Freak Show without a Tent


Fishing for piranhas in the Amazon, getting stoned at Fijian kava ceremonies, and witnessing the ancient ritual of land diving on Pentecost Island is the stuff of National Geographic cover stories – and Nevin Martell’s childhood vacations. His family’s globetrotting took them from the South Pacific to South America and many points nowhere in-between. Though their lifestyle choices were eccentric, the locations they visited exotic, and the people they met extraordinary, these escapades are firmly grounded in the trials, tribulations, and tribal rivalries that plague all families. Freak Show Without a Tent is a grandly hilarious memoir-misadventure that is equal parts National Lampoon’s Vacation, Romancing the Stone and Crocodile Dundee. Woven seamlessly into the stories of exploring the far side of the far side, near death experiences and gastronomical catastrophes is the story of a young boy coming of age, the evolving relationship between a father and son, and a family discovering its own boundaries. With the honesty and innocence that can only come through the eyes of youth, Martell reveals the symbiosis of interdependence and independence that exist deep within both rainforests and families. To paraphrase a family motto: buy the ticket, take the ride, and hope you survive, so that you can tell your therapist all about it. 

About The Author

NEVIN MARTELL has been writing about food and culture for more than a decade and a half for publications such as the Washington Post, NPR’s The Salt blog, Wine Enthusiast,, Plate, Washington Flyer, Capitol File, and Washington City Paper.

He is the author of five books, including “The Founding Farmers Cookbook: 100 Recipes for True Food & Drink,” the small press smash “Looking for Calvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson and His Revolutionary Comic Strip,” the international bestseller “Standing Small: A Celebration of 30 Years of the LEGO Nevin MartellMinifigure.” His latest project is the memoir-misadventure “Freak Show Without a Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations,” which will be published by Possibilities Publishing on June 24, 2014.

He lives with his wife and son in Washington, DC, where he writes full time. Find him online at is produced by Meryl Moss Media, a leading book industry publicity firm which for more than 25 years has helped authors discover who they are and who they strive to be through publicity campaigns that are seamless, newsworthy and on target. Many debut authors, those trying to build a following, and established writers come to us for help with positioning, media exposure, marketing and social media.