|Nightmare Alley (1946) [Novel]|
by William Lindsay Gresham
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(IBList user synopsis):
Stanton Carlisle, a young magician in a traveling carnival, becomes the assistant and lover of a married mentalist. One day he tries to get her alcoholic husband drunk so they can be alone and accidentally kills him. When the mentalist teaches him all the tricks and codes of mind-reading he has the epiphany that he can ride these skills to the top. He marries the beautiful “Electric Girl,” Molly Cahill, and they take their two-person mentalist act out on the vaudeville circuit. But even though they have some success, after five years they’ve gotten burnt out. When they are demeaned during a private performance at the house of a wealthy patron, Carlisle hits upon the idea of becoming a pseudo-religious spiritualist who communes with the dead. With the help of an even more devious psychiatrist, he sets up a big one-time score, setting the stage for the notorious ending.
Original title: Nightmare Alley
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Crime/Caper
- Adapted into the film "Nightmare Alley" (1947)