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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus (edition 2012)

by Erin Morgenstern

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,354746477 (4.09)1 / 837
Title:The Night Circus
Authors:Erin Morgenstern
Info:Anchor (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 528 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

  1. 649
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    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.
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English (735)  Dutch (4)  German (3)  Chinese (1)  Swedish (1)  Turkish (1)  Greek (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (747)
Showing 1-5 of 735 (next | show all)
Utterly enchanting. Highly recommended. I cannot say more. :) ( )
  Darcy-Conroy | Sep 28, 2015 |
Good golly I loved this book. Sure, it's not fast paced; and sure, the book jacket lied (but I didn't read that anyway - they always lie); but it was just so good. I'm actually pissed that this is her first novel and that it just came out in December, because now I have to wait ages for her to write another one. ( )
  MizPurplest | Sep 21, 2015 |
If ever Ray Bradbury wrote love stories, I imagine this is exactly the sort of tale he would have written, full of magic and mystery and wonder – a little light on plot, but full of enchantment.

Imagine Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, except that our setting is Victorian England at the turn of the century and our star-crossed lovers are a pair of winsome young magicians who, alas, have been bound at birth (or near enough) by a magical pact that requires one of them to out-survive the other. Their battleground? Le Cirque des Reves, a “circus of dreams,” populated by tents housing wonders that the doomed young lovers create as tributes to their love: animated carousels, gravity-defying cloud mazes, animatronic menageries, wishing trees, gardens comprised entirely of ice, and other such enchanting (and enchanted) curiosities.

The tale is populated by a cast of richly imagined characters, from our appealing lovers Marco and Celia to Chandresh Christophe Lefevre, the circus’s Willy Wonka-esque proprietor; from the inscrutable contortionist Tsukiko to the preternaturally perceptive architect Ethan Barris; from Prospero, Celia’s irascible, misanthropic magician father, to the uncanny twins Poppet and Widget.

Rather than detracting from the story, the author’s deliberate decision not to explain of the tale’s metaphysical underpinnings adds to the enchantment of the tale, inviting us readers to cast away the constraints of reality and embrace the possibility of a world in which the magic of love is real.

In real life, these types of tales never end well; fortunately for us, however, Morgenstern isn’t the sort of author to be bound by narrative convention, so instead we get a wholly lovely and – yes – magical ending, in which the lovers, despite all the obstacles and tragedies scattered in their path, create their own happily ever after and the circus lives on, appearing (one presumes) to those reveurs who continue to believe.

(And speaking of happily ever after, is it just a happy coincidence that the author of this magically romantic confection shares a surname with S. Morgenstern, the legendary author of that other legendary romantic confection, The Princess Bride?) ( )
1 vote Dorritt | Sep 15, 2015 |
Prospero the Enchanter and his frequent adversary A.H. make a wager to see who can educate the better magician: Prospero puts his daughter Celia into play, while A. chooses the young orphan Marco. And they set up the stage for the two of them to show off their skills: The Night Circus. Held only in black and white, filled with the finest artists around the world, both Celia and Marco keep enhancing it with their magic. But neither knows the rules of the game, nor the actual end goal. In the meantime, though, the Night Circus gains notoriety and its very own following.

The Night Circus has a very cool concept. But while I loved the idea of it, I didn’t fall in love with it as much as I could have. I’m not entirely certain why, though it might be to do with Celia and Marco.

Read more on my blog: http://kalafudra.com/2015/09/12/the-night-circus-erin-morgenstern/ ( )
  kalafudra | Sep 14, 2015 |
A story told rich in details, wonder and complex imagery. It will captivate all of your senses with the descriptions while provoking your mind with the bigger quest unraveling within the plots and story.
Jim Dale is the reader. He is a shining example of the best in narration, but I still advise one to have the actual book to read. Morgenstern goes back and forth in time along with point of view, so I was needing to flip back to previous chapters to clarify my memory.
If you enjoy this book, I highly recommend Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke. ( )
  wvlibrarydude | Sep 6, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 735 (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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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.
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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 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 11 descriptions

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