A bewitching and haunting coming-of-age tale from the Oscar-winning novelist and film director Neil Jordan
It looked like any other carnival, but of course it wasn't.
It had its own little backstreets, its alleyways of hanging bulbs and ghost trains and Punch and Judy stands.
And at the end of one he saw the Hall of Mirrors.There were looping strings of carnival lights leading towards it, and a large sign in mirrored glass reading 'Burleigh's Amazing Hall of Mirrors' and the sign reflected the lights in all sorts of magically distorted ways.
A tracery of lights gleams through suburbia. Fourteen-year-old Andy and his parents stop the car. To them, this looks like any other carnival: creaking ghost train, rusty rollercoaster and painted circus folk. But of course it isn't. Leaving his parents to whispered arguments, Andy finds himself inside Burleigh's Amazing Hall of Mirrors, hypnotised by the many selves that stare back at him.
Sometime later, one of these selves walks out and rejoins his parents - leaving Andy trapped inside the glass; to be released and transported to a paradoxical paradise where gravity is meaningless and time performs acrobatic tricks.
Meanwhile, an identical stranger inhabits Andy's life, disquieting his mother with an otherworldly blankness. Intoxicating and kaleidoscopic, Carnivalesque is a dark, twisted tale of identity and metamorphosis; confinement and freedom; adolescence and the loss of innocence.