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The night circus : a novel by Erin…
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The night circus : a novel (edition 2010)

by Erin Morgenstern

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9,355913317 (4.08)1 / 910
Member:imagists
Title:The night circus : a novel
Authors:Erin Morgenstern
Info:New York : Doubleday, 2010.
Collections:h read but unowned
Rating:**
Tags:None

Work details

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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English (911)  Dutch (4)  German (4)  Swedish (1)  Chinese (1)  Finnish (1)  Turkish (1)  Greek (1)  Danish (1)  All (925)
Showing 1-5 of 911 (next | show all)
Y'See?! You, "Need" to, give This Book?.. 7! Stars?!.. There are , "some books"? "Some, other, Books"?! - Then there are, Books like - "This"?!.. This, isn't - "Tier 1" on Your Reading, List?! It's - "Tier 1"!!.. Got, It?! OK.. "Enough" - "Right". Just, Read. This!. OK?!.. ( )
  TimNewey | Jul 22, 2017 |


This book is like hot chocolate – deep and rich, with that hint of cinnamon to season it just right – a little too right, maybe. So it is most satisfying when sipped slowly, in small increments. Otherwise you’ll be left feeling rather unsettled and curiously warm, as many of the characters in the book itself.

The lyrical, ethereally poetic quality of the prose itself is HEAVEN, with descriptions and turns of phrase that melt in your brain – but at times it feels a little bit like a poem that’s been stretched just a little too tight (it’s usually around this time that you’ll want to put the book down, go out, socialize for a bit, be a part of the real world, and then come back). Even so, the writing pulls you into this beautifully crafted setting with such grace that, much like some of the performers and most of the patrons of the Circus, you’re not entirely sure how you arrived where you did until you’re there (a tone you find actually pretty much permeates the entire book).

I have very few complaints with this book, but the one that kept coming back is pacing. The plot is a leisurely stroll that lingers and stretches and twists and turns upon itself. One minute you’re 1899 with Celia and Marco and the next you’re in 1902 with Bailey. And then after that you come back to 1896 and this time with Chandresh and whoever happens to be in his house. I could handle the switching around of characters, but coupling that with the sudden switching of dates, times, and places was a bit too rich for me. I ended the book feeling very lost as to where I started and where I ended up, which keeps with the general feel and motifs of the book but as the reader leaves me incredibly confused. Satisfied, but confused – if that makes any sense at all.

All in all, this book is going to go on the shelf next to my Toni Morrisons. The prose is perfection and immerses you in heaven for the duration of your time reading it (which has to be in small bursts because of said perfection), and while I liked the characters and found the love story engaging and tuned just right, if a little rootless, the focus is on the meaning behind the poetics and less on the motivations that drive plot. It is beautiful and memorable, but not necessarily repeatable.
( )
  srsharms | Jul 20, 2017 |
This book has been on my TBR since November 2011, two months after it released. I am kicking myself SO HARD because it took me six years to get around to it. It is magical, breathtaking, intriguing. It is hands-down the most beautiful romance I’ve ever read. This could be a very long review as I extol endless praises upon this story. Ye have been warned.

Celia. Marco. Horace. Alexander. Bailey. Poppet. Widget. Isobel. Tara. Lainie. Chandresh. Friedrick. Ethan. Tante Padva. Tsukiko. Everyone. Everyone, everyone, everyone. Every single character in this book is bright, textured, and mysterious. They are all glowing. Every minute detail stands out. The subtle hand movements, the shadows, the clothing, the way they hold themselves, the glimmer or dullness in their eyes. Everything about each and every character in this book is intriguing. Even the minor ones you only see for a chapter or two, like Elizabeth the Rêveur or Bailey’s sister Caroline.

My favorite character in this book was Bailey. I know he doesn’t have the pizzazz of Celia or Marco, but there was a je ne sais quoi that made him the biggest mystery of them all. He felt like a standing stone around which the entire circus revolved. Chandresh’s flair was excellent. Celia’s imagination, Marco’s precision… all excellent. Tsukiko’s mystery. In my opinion, though, it’s Bailey’s childlike enthusiasm, wide-eyed innocence, and normality in contrast that brings everything else to life. I love him.

Poppet and Widget are also excellent. And I love how the crux of the story depends on Isobel. Just… all of them. I love them all.

The world is magical. Never once does the Victorian setting make this story feel inaccessible. The world itself is the circus, and even though there are excursions into tea shoppes and estates and farms, the black and white tents of the circus call the reader back again and again. The magic is subtle and beautiful, nothing too big and flashy. The rules are well explained through the students’ training. From Celia’s seance sessions to the stuffy apartment where Marco studies, everything is distinct and well-visualized. Even Tsukiko’s brief history at the end of the book shows a world where time is fluid and moments are eternal, places alive. The balance is perfect.

I think the story is the aspect where most people will criticize. Morgenstern takes the reader’s through a loop, misdirecting interest into the challenge when the story is so much bigger than that. Personally, I don’t mind the outcome of the challenge, and I have even more respect for the story knowing that it is bigger than just two people. Like I said above, I think this is ultimately the greatest love story I’ve ever read. It’s not an adventure, not a coming-of-age story. It’s not a battle of good and evil. It is all of these things rolled up into something greater and should not be taken solely as any one of its parts.

The pacing is, admittedly, slow. At the beginning, this is frustrating, but as the story gets its tendrils around you and you are sucked in, the pacing is perfect. In fact, near the end I found myself frustrated that it was going so quickly and was I nearly finished. The words, though. Erin Morgenstern knows how to weave magic with her wording. It flows so beautifully that I would read anything she writes. Anything. Her grocery list. You can tell that every word she has chosen in this story has been carefully mulled over and considered, and the effect is that her words are as magical as the circus.

Morgenstern uses every sense masterfully. Scent and sound and taste, as well as sight and touch. I feel like scent and taste are so rarely used in fiction… and she leaves no sense unattended.

In regards to narration, Jim Dale does a masterful job, as always. You can hear the pompousness of Horace Bowen and the stubbornness of the Murray twins. He has done an exemplary job.

This book has done something few new books I read have managed: it jumped into my top ten. Granted, my top ten isn’t illustrious, but it’s a hard place to get into. I was so transported by this book, I feel genuinely cheated that Le Cirque Des Rêves is fiction. I go between moments of wanting express eternally my endless affection for this illustrious piece of work, and moments when I gape stupidly at a loss for words. It’s beautiful. I love it. I don’t know what else to say. ( )
1 vote Morteana | Jul 16, 2017 |
A wonderful story of magic, bursting with imagination and imageries.

I loved the double meanings and subtexts appearing all along the book, and adored when the narrator directly talked to the reader (not enough to my taste)

I wondered though, if Erin Morgenstern didn't want to say too much. By moments, I could tell what would come next. I was bothered by the jump ahead in time and then backwards as an artifice too clearly justified by the needs of the ending. I'm still unsure that was necessary. I also found strange a murder stayed unpunished, its author not even researched...

Conclusion, a great page turner, a treasure of original ideas. I wish the English itself was a tiny bit more literary. ( )
  Claude... | Jul 13, 2017 |
Night Circus follows the story of Le Cirque des Reves, a traveling circus that appears only at night. The illusionists in this circus are not simply magicians, but Celia and Marco find themselves adversaries in a competition that only ends when one of them wins and one of them dies. Celia and Marco are surrounded by the other members of the circus. Widget and Poppet, the twins, with interesting abilities of their own; Isobel, the seer who is fond of Marco's attention; Tsukiko, the contortionist, with her own story to tell; and Bailey, the outsider, who finds his way inside the circus. Also, I recommend the audiobook. Jim Dale's narration is exceptional. ( )
  VClarke | Jul 8, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 911 (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.
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(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.
(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)

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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