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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus (edition 2011)

by Erin Morgenstern

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8,820884341 (4.09)1 / 885
Title:The Night Circus
Authors:Erin Morgenstern
Info:Doubleday (2011), Edition: First, Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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Circus (9)

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English (880)  Dutch (4)  German (4)  Swedish (1)  Chinese (1)  Finnish (1)  Turkish (1)  Greek (1)  Danish (1)  All (894)
Showing 1-5 of 880 (next | show all)
The Night Circus appears overnight. It opens when the sun goes down and closes when it comes up again. Everything in it is black and white and everything in it is a spectacle.

But it's more than is seems. The Night Circus is actually a venue of a contest. A contest in which neither of the participants really want to compete because, as much as anything else, they saw each other and instantly fell in true love? I suppose you could make the argument that Celia fell in love with Marco through his magic and the things he created for the circus but as Marco didn't attend the circus, the same can't be said for him and his love for Ceila.

However, this book is not once story. There are several threads happening at different points in time that weave together until they all come to be at the same moment. There's Bailey, Poppe and Widget, the country boy who loves the circus and the twins, born the moment the circus opened. There are the people who follow the circus and their opinions of it. They're all much more compelling than the A-plot.

But maybe that's just my preference for a stronger character lead story where this is a story where the setting is King. The main character is the night circus. Everyone else is just along for the ride. ( )
  TPauSilver | Jan 16, 2017 |
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is a very unusual tale of a circus and the bizarre and wonderfully strange people that work there. The book centers around a bet made by two shady men and the pawns in the game is an orphan boy and one of the shady fellow's own daughter. The contest and time of the book lasts many, many years. It follows the the two contestants and how they do in life under their trainers of magic. It is an odd but fascinating book but I enjoyed it very much. ( )
  MontzaleeW | Jan 2, 2017 |
This is quite an amazing book - mostly for the imagery. The Night Circus is the main character, while the human characters, even the main ones, are secondary to the story.

This is a story of two powerful magicians who wager that their training techniques is better than the others, of course, that means their needs to be a student and a venue. The Venue this time around is the Night Circus - a mysterious circus that pops up out of nowhere, merges the magical with slight of hand, and leaves visitors with a sense of awe- but no inkling of what is actually happening.

The two battling magicians - Marco and Celia, are bound to this battle. One influencing from the outside, the other from the inside. Each attraction they put together is more amazing than the last, and a visitor can visit each night and find something new.

The love story between these two felt expected, tacked on. Its only a device to forward the story to the ending. The secondary characters were actually more interesting - between Poppet and Widget, the twins who look forward an backwards. Or the mysterious Tsukiko, contortionist extraordinaire and not at all what she seems. These characters are not part of the rigid fate of the two leading characters, so seem more fluid, with more range of motion.

Overall a great read for the imagery, but fairly predictable characters and a predictable ending. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Dec 31, 2016 |
I was confused through most of the book why it would even come close to "appealing to fans of Harry Potter" but as I got to end I saw it. Everything that happens after the character "Bailey" is introduced would make an excellent book series (not the chapters after, but in the timeline). I didn't much care for having to watch the timeline. It bounced back and forth in time, sometimes skipping whole years and then bounding forward to a later timeline before returning. I admit it was the future timeline that kept me reading, waiting for the two to merge... and then being a bit disappointed when the story suddenly cuts out and a summary is implied by various almost confusing actions of the, up until then, most interesting characters in the story.

In my opinion, if this story was written from Bailey's perspective as he discovers all the secrets and stories in the circus, as he is told stories by Widget and Poppet, and as he travels and meets others interested in the circus, this would've been a fantastic magickal book. As it stands, I do consider it worth a read if only to experience the good parts of the story: the descriptions of the parts of the circus itself. From a fantastical clockwork clock to seemingly boneless contortionists, from magickal wishing trees to tents filled with memories and feelings. This is a circus I would love to attend.

I hope the movie makers saw what I saw and choose to do the movie from the children's point of view. ( )
  niaskywalk | Dec 27, 2016 |
The Night Circus is very much style over substance. While Morgenstern certainly has a way with words, painting incredibly imaginative images, the story doesn't really go anywhere.

While it started out well, I became very apathetic to what was happening halfway through. It seemed like Morgenstein tried really hard to build up this magically epic love story but fell through as the ending was hardly satisfying.

It doesn't help that it was really hard to feel anything for the main characters, Celia and Marco. I never really felt any chemistry between the two.

Ultimately, this book wasn't for me. ( )
  bookcharms | Dec 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 880 (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 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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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
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 (2)

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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:51 -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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 13 descriptions

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