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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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9,280906323 (4.08)1 / 907
Member:PurpleIda
Title:The Night Circus
Authors:Erin Morgenstern
Info:Anchor (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 528 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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English (904)  Dutch (4)  German (4)  Swedish (1)  Chinese (1)  Finnish (1)  Turkish (1)  Greek (1)  Danish (1)  All (918)
Showing 1-5 of 904 (next | show all)
Dark, mysterious and lovely. Complicated, detailed, beautiful and sometimes sorrowful. Listening to this was a curious delight. This was my 100th read for the year. ( )
  shaunesay | Jun 21, 2017 |
i found it to be very intriguing and well-written and clever and yes i loved it but i didn't finish it because i was lazy and for some reason it just didn't suck me in as much as i would've wanted it to. but i will re-read it because i absolutely love the way it's written. ( )
  Banoczi_Henrietta | Jun 19, 2017 |
One of my favourite book using lots of imagery; I chose my Business company colours based on Erin Morgenstern's use of Black, White and Red ( )
  Crack42 | Jun 13, 2017 |
Oh how I am very much a Reveur. I don't think I am going to be able to tell you everything I feel about this book other than to say ... it is everything! The Night Circus pulls you into the world a fantasy and you can not only see it but taste, smell, feel, hear and become part of it! This book will engulf you and all your senses more than I can even tell you. It makes me want to stand at the edge of a field and wait and hope. I am ready! ( )
  MortishaCassavetes | Jun 8, 2017 |
The Night Circus is an intricate tale of creativity with a rich cast of characters who, with their specific gifts and talents help showcase the magical realism that moves throughout the book.

It is about Le Cirque des Rêves aptly translated as The Circus of Dreams not only because of its hours of operation that only takes place nocturnally in the evening until dawn, but also because of its dreamlike and fantastical effect on its patrons.

A circus is usually attributed to magic and feats of wonder as a form of entertainment. This circus, rather than only a collection of good showmanship skills of deception and tricks that audiences can enjoy simply as voyeurs, instead becomes an organic house of multiple tents, pathways, and magic that invites and seduces its patrons to not only visit, but also participate in and experience.

So much so, there are those avid followers of the circus in the book who themselves become a cultist group of lifetime worshippers, a secret society that dubbed its name from the whisperings of rumour later known as the réveurs. The réveurs, a fanatical, creative group reveal themselves to each other by a colour coded uniform: black, white, grey, and a “splash of red” in honour of Le Cirque des Rêves’ own colour theme throughout its grounds: black, white, and black and white stripes.

But the story goes further than providing simple entertainment to its patrons or to its readers. The true premise of the night circus as a venue it its stage for a duel competition between two gifted adversaries, Celia Bowen, daughter of famous and renowned illusionist, Prospero the Enchanter, and Marco, orphan-turned-student to The Man in the Grey Suit, Alexander H.

Together, they simultaneously study under the tutelage of their magician masters, honing in on strengthening their natural gifts—Celia, who is able to move, dismantle, and return objects to their natural form, and Marco, who is able to create illusions within the minds of his chosen audience—until each in turn must learn to outdo the other in the competition of their lives.

Though I found the romantic dialogue and narrative to be somewhat exaggerated, I believe the author was attempting to showcase the lovers’ passion and strong connection to one another through their magic. It is highly unrealistic, but then what story of deep, passionate love ever is? The two lovers are intrinsically a different type of breed altogether.

As the gifts of the competitors strengthen and expand, so does the complication of the circus. The characters that belong to or are involved with the circus are:

· Chandresh Christophe Lefèvre, a wealthy eccentric gifted in hosting elaborate parties called Midnight Dinners, who also has an inherent talent with knife-throwing.
· Mme. Ana Padva, a retired Romanian prima ballerina with an impeccable sense of style who is revered for her fashion design and seamstress skills.
· Mr. Ethan W. Barris, a gifted engineer and architect.
· The Burgess twins, Tara and Lainie, dancers, actresses, who provide consultation on various subjects due to their keen sense of observation.
· Alexander H., the man in the grey suit who is best known to wear a top hat and carry a cane.
· Tsukiko, the tattooed contortionist.
· Herr Friedrick Thiessen, a gifted artisan and clockmaker commissioned to create a showcase piece for the circus.
· Isobel Martin, tarot reader and fortuneteller.
· Bailey Alden Clarke, a young circus enthusiast.
· Winston Aiden Murray nicknamed Widget, a twin born on the opening night of Le Cirque des Rêves.
· Penelope Aislin Murray called Poppet, the second of the twins to be born on opening night.


As these characters become more deeply embedded in the circus’ magic and its danger, the effects on its members and its patrons, as well as its own magic, slowly becomes darker.

As fantastical and wondrous as magic can be, there is always an undercurrent of dark that runs within it because its mysteries are not readily understood, accepted, revealed, nor practiced. An array of magical practice is showcased in the book as homage to the art of the occult.

Yet, they far stretch the limits of what we normally understand as magic. Erin Morgenstern has moved beyond the boundaries of what we are familiar with and has created a new world of richly, imaginative ideas.

The beauty of this book is in the literal magic that takes place within its pages. Where our imagination has failed to carry us further than what we yearn to experience and understand, Morgenstern has supplied a richly imaginative story, plot, and magical realism that inspires us to believe not only in her authoritative writing powers, but also her fantastic and creative imagination.

If Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland is deemed a rich classic, Erin Morgenstern’s Night Circus is its modern and magical counterpart.

The cover design is intelligently made to match the colour themes found in the book from its starlit front cover, to its black and white striped first pages, right down to its red stitched hardcover binding.

It’s a wondrous, intoxicating book that needs to be thoroughly read more than once, over and over. A naturally born skeptic myself, Erin Morgenstern has been able to magically convert me to becoming one of her night circus’ devoted rèveurs. The mysterious pages of the book continue to be turned in Friedrick Thiessen’s clock: tick, tock, tick, tock…and poof!

For the addicted réveur, it will always become dawn too soon.

Where will you be when Le Cirque des Rêves comes to the outskirts of your town?

As for me, I’ll be in the black and white striped tent wearing my blood-red scarf, looking out for The Man in the Grey Suit in the shadows, Prospero the Enchanter amongst the stain-glass windows, and Celia and Marco in the Ice Garden, bound by magic and love.

A special thank you to Lindsey Reeder of Random House Canada for providing me with a signed copy of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern for review.
( )
  ZaraD.Garcia-Alvarez | Jun 6, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 904 (next | show all)
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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