Book Review: When Clowns Attack: A Survival Guide, by Chuck Sambuchino

When Clowns AttackDo you suffer from coulrophobia? Paranoia? Violent tendencies? If so, do not read Chuck Sambuchino’s When Clowns Attack: A Survival Guide! However, if you can keep your emotions in check (and enjoy comedic satire), then it’s probably safe for you to move forward. I picked this one up looking for something off the wall that would have no connection with much of the political and theological pools in which I’m often steeped. How wrong I was!

When Clowns Attack could just as easily have been a serious book written about any group of people another group hates. It has judgmental profiling, fear mongering, violent anticipation, crackpot sources (contemporary and historical) purported as legitimate, paranoid prepping for imminent war: everything one needs to galvanize any emotionally driven hate group, whether they be in fear of clowns, zombies, migrants, blacks, Muslims, or homosexuals, just to name a few who have a tremendous share of irrational haters. So, though I found myself chuckling at some of the wit, my pacifist self couldn’t help but sigh, and the realist in me couldn’t help but be reminded of how much of this is actually out there waiting for someone to buy in and become another member of the ignorant, hate-filled masses.

Two things:

  1. The book is fun. Clowns are creepy. (Stephen King’s It didn’t freak me out because I knew it was a monster. Poltergeist’s was a legit clown doll and instilled an irrational fear of dolls on rocking chairs during thunderstorms at night that haunted me for a couple decades.)
  2. I may keep this in my library just in case I come across someone who needs to see just how ridiculous his or her arguments are against some other people group.

Okay, here’s a 3rd: Clowns are people, too, who bring a lot of joy to many (and creep the rest of us out). Clowns need lovin’, too.

The covers and colors are great, and it feels good in the hand. Some of the pictures are absolutely fantastic, but there are in my opinion a few too many stock photos that are less than convincing in a “creepy clown” book. It saves some money in publishing, but it could have been taken up a notch.


*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.