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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
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The Night Circus (edition 2012)

by Erin Morgenstern

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8,707882348 (4.09)1 / 881
Member:emanate28
Title:The Night Circus
Authors:Erin Morgenstern
Info:Anchor (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 528 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

Work details

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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English (879)  Dutch (4)  German (3)  Swedish (1)  Chinese (1)  Finnish (1)  Turkish (1)  Danish (1)  Greek (1)  English (892)
Showing 1-5 of 879 (next | show all)
Thoroughly enjoyed this unique & refreshing magical story. ( )
  izohgore | Nov 28, 2016 |
Le Cirque des Rêves – The Circus of Dreams – is the gorgeous setting of Erin Morgenstern’s 2011 fantasy novel, The Night Circus. Each tent of the circus contains a tableau where awed visitors can wander, for instance an ice garden or a cloud maze. Very intricate and beautifully crafted, as we slowly follow an extraodinary competition between magicians, this novel shines thanks to Erin Morgenstern’s writing skills.
More about Circuses in fiction: http://ouzepo.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/the-hidden-side-of-circuses-and-illusioni... ( )
  OpheliaAutumn | Nov 13, 2016 |
Dreamy and evocative of magic. The circus itself is a place I wish i could see. The plot, meandering and loose, doesn't tighten up til the end, and I'm not sure how much I cared about the characters. Setting, though-- that's the strength of this book. ( )
  jjaylynny | Nov 12, 2016 |
I purchased this along with the first two parts of Deborah Harkness's Discovery of Witches trilogy and opted to read those first.

What a mistake.

The Harkness books are on a par with the Twilight series (in both storyline and quality of writing) while this shares much more in common with Lev Grossman's The Magicians series, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell and Harry Potter. Erin Morgenstern has created a truly wondrous, magical world that I enjoyed being part of and hated to leave. It tells the story of two magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been inextricably bound since childhood to enact a magical duel that, unbeknownst to them, cannot end until one of them dies. To complicate matters, they fall in love. This all takes place against the backdrop of an enchanted circus - Le Cirque des Reves (the Circus of Dreams) that is described so beautifully and in such detail, that I felt I was actually there.

The characters are endearing and indelible, from the wealthy, flamboyant owner of the circus, Chandresh Lefevre to the mysterious Japanese contortionist Tsukiko to the gifted, flame-haired twins, Widget and Poppet. Morgenstern even works in a group of hardcore Cirque des Reves fans, the Reveurs, who write articles, exchange letters, arrange meet-ups and, most of all, follow the circus whenever it comes to their locale. The Reveurs are most certainly styled on contemporary fandoms, a touch that will certainly appeal to the sort of reader who gravitates toward genre fiction. I don't think I need to say, I loved it.

What surprised me most about this book (particularly in light of how much I was turned off by Harkness's Harlequin romance novel style) was how invested I was in the love story between Celia and Marco. Theirs is a swoon-worthy, slow burn romance that I was completely swept up in.

I cannot say enough good things about this book. It's a period-piece fantasy liberally laced with both suspense and romance. I'm glad to know there isn't a sequel, because this book is a perfect gem just as it is. ( )
1 vote blakefraina | Nov 10, 2016 |
I liked this quite a bit while I was reading it, although on reflection I'm not sure there was much there there. Much like the night circus itself, the novel is a bit of a stylish illusion. Nothing about this novel rings true, but that is part of the charm; the characters are all mechanical figures wound up for our entertainment. It's hard not to be caught up in the baroque writing and gorgeous imagery, and I liked the way the author juxtaposed farm boy Bailey against the elaborations of the circus; his ordinary life provides some relief from the fantastic at times.

It's not a traditional fantasy novel, and I wouldn't call it magical realism as there is so little realism of any kind, so I can see where it would not be everyone's cup of tea. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 879 (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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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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