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

by Erin Morgenstern

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,272666640 (4.09)1 / 735
Member:theunstrungharpist
Title:The Night Circus
Authors:Erin Morgenstern
Info:Anchor (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 528 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:19th century, circus, fantasy, fiction, historical fiction, illusion, magic, magic realism, magicians, romance, read 2013, 35 before 35

Work details

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

19th century (44) 2011 (81) 2012 (114) 2013 (51) adult (32) ARC (32) audiobook (48) book club (44) circus (395) competition (63) ebook (67) fantasy (712) favorites (31) fiction (692) historical (38) historical fiction (104) illusion (42) Kindle (64) love (75) magic (429) magical realism (153) magicians (129) novel (48) read (90) read in 2011 (47) read in 2012 (82) read in 2013 (36) romance (233) signed (41) to-read (297)
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English (656)  Dutch (4)  German (3)  Chinese (1)  Swedish (1)  Turkish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (667)
Showing 1-5 of 656 (next | show all)
This book is magical, enchanting, dazzling, surreal...

The descriptive narrative is hypnotizing. I could see, taste, touch, even smell everything that the author described in her circus, and also every other setting in the book. Though I do feel that there could've been so much more to the plot, I enjoyed it tremendously for the mood and atmosphere of the book.
  deadgirl | Jul 15, 2014 |
I received this book as a Christmas present. It was unlike any book I've ever read. The characters were intriguing individuals and I liked how the book was constantly keeping my attention. ( )
  aliterarylion | Jul 14, 2014 |
I am 3 hours into the audiobook of this, or on the tenth chapter. People say it gets better, but so far I give it 2 stars, one for the (very nice) poetic prose. There's not enough constraint IMO, it feels like the author just tries to imagine the most ethereal/magical/exotic/mysterious thing she can and turns it into a chapter. EVERY SINGLE woman is breathtakingly beautiful and elegant and there seems to be no limit to the kinds of magic the illusionists can conjure. I'm okay with disjointed stories but this is ridiculous. Like, are we ever going to see this commissioned clock again? Or did the author just throw that in there because we're supposed to be slobbering around in awe of her imagination in thinking up some magic clock, even though I suspect it advances the plot absolutely zero? I can't even tell if any of the characters have personalities or if they're just supposed to stand around looking magical and, as needed, poignantly suffering. I have no desire to even finish the story but I'll try to, just in case it gets way better.

---NINE MONTHS LATER---

Changed to 1 star. I really hated this book. ( )
  twerkysandwich | Jul 10, 2014 |
The book starts out amazing and I really fell into the world. The details about the circus and everyone involved in to sucked me into the world completely. As the two protagonists battle one another through the framework of the circus the tension ratchets higher and then as the ending came I felt a letdown. That the writer went for the easy out to to put a happily ever after ending on the story. I certainly read more by her just for the world building. ( )
  Glennis.LeBlanc | Jul 8, 2014 |
Almost a five-star, but not quite - I loved this! The world of the circus is absolutely enchanting, and it sucks you right in. There is a lot of description, and I can see from some other reviews that this was a turn-off for some, but I think in a book where the setting and surroundings are so integral to the story and the characters, this description is important. Also, it made such a fantastical place very easy to imagine. Really, a wonderful book, and perfect for this time of year! ( )
  bookwormam | Jul 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 656 (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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Canonical title
Original title
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People/Characters
Important places
Important events
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Awards and honors
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.)
Disambiguation notice
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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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