''The Circus of Doctor Lao'' is a novella written by newspaperman Charles G. Finney. Published in 1935, it tells the story of a rather unusual circus coming to the town of Abalone, Arizona.

It was loosely adapted into a [[TheFilmOfTheBook film]], ''[[Film/SevenFacesOfDrLao 7 Faces of Dr. Lao]]'', in 1964, with Tony Randall starring as the eponymous doctor.
!!This novel provides examples of:
* AbhorrentAdmirer: A sympathetic example; Mrs. Cassin is an older woman whose husband [[spoiler:simply left her]]. Since she lost her looks and charm a long time ago, she has no luck in attracting men.
* AllMenArePerverts: The men in the town are extremely eager to check out the "peep show".
* BlindSeer: Apollonius of Tyana
* BrutalHonesty: Apollonius again. He answers questions about the future with absolute, painful accuracy, rather than the wishful fortunes given by charlatans. It falls on deaf ears regardless.
* CircusOfFear
* CrappyCarnival: Many think Dr. Lao's circus is one of these, especially with that crazy ad in the newspaper, and the less-than-impressive parade through town.
* EccentricTownsfolk: The fine folk of Abalone, Arizona.
* ElectiveBrokenLanguage: Lao talks like YouNoTakeCandle occasionally, mostly to deflect unwanted questions.
* FilmOfTheBook: ''[[Film/SevenFacesOfDrLao 7 Faces Of Dr. Lao]]'', made in 1964.
* GirlOnGirlIsHot: The peep show includes scenes of nymphs fooling around with each other.
* InterspeciesRomance: The satyr is said to be the child of [[BestialityIsDepraved a goatherd and his goat]]. [[spoiler: Later on, Miss Birdsong ends up having sex with the satyr.]]
* LampshadeHanging: The appendix includes a section listing several plot-questions the main story never bothers to answer.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Some of whom are introduced and disposed of in a single sentence.
* {{Medusa}}: One of the exhibits.
* MythicalMotifs: Many of the characters are mythical creatures.
* MysteriousMiddleInitial: A lot of people in town seem to have "R".
* NotThatKindOfDoctor: Like you had to ask.
* {{Novella}}: An eight-page introduction, 100 pages of story and then 19 pages of Catalog that includes a lot of additional information.
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: Try seven ''thousand''.
* RunningGag: People arguing about the man/bear/Russian.
* SadlyMythtaken: Some members of the circus are creatures thought to be found only in myth.
* SexGod: The Satyr and (seemingly) Mumbo Jumbo.
* TakenForGranite: Despite warnings, [[spoiler:Kate Lindquist looks at the Gorgon head-on]].
* TalkingAnimal: The snake.
* UnfazedEveryman: A running element of the novel; the townspeople either don't realize or refuse to realize the wonders of the circus.