The Catch Trap
The Catch Trap

The Catch Trap

by Marion Zimmer Bradley

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Tommy Zane hates lions, a major obstacle in a family of lion tamers. But Tommy's dreams--and talent--fly higher, up in the rigging with the trapeze. When rising star Mario Santelli offers him flying lessons, it looks like the start of wonderful new life, and to Tommy's surprise, his relationship with Mario deepens even as his skill soars in the rigging. But life in the 1940s forces them to keep their love a secret, and the stress pushes both Tommy and Mario to a precipice. And as Mario flies higher and higher, Tommy begins to wonder if it will always be his role to catch Mario as he falls.

A tremendously moving tale, a rich family saga, a wise and compassionate portrait of a special love in a cruel world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493648429
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 03/28/2014
Pages: 632
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.27(d)

About the Author

Marion Zimmer Bradley is probably best known for her Darkover novels and her best-selling Arthurian novel THE MISTS OF AVALON. In addition to her novels, Mrs. Bradley edited many magazines, amateur and professional, including Marion Zimmer Bradley's FANTASY Magazine, which she started in 1988, and an annual anthology, SWORD AND SORCERESS. For more information, see her website:

Date of Birth:

June 30, 1930

Date of Death:

September 25, 1999

Place of Birth:

Albany, New York

Place of Death:

Berkeley, California


B.A., Hardin-Simmons College, 1964; additional study at University of California, Berkeley, 1965-1967

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The Catch Trap 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
A-guy-out-west More than 1 year ago
Like another reviewer of this book, I, too, read this book many years ago. Every now and then over the years the book would come to mind. This is the kind of story that makes an impression on you. Well written, thorough character development, and a story line that carries you over a number of yesrs in the lives of the characters. Love is not always easy--not always accepted or understood by others--but when two people are willing to reach out to eachother and let love grow between them, what others think is not so important. It just takes a while to get to that point. Alternately I wanted to hug "the boys" and shake them silly for not just holding on to eachother through all their trials. But just as in our lives, sometimes we have to make some bad choices before we come to understand what's truly important. I'll always treasure this great story.
Montreal_Ormolu More than 1 year ago
I read this MANY years ago as a young man and loved it. It is wonderful to see it being reissued as a nook book. Great reading from a mistress of the printed word (can you tell I am a MZB fan?)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Both an intimate love story and a sweeping history of the circus, The Catch Trap has much to offer the reader. The homosexual thing will squick some, and the ages involved will bother more, but if you can look past that, the love story is beautifully rendered. If it has any flaw, it would be that it goes on a few beats too long. The insiderish feel for the workings of both small and large circuses is enthralling, and a good counterpoint to the love story.
LilleesUncle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this as a teenager decades ago. It was the first or one of the very first, books with gay characters and positive ones at that. I holds a special place in my heart.
silversurfer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my all time favorite novels-A rich, moving family saga that is intertwined with the love story of the two main characters. A sweeping love story spanning 2 decades that remains in the memory long after the last page. I highly recommend this for those that can find it--currently out of print. A truly classic gay love story.
Bembo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Circus raised red headed and freckled Tommy Zane is fourteen years old when he begins to achieve his dream ambition, the year is 1944. The son of a circus lion tamer, he has little interest in continuing in his father¿s footsteps but is intent on being a flyer on the high trapeze. When twenty two year old Mario Santelli, youngest member of the Flying Santellis invites him to try out on the trapeze it is the beginnings of everything Tommy will ever live for.The dark and handsome Mario is a hard task master and gives no quarter to his young student, but that does not prevent his young admirer idolising him; and when Mario discreetly seduces him he quietly submits. The two become inextricably entwined both in and out of the circus, and the story follows their fraught but devoted relationship and the trials they have to endure as lovers in a society intolerant of a man¿s love for another, not to mention the fact that Tommy is underage when the relationship begins.Tommy is a delightful character, as a youngster he is pliant, dedicated and full of enthusiasm, and over the period of the tale we watch him become a man of character. As he is brought into the Flying Santellis act he is also lovingly accepted into the Santelli family. The Santelli family spans at least three generations, and we get to know the members of this proud and exclusive family very well. Mario is very different from Tommy; troubled, moody, often distant, and possessing a fiery temper; despite his frequent aggressiveness towards Tommy, he is unable to live without him.This is without doubt a most beautiful story. That the relationship between Mario and Tommy will endure we are left in no doubt for the writer skilfully weaves into the fabric of the story how Tommy later looks back on events, but that by no means lessens the drama; for not only do we have all the ups and downs of their relationship and career, but we also have the added tension in the descriptions of the flying.I must rate this amongst the very best books I have read. It took me a while to read, not because it is long, which it is at nearly 700 pages, but simply because I did not want to hurry it but wanted to truly savour every part of it; and then there were so many passages I simply had to re-read, especially Tommy¿s intimate dialogues with Mario and occasionally others, for they were so beautiful and moving. I cannot recommend this book too highly
imayb1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For me, this book was one of those where I read the last page with a gasp, closed the cover, and sat there savoring it for a while. It's just that good. As much as I love MZB's fantasy work, I don't know how I missed this one, but it took someone else's recommendation to bring it to my attention and I'm very glad this book and I have found each other. The story: It is an historical fiction novel revolving around the American circus in the 1940's and 1950's. More specifically, it is about the lives of a family of trapeze artists, "The Flying Santellis". One level deeper, it's about a pair of gay trapeze artists and their trials inside and outside of performance. There is so much story packed into the book, I can hardly enumerate all of it (but I'm going to try). From an historical point of view, I think the author did an absolutely fabulous job of conveying the circus environment, the times, the attitudes, the fears and hopes of the nation, the changing times... I really can find no fault with her research and her wonderful grasp of the time period and its trappings.Amid WWII and its aftermath, is the story of the circus, its people, and all the suspense and adventure therein. As a reader, I was moved by the various events of joy and tragedy within circus life. I felt the book really captured the sights, sounds, feelings, and attitudes of the circus-- the excitement of the performance, the dedication of practice, the dangers, the fatigue of circus routines and travel-- it's all there.The characters: The Santelli family is full of such fantastically rich, vibrant, and realistic characters, I feel like I could go visit them and they would answer the door with welcoming arms-- because they drew me in and I felt welcomed by them in the story. The story primarily follows Tom Zane, (son of Lambeth Circus' big cat trainer), and his dreams of flying trapeze. When "The Flying Santellis" join his circus, they decide to take him on and train him. As Tom becomes a part of their group, he's adopted into the family and begins to learn about the whole crazy family, how much they are a part of the circus; its history is their history in many ways, and many of the family's long-held traditions correspond. From the beginning, Tom adores and admires young Mario Santelli, a handsome and promising performer and star who can do the legendary 'triple' on trapeze. Before too long, (and at age 15), Tom and Mario become lovers as well as performers, keeping their private relationship secret from everyone. All the way through the book, there is tension about what it's like to be gay and closeted during the time period. The personal relationships between lovers, family, and the world at large tie this story together beautifully. I very highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this was so good - if your looking for a book that has silly plots with a lot of sex then this is not for you - however if you want a good gay read that is about 2 men falling in love the hard way then pick this up and read it - it is a true gay novel and well written - the plot is SO good - takes place around a circus act. Read it I bet you will love it!!!