The Final Confession of Mabel Stark

The Final Confession of Mabel Stark

Book - 2001
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"You can't mix tigers and husbands. And, anyhow, I prefer the tigers." -- Mabel Stark Mabel Stark was one of the most famous women of her time, the centre-ring finale act of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey circus in the 1920s and 1930s when circus was the most popular form of entertainment in North America. Barely five feet tall, blonde, lithe, dressed in her trademark skintight white leather jumpsuit, Stark made her mark in a man's world. She was brazen, courageous to the point of self-destruction, obsessed with tigers, addicted to drugs, and sexually eccentric. Her relationship with the big cats moulded her career, her marriages, her concept of joy. Rob Hough has created a compelling fictional autobiography of Mabel Stark, leaping from the documents of her life into the mysteries of her heart, and into the carnival world of the travelling circus. As the novel opens, the year is 1968. Mabel Stark is turning eighty years old and is about to lose her job at JungleWorld, a circus-cum-zoo in northern California -- the new owners don't appreciate her legendary status. Haunted by memories, she looks back on her life, her escapades and tragedies, her love affairs with tigers and with men. She's spent almost thirty years basically hiding out as a result "of doing the worst thing one person can do to another" and she decides that she has only one task left before her time comes. Mabel Stark wants to make her final confession. Facts about Mabel Stark: -- Mabel Stark was the first person to wrestle an adult tiger for a paying audience -- the first to teach a black panther to ride the back of a tiger -- the first to train Sumatran tigers -- Stark did not neuter, beat or bully her cats, and her methods are used even today -- She survived more than a dozen maulings -- Her life story was optioned by Paramount
Publisher: [Toronto] : Random House, 2001
ISBN: 9780679310914
Characteristics: 430 p. : ill


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