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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus

by Erin Morgenstern

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,004724515 (4.09)1 / 809
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English (716)  Dutch (4)  German (3)  Chinese (1)  Swedish (1)  Turkish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (727)
Showing 1-5 of 716 (next | show all)
I feel conflicted about this book. While I love the setting of the circus, the author's use of atmosphere, lighting and scents, I had a hard time connecting with some of the characters, especially Celia. I found her aloof and unapproachable, as most of the people who have the gift/apprenticeship are portrayed. One of my favorite characters is Bailey, with his enthusiasm and questions, Lefevre and the Twins. Those, I felt, were well developed and likeable. What I found missing (and perhaps that is the author's intention) was an explanation of how the magic works. (At least, you get that in the Harry Potter books.) The ending was a bit unsatisfying. All in all, a decent read, but a bit lengthy. 100 pages less would have done just as well. I'm giving it a 3.5 ( )
  Swissmama | Apr 8, 2015 |
Again, again, again. I can't even be bothered. ( )
  Xleptodactylous | Apr 7, 2015 |
I know this is going to disappoint some people (one person in particular - Sorry Suzze) but I'm giving up on this. The writing was absolutely beautiful. The setting was great. The characters were okay. The plot was confusing (I couldn't figure out what "the challenge" actually was) and it just didn't seem to go anywhere. Seems like it would make a great movie if the main premise was better explained, though I'm not sure people are ready for a third dueling magicians movie (I'm up for it).

So that's my review for the first 6 or 7 discs of the 11 disc version of this book. I wouldn't discourage people from reading it but it didn't keep me interested enough, maybe I missed something. ( )
  ragwaine | Apr 5, 2015 |
As reviewed on 411Junkie.com

Author: Erin Morgenstern
Release Date: September 13, 2011
Publisher: Double Day
Read: June 2012
The Hook: A magic duel with a circus as the backdrop.

Being sick the past week has put me behind in my current reading progress. However, since I am a book junkie and I've read more books than I've reviewed I have a storage of information I can draw upon ;) .

I'm going to be completely honest. I was drawn to this book because if its cover. Yep. Judged by its cover. And actually, the cover shown here wasn't the cover I first saw, but it's my favorite of the two. This one is the U. S. paperback.

Plot: Marco and Celia are chosen and bonded as opponents in a magical duel to death. Their masters have been playing this deadly game for a while except this time it's slightly different. Celia's master is her father, Prospero, and he feels that he won't be able to loose since his apprentice is naturally gifted with magic. Marco's master, A. H., chooses the stage; a circus and this circus ends up revolving around its "magician," Celia. Marco end up being the assistant to the mastermind behind the circus so he can see and know his opponent. While Celia travels with the circus, Marco stays with his boss. The games begin and as the game progresses, so does the attraction between Celia and Marco. And what starts off as a deadly game between two worthy opponents turns into desperation in finding how to escape the fate of the loser.

I've never read a book like this before and when I read through it, it blew my mind. Firstly, the plot, while not exactly new, is different. Yes, the back drop is a circus but Marco isn't part of the circus so how do they possible "duel?" Well, that was explained as the plot develops, but it's just so ... I mean ... Erin Morgenstern did such a good job with her storytelling. Mesmerizing. That's the word that comes to my mind when I think about The Night Circus. It captures your imagination and holds you hostage until you read the final words.

And how awesome is a circus that only opens during the night and magically appears whenever and wherever it wants to?! Seriously.

What I enjoy about this story the most, and what others found frustrating, is the way it is written. It bounces back and forth between two points of the same timeline--the circus' past and the circus' present--and from two different set of characters--Marco and Celia and Widget and Poppet. We follow these two timelines until it merge together to "current events." Yes, it may be a bit confusing at first, but once you grasp it, it is amazing! I ended up making my own timeline of events with each event from the respective timelines plotted together.

Of course the leading lady and leading man are Celia and Marco and I love seeing their story develop. Marco knew Celia was his opponent from the start, since he was the circus producer's assistant and was there when the auditions began, but it took Celia a while to know who Marco was. And, actually, Marco couldn't resist not letting Celia know who he was so he told. Their story is bittersweet, considering the circumstances, but it's so heart warming to read. Morgenstern did a great job creating chemistry, tension, fun, and love.

And I love Widget and Poppet. Twins who were born on the opening night of the circus. And you can't really love Widget and Poppet without loving Bailey. The fates of these three children are intertwined and their story is just as captivating as Marco and Celia.

And you can't love Marco and Celia, Widget, Poppet, and Bailey, without loving the circus. It's magical and wonderful. Just as a circus should be. The fact that it operates at night and into the wee hours of morning just makes it only more magical and wonderful. I'm a Reveur at heart.

As mentioned, the way it was written may frustrate some, but if you can push through it, it's a good read. It also reads slow during some parts and while it never bothered me it's worth mentioning. After reading it, I went out and bought the paperback. I just had to have it. I'm considering a Kindle purchase as well so I can take it with me wherever I go, but we'll see. This is definitely a book that any book junkie should read, especially if you like fantasy, and definitely a great book to have in your library, virtual or not. ( )
  411Junkie | Apr 3, 2015 |
I recevied an ARC from Doubleday for this book. Here's my review:

Two ruthless masters, two rivals who were pledged together since a young age, only one can be the winner…

The Night Circus brings you into the midst of a universe of dreams. A place where the smell of caramel wafts through the air and the lights glow magically under the night sky, for the circus only takes place at night and no one knows when it will arrive or when it leaves. Every tent flap you lift brings you into a realm more enchanting than the next.

However all is not as magical as it seems behind the scenes of Le Cirque de Rêves, for the circus is only a platform for a duel being played out between two rivals. A duel that is a game of wits and imagination. From a young age Celia and Marcus have been trained by their respective masters for this challenge, however no one expected them to fall hopelessly in love with each other and from that moment on everything changes…

The Night Circus is simply amazing, a must read. I’m an avid reader and I read this book in 24 hours. This book is a page turner, once you start you won’t be able to put it down. A stellar debut novel for Erin Morgenstern. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. Pick this book up as soon as it comes out, you won’t regret it! ( )
  Marie113 | Mar 31, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 716 (next | show all)
Magic without passion is pretty much a trip to Pier One: lots of shrink-wrapped candles. One wishes Morgenstern had spent less time on the special effects and more on the hauntingly unanswerable question that runs, more or less ignored, through these pages: Can children love who were never loved, only used as intellectual machines? What kind of magic reverses that spell? It’s not as pretty a spectacle, but that’s a story that grips the heart.
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 editionsconfirmed
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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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
The circus arrives without warning.
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 (1)

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.
Where a boy bears lovers' dreams
with a seer of stars
and night goes on forever.
A light and airy
Feast for the senses. But wait,
Darkness lurks beneath.

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0307744434, Paperback)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, September 2011: Erin Morgenstern’s dark, enchanting debut takes us to the black and white tents of Le Cirque des Reves, a circus that arrives without warning, simply appearing when yesterday it was not there. Young Celia and Marco have been cast into a rivalry at The Night Circus, one arranged long ago by powers they do not fully understand. Over time, their lives become more intricately enmeshed in a dance of love, joy, deceit, heartbreak, and magic. Author Morgenstern knows her world inside and out, and she guides the reader with a confident hand. The setting and tone are never less than mesmerizing. The characters are well-realized and memorable. But it is the Night Circus itself that might be the most memorable of all. --Chris Schluep

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:01:46 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

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.

» see all 11 descriptions

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