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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus (edition 2012)

by Erin Morgenstern

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,087733507 (4.09)1 / 816
Title:The Night Circus
Authors:Erin Morgenstern
Info:Anchor (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 528 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, literary fantasy, circus, magicians, love story, fathers, life and death

Work details

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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English (723)  Dutch (4)  German (3)  Chinese (1)  Swedish (1)  Turkish (1)  Greek (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (735)
Showing 1-5 of 723 (next | show all)
Utter drivel ( )
  katherineemilysmith | May 12, 2015 |
This is a book that you will either love or not. I am in the latter category. I found its plot slow and thin and considered abandoning it several times. I did finish it, and found the last third of the story pick up significantly.

There has been a lot of praise for this book and I can understand why, its a bit "arty" and presents the reader with a mood and style that is unique. Ms. Morgenstern is clearly a talented writer. However, like I said - its either your cup of tea or not. ( )
  dham340 | May 10, 2015 |
A mesmerizing puzzle in plot, setting, and characters. The story is one of a magicians duel--between two magicians who were purposely trained for it, though their trainers were purposefully secretive about it. They are brought to the Night Circus--the venue for their duel--not knowing at first who their opponent is. One is a young man named Marco, the other a young women named Cecilia, and yes, they are quite attracted to each other despite their duel. The best parts of this book, however, are the dazzling descriptions of the Circus itself--a scrumptious fantasy setting full of wonder and whimsy. This is a lovely read that lingers long after the last page is turned and definitely recommended to anyone who enjoys fantastical worlds. ( )
  debs4jc | May 8, 2015 |
I got so excited at how good this book is when I started listening that I forgot what it was saying and I had to rewind it. She has an imagination in the leagues of J.K. Rowling, which is obviously saying a lot. Actually, she sort of has the same sense of humor too. You know, I think J.K. Rowling secretly wrote another story under someone else's name and picture. The fact that Jim Dale reads it adds to this illusion I am sure. Hoping the story holds up. Will update later.

Later: I'm giving it five stars because I loved every minute of it. However, since I started off by comparing it to the likes of Harry Potter, I feel I should finish in that vein. The fantastical, imaginative elements hold up till the end and remained just as impressive to me as those found in the Potter universe. The story? In comparison, I would have to admit it lacks substance. It would sort of be the equivalent of the Harry Potter books being mostly a tour through Hogwarts, discovering every little nook and cranny and just having an exploration of the senses (only in this story it's a circus). I'm not saying there's not a story, because there is. And it held my interest. What I felt it lacked was high stakes. It had the potential to have the conflict of Harry Potter or even Hunger Games, but you never really felt the urgency of it. You were certainly curious how it would play out, but it just didn't have that gripping quality I felt it could have had. Still, it was highly enjoyable, and I would very much recommend it for those who love magical things, or the circus, or Jim Dale :). ( )
1 vote KR_Patterson | Apr 28, 2015 |
This isn't the sort of book that I would normally read, but I was trying to unload paperbackswap credits before their new policies (pay-per-swap or purchase an annual membership) went into place. I'm just not that into magic and fantasies; never read a Harry Potter book and probably never will. So I have to say that I liked it more than I expected to--but it still isn't quite my cup of tea. I'll give the author points for creativity: the contest between two master magicians is something I've seen before in a number of movies, but the addition of having two talented apprentices play out the battle with neither knowing the opponent's identity was quite clever. And she created some dazzling illusions, described in similarly dazzling prose. But overall, I found the book a bit too long and convoluted. I enjoy complexity, but due to the general subject and the lack of particularly engaging main characters, I felt that I had to work harder to sort it all out than, in the end, was worth it. ( )
  Cariola | Apr 27, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 723 (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 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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