour 2012
Denver, CO

Thrice
Denver, CO

Mike Doughty
Denver, CO

MuteMath
Kansas City, MO

Other Lives
Lawrence, KS

Los Campesinos
Boston, MA

The Civil Wars
Lawrence, KS

Ha Ha Tonka
Lawrence, KS

Thrice
Lawrence, KS


 
hybridmagazine.com is updated daily except when it isn't.
New film reviews are posted every week like faulty clockwork.
Wanna write for hybrid? Send us an e-mail.
© 1996-2009 [noun] digital media. All rights reserved worldwide. All content on hybridmagazine.com and levelheadedmusic.com is the intellectual property of Hybrid Magazine and its respective creators. No part of hybridmagazine.com or levelheadedmusic.com may be reproduced in any format without expressed written permission. For complete masthead and physical mailing address, Click Here.