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

by Erin Morgenstern

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6,582689575 (4.09)1 / 750
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

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English (678)  Dutch (4)  German (3)  Chinese (1)  Swedish (1)  Turkish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (689)
Showing 1-5 of 678 (next | show all)
The Night Circus is delightfully unique. It arrives without warning, opens only at night, and closes at dawn the following day. The black and white striped tents contain wonders seen nowhere else, and visitors can wander at will through amazing exhibits that provide a feast for the senses. At the heart of the circus are two young magicians, involved in a age-old competition between their mentors. While one never feels truly close to the characters, the dreamlike atmosphere and vivid imagery make this wondrous tale unforgettable. One of my favorite books of the year. ( )
  vnesting | Oct 26, 2014 |
"The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not."

Wow, what a brilliant opening! This book starts with a punch and keeps up the pace to the very end. I was enthralled. After a run of mediocre reads, this was a real breath of fresh air. The images of the circus and the thinly veiled feeling of magic at every turn were astounding. This was impossible to put down.

The two main protagonists are pitted against each other from childhood, Celia and Marco don't have any say in the matter. Celia's father and Marco's adopted father have a longstanding challenge and neither is prepared to give way. The challenge is played out by the two proteges in the medium of the circus.
Although the plot is the backbone of the novel, it is the atmosphere of magic that is so brilliantly evoked that drew me in from the beginning. For me, magic is a delicate thing and the chances are I'll find it cheesy or unbelievable, so I have great admiration for an author who can achieve this delicate balance.

The images of the circus tents, each one containing a different act that can be visited at will, remains with me still. It has a very Cirque de Soleil feel about it. The descriptions of the various performances; magic pretending to be slight of hand, wishing trees, the labyrinth, the ice garden, were all brilliantly evoked. The writing was pure pleasure and I think I'm going to have to read this again at some time.

Definitely more than five stars! ( )
  DubaiReader | Oct 21, 2014 |
Unbelievably inventive! This marvelous book is one of the most creative tales I've read in a long time. I've described it to friends as Romeo and Juliet meet Harry Potter, only BETTER! The characters are beautifully rendered and the plot, though complicated, is well designed and satisfying. You will use your imagination to its fullest as you picture the astonishing scenes of this book. ( )
  LaineyMac | Oct 19, 2014 |
Absolutely marvelous. ( )
  AdaWinder | Oct 7, 2014 |
I absolutely loved this book! It was strangely wonderful! ( )
  cnorlien | Oct 7, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 678 (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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People/Characters
Important places
Important events
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Epigraph
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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References to this work on external resources.

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 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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

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