George Carole ran away from home to join the Vaudeville circuit. Sixteen years old, uncommonly gifted at the piano, he falls in with a strange troupe - even for Vaudeville.
Under the watchful eye of the enigmatic figure of Silenus, George comes to realise that the members of the troupe are more than they appear to be. And their travels have a purpose that runs deeper than entertainment.
George must uncover the mysteries of Silenus's company before it is too late. He is already entangled in their web of secrets and, if he doesn't learn where they are taking him, he may never find his way out.
Bennett (The Company Man) melds an energetic reimagining of medieval myth with an engrossing backdrop of impresarios, puppeteers, and amazing feats of strength in this tale of turn-of-the-century vaudevillians. The performances of Hieronomo Harry Silenus s quartet leave audiences dazzled yet unable to remember what they have seen. Teen piano prodigy George Carole, believing that Harry is his father, joins the quartet and learns their actual mission: to sing the song of creation that keeps the world alive and safe. As darkness closes in, the exhausted and increasingly fractious performers gamble everything for one more bit of the song. True motives borne of old sadness are revealed with delicate precision, and even the most terrifying creatures are invested with a heartrending pathos. Narrated perfectly by a baffled young man whose zealous pursuit of a father s love is often outpaced by his alternately endearing and dangerous vanity, Bennett s finely crafted novel rises on a wave of suspense to a place of beauty and hope.