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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
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The Night Circus (edition 2010)

by Erin Morgenstern

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,168829383 (4.09)1 / 865
Member:srearley
Title:The Night Circus
Authors:Erin Morgenstern
Info:Doubleday (2010), Edition: 1St Edition, Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:2011

Work details

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

  1. 669
    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)
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    Water for Elephants: A Novel by Sara Gruen (Oryan685)
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    The Prestige by Christopher Priest (shelfoflisa, 47degreesnorth)
    shelfoflisa: Another tale of duelling victorian magicians
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  11. 30
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    The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: Everyone loves a fantastical circus.
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    d04rules: Both fantastical books for dreamers
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English (821)  Dutch (4)  German (3)  Swedish (1)  Chinese (1)  Finnish (1)  Turkish (1)  Danish (1)  Greek (1)  All languages (834)
Showing 1-5 of 821 (next | show all)
A book so full of previously established ideas and that is why the newness of it takes you by surprise. This book reads like a dream, feels like a dream, it - in all major aspects - is nothing but a dream. And the way Morgenstern has written it makes you feel like you are standing right in the middle of it, and everything is just a step or stretch of an arm away. The pace may be slow and the details too detailed, yet that is what makes this book what it is. For me, it is one of those stories which are just more than words on a page. ( )
  hmurya | May 1, 2016 |
Dreamlike, romantic and captivating. ( )
  Katya0133 | Apr 29, 2016 |
This very imaginative work is thoroughly entertaining and well-written. Morgenstern intertwines magic and mystery with a subtle love story portrayed with elegance. Much of the wonder and fantasy of childhood are very deftly portrayed, and the characters well-drawn.

My only criticism of this book is that the author goes a bit heavy on narrative description. Though extremely well done, and in some places is quite necessary in order to fully draw the fantastic elements of the setting for the reader. But in some places I found myself thinking, "alright, enough with the details. Get on with the story."

I listened to this on Audible, and don't know how many pages are in the actual book, but I believe I can safely say that the page count could probably have been cut by 1/3 without losing anything at all from the essence.

That being said, I highly recommend The Night Circus as a joyful journey into that magical world we believe in as children, and as adults think might be gone forever. Ms. Morgenstern brings the magic back to life for us, and brilliantly. ( )
  Frances.S.Brown | Apr 26, 2016 |
Exactly what I'm looking for and rarely find in a book - something unique, something different, something unpredictable - and magical, I guess, since THE NIGHT CIRCUS is about magicians as well as a very strange and wonderful circus. Comparing it to THE MAGICIANS (Lev Grossman) was my first response and I would recommend it to those who liked Grossman's novel. However, it's also a love story that develops slowly and has some surprising consequences.

I thought it was fantastic and could not put it down. ( )
  lauri804 | Apr 21, 2016 |
I'm not sure how much of a review I'm supposed to give on these books, but I have a hard time setting aside my personal feelings on this book. I thoroughly disliked it, and that's putting it mildly. The basic plot of the book is that two children, one boy and one girl, are adopted by separate "masters". These masters raise the children and teach them the ways of magic. The children, however, do not know that they are yet another installment in an ongoing competition between the two masters, which is played out through the children. As the children grow up, they partake in a literal circus, by creating imaginative and lavish exhibitions of their magical powers. At the same time, the two young magicians fall in love, adding drama to the ongoing competition. Specifically, what I didn't like about the book, though, was the epically slow pace at which the text moved. I can't imagine many young adults having the patience to muscle through this read. I would not recommend it to any teens.
  jstrecker | Apr 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 821 (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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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 (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.
(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 11 descriptions

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