Nightmare Alley

In the coach, under the dimmed lights, the crowd of carnival workers and concessioners sprawled, huddled, heads on each others’ shoulders.… How helpless they all looked in the ugliness of sleep. A third of life spent unconscious and corpselike. And some, the great majority, stumbled through their waking hours scarcely more awake, helpless in the face of destiny. They stumbled down a dark alley toward their deaths. They sent exploring feelers into the light and met fire and writhed back again into the darkness of their blind groping.
William Lindsay Gresham, Nightmare Alley

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