"People just don't like clowns. ... If you went around and did a survey and asked a hundred random people if they thought clowns were funny or scary, ninety-eight of them would say scary. That's the way of the world now. ... I'm not renewing any of your contracts. You can still be clowns, but not at my circus."
After eighteen years entertaining people, Jaunty, Guffaw, Wagon, Bluehead and Reginald just got fired. Middle-aged, and with no other skills but clowning, Jaunty and the others are forced to take jobs at the Mountain of Terror haunted house in Mount Tulip, Virginia, as scary clowns in the Scary Clown Room. But scaring children is not why Jaunty or the others became clowns (though Bluehead seems to be exceptionally good at it). But just as Jaunty is having a crisis of conscience, the haunted house and the entire town of Mount Tulip are overrun by thousands of very big spiders. Jaunty is horrified. The only thing he wants to do is jump in the car and drive away. But there are innocent people that need saving. Besides...
"Clowns didn't run."
I couldn't resist this book, even though both clowns and spiders freak me out. And if you don't take this one too seriously, it's a very fun read. The clowns made me laugh and shake my head in equal measure. Jaunty was my favorite. Whenever the clowns draw imaginary straws to see who has to go and do the scary thing, Jaunty somehow always ends up with the short straw. And he always goes. The neverending swarm of very large spiders on the other hand was very creepy. I was definitely rooting for the clowns, though when it comes to saving the world, or any one in it, they're more like buffoons. But they try hard. And they never give up.
"It was time for clowns versus spiders, and the spiders were toast."