James Taylor’s Shocked and Amazed! On & Off the Midway

Sideshow Collectors Edition of James Taylor’s SHOCKED AND AMAZED

Over 15 years ago, the Best of SHOCKED AND AMAZED! burst onto the show biz scene as the fitting capstone to a decade of our publishing the world’s only journal devoted to sideshow in all its manifestations and all other “weirdness as entertainment.” And now, it’s time for us to top even that.

Welcome to the James Taylor’s SHOCKED AND AMAZED! On & Off the Midway Sideshow Collectors Edition.  In the Collectors Edition you’ll get all of the original Best of S&A!  in a new, re-designed format – and with over 100 pages of new content!

  • “Captain of All He Surveyed” – The last recorded interviews with Capt. Harvey Lee Boswell and his partner D. C. Collins, an interview we’ll run nowhere else in S&A!, with never-before-seen photos of the Captain and his “kids,” the pickled punks that had once made him a king’s ransom!
  • “A Place of Their Own” – Our late S&A! partner Kathleen Kotcher’s overview of the conjoined twin Hilton Sisters, with stunning new images of Violet & Daisy, some unseen for nearly a century!
  • “Bad-Ass Broads of the Biz” – Editor Alex Doll’s lives & loves of Betty Lou Williams, the Double-Bodied Girl; Celesta “Dolly Dimples” Geyer, the “It Girl” of fat girls; and Daisy Doll, star of Tod Browning’s Freaks!
  • Six Gals to Hug Him and a Boxcar to Lug Him! – An exclusive interview with Bruce Snowdon, sideshow fatman, perhaps the last one working any midway, talk about his days as an illegal fireworks bootlegger and how the sideshows will look from the future.
  • “The Passing of Philomena Marker” – Based in the carnival midways of old, “Philomena Marker,” the carnival tale follows Philomena’s bearded lady half & half act through the eyes of the showman who worked with and managed her all his life. A fiction by S&A!’s own James Taylor!
  • New sections from the Strand magazine’s examination of the world’s most outstanding and unusual novelty talents at the beginning of the last century!
  • And stunning new cover art by Congress of Oddities star James Mundie!

But that’s not all! In addition to the amazing and found-nowhere-else content of James Taylor’s SHOCKED AND AMAZED! On & Off the Midway Sideshow Collectors Edition, you’ll get ALL the stunning interviews and content from the Best of, including:

  • “I Dream of Jeanie” – The first full-blown print interview with Jeanie Tomaini, billed in her day as the World’s Only Living Half Girl!
  • “Monkey Business” – Percilla “the Monkey Girl” Bejano’s anecdotes of working the business in its Golden Age with her husband, Emmitt the Alligator Skin Man!
  • “Eye Candy” – The Girl From the Pearl – Sylvia Cassidy – tells all, from her days working classic burlesque in the clubs and on the Royal American midway!
  • “In the Kingdom of the Blind” – The only interview ever conducted with the family of Bill Durks, the Man With Three Eyes, on his days working carnival shows and Hubert’s Museum in NYC!
  • “Six Gals to Hug Him and a Boxcar to Lug Him” – Hear Bruce Snowdon, the last fat man to work the sideshow, talk on public exhibition and what it takes to survive on the carnival midways!

We predicted at the outset of our SHOCKED AND AMAZED! journey over 25 years ago that sideshow would be the metaphor for the 21st century. Isn’t it about time to prove that to yourself and all those you know and love? IT’S THE HOLIDAYS! And James Taylor’s SHOCKED AND AMAZED! On & Off the Midway Sideshow Collectors Edition is here for YOU! It’s the gift that keeps on giving.


James Taylor’s SHOCKED AND AMAZED! On & Off the Midway
Sideshow Collectors Edition

Signed Hardcover: $44

Signed Paperback: $34

  • All copies are signed – if you’d like your copy personalized or a special message added please add a note to your order or contact us.
  • Prices include domestic shipping via USPS priority mail.
  • For all foreign orders, please place the order as though domestic and we will contact you for the additional necessary postage/rate at which you wish your copy(s) sent.
  • Please allow time for handling and delivery.
  • Questions? Contact Us!


James Taylor’s SHOCKED AND AMAZED! On & Off the Midway
Sideshow Collectors Edition

“Great !#@!%* mag!”
Penn Jillette

“Attention PC Police: You missed one in Baltimore.”
Mike Olleve, The Baltimore Sun

“James Taylor knows more than anybody else about sideshows.”
Lynn Dougherty, The Learning Channel’s Sideshow: Alive on the Inside

James Taylor has been called “the world’s foremost authority on sideshow” c/o his SHOCKED AND AMAZED! On & Off the Midway, the world’s only journal on contemporary and historical sideshow, novelty & variety exhibition and “weirdness as entertainment.” He has been covering “the other entertainment” for over two decades and has been featured in all major broadcast and print media worldwide for his work in that field from the Baltimore Sun to the New York Times. He is also the co-founder of Baltimore’s American Dime Museum and Washington, DC’s, Palace of Wonders and Red Palace. And, as the sideshow spirit moves him, he writes for the Huffington Post and has been a frequent broadcast columnist for Ripley’s Radio.

James Taylor’s SHOCKED AND AMAZED! On & Off the Midway Sideshow Collectors Edition showcases the very best of the old-time business – collected from nine volumes of the journal – a journal that’s become iconic in the realm of the strange, the bizarre, the weird, the odd and the unusual. From the last (and sometimes only) interviews with the likes of Percilla the Monkey Girl and Jeanie Tomaini, the last of the Half Girls, to essays on famous women in sideshows and the Man With Three Eyes, it’s all the world’s weird… in one book. You want to know the true origins of the entertainment madness that is the show biz nowadays? It’s all here, in James Taylor’s SHOCKED AND AMAZED! On & Off the Midway Sideshow Collectors Edition. Without it, oh, you’re just not “with it.”

Media contact:

James Taylor is available for media – in print and otherwise – as requested. PR images and other media necessities are available upon request.

Who’s Who on the Front Cover

Back row, left to right: Percilla Bejano; Bill Durks; Bobby Reynolds; Melvin Burkhart; Ward Hall; Sylvia Cassidy. Forefront, left to right: Bruce Snowdon; Capt. Harvey Lee Boswell; Jeanie Tomaini.

James Taylor’s Shocked and Amazed!

It’s the end of the century and weirdness is everywhere. Carnival images are used by fast food joints, soft drink companies, basketball players, rock stars—everyone wants to be a freak. Everyone wants everyday to be a SIDESHOW!

James Taylor has been predicting this for a decade! James Taylor is the premier writer on the cutting edge of sideshow, the new vaudeville, the “other entertainment”! James Taylor is the man behind James Taylor’s Shocked and Amazed! On & Off the Midway — the world’s only journal devoted solely to the entertainment explosion in the weird, bizarre and unusual!

James Taylor is the planet’s foremost authority on sideshow. You saw James Taylor and Shocked and Amazed! on The Learning Channel’s “Sideshow: Alive on the Inside,” “The Jerry Springer Show,” “Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel,” and Fox Television’s “Fox Files.”

You read about James Taylor on the front page of the “Wall Street Journal,” in “Publisher’s Weekly,” “New York Press,” and “Johns Hopkins Magazine.”

You heard James Taylor on Mancow Muller’s “Morning Madhouse” and NPR’s “The Derek McGinty Show.”

James Taylor knows sideshow and its stunning new wave of entertainers. Sword swallowers, fire eaters, regurgitators, human pin cushions, torture kings, contortionists and motordrome riders look to James Taylor’s Shocked and Amazed! as the definitive source for all things strange and bizarre: All things sideshow.

James Taylor’s Shocked and Amazed! views the sideshow tradition through a modern lens. Shocked and Amazed! features tell-all interviews with performers and showmen who have never been interviewed on the record. Shocked and Amazed reports on weirdness as entertainment, features exclusive reprints on sideshow history, and reveals behind-the-scenes photos of sideshow attractions.

1 Response to James Taylor’s Shocked and Amazed! On & Off the Midway

  1. Pingback: Coney Island USA – 'Congress on Curious People' – James Taylor – Guest speaker | VaudeVisuals

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