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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
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The Night Circus

by Erin Morgenstern

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11,8531030343 (4.08)1 / 1013
Waging a fierce competition for which they have trained since childhood, circus magicians Celia and Marco unexpectedly fall in love with each other and share a fantastical romance that manifests in fateful ways.
  1. 7210
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (historycycles, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Magical rivalries are at the heart of these unconventional Fantasy novels, which play out over decades and against elaborate, atmospheric 19th-century backdrops. Their initially relaxed pacing gains momentum as the various narrative threads dramatically converge.… (more)
  2. 321
    Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (JGKC)
  3. 220
    The Prestige by Christopher Priest (shelfoflisa, 47degreesnorth)
    shelfoflisa: Another tale of duelling victorian magicians
  4. 3921
    Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (Oryan685)
  5. 172
    Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (Larkken)
    Larkken: Each detail a dreamlike world overlapping but hidden from the real world to most people.
  6. 2111
    The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (LDVoorberg)
    LDVoorberg: Fantasy with enough reality to make it seem plausible
  7. 157
    The Magicians by Lev Grossman (Anonymous user)
  8. 71
    Little, Big by John Crowley (ktbarnes)
    ktbarnes: Both have magical realism, with a fairytale feel
  9. 50
    Od Magic by Patricia A. McKillip (amysisson)
    amysisson: Both are fantasy about magic and performance, with lovely writing.
  10. 62
    The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (bluenotebookonline)
  11. 30
    The Merro Tree by Katie Waitman (amysisson)
    amysisson: Both are about the magic of performance, and have colorful performer characters, although one is science fiction and the other is fantasy.
  12. 30
    Touch by Alexi Zentner (JessiAdams)
    JessiAdams: Both books have a similiar combination of realism and fantasy with similiar imagery. Wish I could describe it better, but I can't. Both of these books just FEEL the same.
  13. 64
    Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin (TomWaitsTables)
  14. 20
    Mr. Vertigo by Paul Auster (tandah)
  15. 10
    When the Moon Was Ours: A Novel by Anna-Marie McLemore (kgriffith)
    kgriffith: Magical realism, beautiful prose, setting as a character/catalyst
  16. 10
    The Gracekeepers: A Novel by Kirsty Logan (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: Everyone loves a fantastical circus.
  17. 21
    Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Beautiful type of fairy tale
  18. 10
    Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter (mzonderm)
  19. 11
    Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (tralliott)
  20. 00
    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Kata18)
    Kata18: Both books feel a little like a dream with a touch of magic that's not quite explained.

(see all 25 recommendations)

Circus (2)
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English (1,032)  Dutch (4)  German (4)  Swedish (1)  Chinese (1)  Finnish (1)  Turkish (1)  Greek (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (1,046)
Showing 1-5 of 1032 (next | show all)
I feel cheated with the high GR rating for this book. Unbelievably slow, with no plot whatsoever, the characters are flat. Could not connect with any of them. I feel like they are just moving around without any purpose or goal. Big disappointment. 2 stars for the creative description for some of the circus and magical acts. ( )
  hivetrick | Feb 22, 2020 |
A friend loaned me this and I read it with no expectations or familiarity with the author or story. What a find! It's a love story but filled with magic and magical things and yet so well written you believe it all. A thoroughly enjoyable book. ( )
  Terrie2018 | Feb 21, 2020 |
I felt like this book had a lot of potential, and I liked the idea of it, but overall it didn't really grip me. There were a lot of characters that I would have liked to know more about, I just didn't feel lost in the magic of it all. ( )
  Linyarai | Feb 16, 2020 |
Funny that two people whose taste carries weight with me have such different, strong opinions on this book. I fall somewhere in between. The writing was a little pulpy and smarmy... but it was also a page turner. The style and world it creates are probably a matter of taste. If they work for you then it's reasonably fun. I didn't find the core love story very credible (kind of bland despite being talked up), whereas the peripheral ones came across as more believable. ( )
  reg_lt | Feb 7, 2020 |
This was my second time reading this book; the first time, I listened to the audiobook as read by Jim Dale, and I ran out of patience with it, skimming through the end. I’m glad to say I enjoyed it much more reading the words at my own pace. The author’s prose is a gorgeous thing, conjuring images in the mind that are startlingly clear. The characters are fully realized and fascinating; you’ll be drawn into their lives and the world they inhabit. ( )
  PeteMilan | Feb 5, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 1032 (next | show all)
I am a reader who should have hated this novel; yet I found it enchanting, and affecting, too, in spite of its sentimental ending. Morgenstern's patient, lucid construction of her circus – of its creators and performers and followers – makes for a world of illusion more real than that of many a realist fiction. There is a matter-of-factness about the magicians' magic, a consistency about the parameters of the circus world, that succeeds both in itself and as a comment upon the need for and nature of illusion in general. While the novel's occasional philosophical gestures seem glib ("You are no longer quite certain which side of the fence is the dream"), the book enacts its worldview more satisfyingly than could any summary or statement. Rather than forcing its readers to be prisoners in someone else's imagination, Morgenstern's imaginary circus invites readers to join in an exploration of the possible.
 
Underneath the icy polish of her prose, Morgenstern well understands what makes The Night Circus tick: that Marco and Celia, whether in competition or in love, are part of a wider world they must engage with but also transcend. It’s a world whose mystique and enigma is hard to shake off, and that invites multiple visits.
 
The Night Circus is one of those books. One of those rare, wonderful, transcendent books that, upon finishing, you want to immediately start again.
 
The book itself looks beautiful but creaky plotting and lifeless characters leave The Night Circus less than enchanting
added by ncgraham | editThe Observer, Olivia Laing (Sep 11, 2011)
 

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Erin Morgensternprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dale, JimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fontana, JohnCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jakobeit, BrigitteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koay, Pei LoiDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Musselwhite, HelenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.
--Oscar Wilde, 1888
Dedication
First words
The circus arrives without warning.
Quotations
Follow your dreams, Bailey, she says. Be they Harvard or something else entirely. No matter what that father of yours says, or how loudly he might say it. He forgets that he was someone's dream once himself.
Children are dragged away with promises that they may return the next evening, though the circus will not be there the next evening and later those children will feel slighted and betrayed.
You are no longer quite certain which side of the fence is the dream.
I do not like being left in the dark. I am not particularly fond of believing in impossible things.
You're not destined or chosen, I wish I could tell you that you were if that would make it easier, but it's not true. You're in the right place at the right time, and you care enough to do what needs to be done. Sometimes that's enough.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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Book description
A circus known as Le Cirque des Reves features two illusionists, Celia and Marco, who are unknowingly competing in a game to which they have been irrevocably bound by their mercurial masters, and as the two fall deeply and passionately in love with each other, their masters intervene with dangerous consequences.
Haiku summary
Magicians in love
Forced to duel at the circus
Put on a great show.
(yoyogod)
Where a boy bears lovers' dreams
with a seer of stars
and night goes on forever.
(blueviolent)
A light and airy
feast for the senses. But wait,
darkness lurks beneath.
(passion4reading)

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