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The Night Circus

by Erin Morgenstern

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
13,4001103320 (4.07)1 / 1063
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. 7410
    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. 230
    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. 167
    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
    The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: Everyone loves a fantastical circus.
  16. 21
    Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Beautiful type of fairy tale
  17. 21
    Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor (tralliott)
  18. 10
    When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore (kgriffith)
    kgriffith: Magical realism, beautiful prose, setting as a character/catalyst
  19. 10
    Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter (mzonderm)
  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)

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» See also 1063 mentions

English (1,091)  Dutch (4)  German (4)  Chinese (1)  Finnish (1)  Swedish (1)  Greek (1)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  Turkish (1)  All languages (1,106)
Showing 1-5 of 1091 (next | show all)
After a lifetime of reading, I can probably count on one hand the amount of novels I have started & failed to complete. And this joins that rare list. I waded through three-quarters of the audio version when the library returned it & I was insufficiently engaged to renew.

Shame, the title made it sound full of wonders, but the descriptions were laughably overblown, full of non-existent import.. I don’t need a full page to have an umbrella described to me, I’ve seen one.

On the plus, I have insomnia & eventually relegated this to a late-at-night listen, and it did the job sending me to sleep. So perhaps there was a story in amongst the s-l-o-w meringues of description, but I failed to discover it, and started to think all the self-regarding writing was so much smoke-and-mirrors disguising the absence of an interesting plot.

The narrator was a Jim Dale. I googled him and was delighted to discover it was the same Jim who played in all those Carry-On films of my childhood. So pleased for him that he has made a second lucrative career as a narrator. But even his stable of voices failed to breathe interest into this novel.

I found my mind wandering, inventing my own night circus full of seductive, wonder & magical delight. This certainly didn’t include a contortionist who could slither herself into a far-too small glass box. If things can be magical, Erin, then please make them enchanting & wonderful, and make interesting characters that a reader can invest in. ( )
  LARA335 | Apr 14, 2021 |
I don't know. The story just wasn't that interesting to me. ( )
  thereserose5 | Mar 3, 2021 |
not sure how to write this review…on one hand, it wasn’t awful, but on the other hand, it wasn’t very memorable. just not worth the hype, in my opinion. ( )
  Akacya | Feb 28, 2021 |
This book is delicious to read. I found myself taking more time to read it, just to enjoy the way the author put the words together. I very much wish that this was a real place and that I could go, but this book does the concept so much justice that I'm glad I can enjoy the magic of it all from afar. I have definitely recommended this to my friends and family members. ( )
  Emma.June.Lyon | Feb 23, 2021 |
I very much enjoyed reading this book. I thought it started quite dark and was worried it might get even darker, but it surprised me by offering light in that darkness. I loved the characters and I loved that there were so many storylines woven together. I think the author did a commendable job of describing something that could have been hard to imagine. The ending is somewhat unexpectant, but not disappointing. I would read this one again. ( )
  ColourfulThreads | Feb 18, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 1091 (next | show all)
Morgenstern’s wonderful novel is made all the more enchanting by top-notch narration from the incomparable Jim Dale.
 
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 (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Morgenstern, Erinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dale, JimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fontana, JohnCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Forrester, KateCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jakobeit, BrigitteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koay, Pei LoiDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Magrì, MarinellaTranslatorsecondary 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)

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.

No library descriptions found.

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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