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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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6,390680605 (4.09)1 / 741
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 (663)  Dutch (4)  German (3)  Chinese (1)  Swedish (1)  Turkish (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (675)
Showing 1-5 of 663 (next | show all)
I gave this book 2 stars because I enjoyed the writing style. It was beautiful and I could picture what the author was conveying and I truly wish I was able to witness a Circus like this. That being said, I felt robbed. The characters had the potential to be so great yet I felt they were confined to their story line so much they were way to predictable which made the story so predictable. I also feel when an author has to wrap up a story by using her characters to explain rather than let things play out means the author is assuming her/his readers are a little on the inept side. ( )
  AspieNerdGirl | Aug 12, 2014 |
I had heard good things (and some not so good things) about this book. The plot seemed interesting so I decided to give it a go. I really do enjoy some aspects of it. The characters are interesting, the plot is very unique, and the descriptions are beautiful. But where is the dueling? I kept hoping for some intense fight scene but it never really came. I like the ending, though, because it was unique and bittersweet. ( )
  CaitlinAC | Aug 10, 2014 |
I loved this book. This was one of those book that made want to be one of the characters. The way it explained every tent on the circus everything it was so magical and I really hope this book will someday be made out as a movie. I liked the love story that was on the book it was really sweet and tragical at the same time, but at the end they got to be together no matter what. The only issue I had with the book was that you where reading about something in a chapter and all of a sudden next chapter was about somebody else in another time, it took me a while to get used to it and after some chapters it all makes sense. Overall this book made mi imagination go different places it was almost as if I was one of the people living on the circus experiencing all of that, it was full of imagination and creativity and at the same time the love story will keep you intrigued and will make you want to know more about it. ( )
  angie.arciba | Aug 9, 2014 |
This is a super clever story and so enjoyable. What follows are my notes that I shared with Emelie at The Hickory Stick Bookshop since I couldn't make it to the first ever YA book club at that store:

The Night Circus

I read this on my Kindle. I underlined and made lots of notes; here are just a few of them:

I found myself making connections throughout this book:
Marco’s notebooks to William Blake’s works
Fantastical tents/ideas of the circus to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Tara and Lainie: Lainie says, “We like to hit all of the senses.” Reminds me of Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory and how important it is to teach using as many of them as we can.

‘“The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected one,” Tsukiko replies.”

Why is Celia’s father so adamant about her working alone, instead of with her opponent/Marco? I love it that they work together and complement one another’s work.

‘”Secrets have power,” Widget begins. ‘And that power diminishes when they are shared, so they are best kept and kept well.’” . . .

“The past stays on you the way powdered sugar stays on your fingers. Some people can get rid of it but it’s still there, the events and things that pushed you to where you are now.” . . .

‘”Manipulation. I called it magic when I was younger. It took me quite some time to break the habit, though my father never cared for the term. He’d call it enchanting, or forcibly manipulating . . .” I often find myself enjoying the word choice throughout this book.

Other observations, I love the variety of characters. I think it’s great that we get to see the circus from an outsider’s perspective, i.e. Bailey’s, a somewhat outsider’s perspective: Marco; and through the eyes of the circus folk: Celia, Poppet, Widget, etc. This also gives me a delightful understanding of people who work at/in a circus. I always had such a negative stereotype in my mind of “carnies.” My grandmother who I adored spent much of her childhood at the carnival at Savin Rock because her father sold some type of food there. I wish I knew more of her memories.

As I read, I have such fun picturing and trying to experience the various tents/acts/people.

Enjoy the first ever Teen Book Club at The Hickory Stick. Hope I can make it to the next one.

Cheers,
Val DiLorenzo
June 25, 2014 ( )
  turbobks | Aug 6, 2014 |
First of all I'd just like to say that I absolutely adored this book. I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did. The story appears to be about these two unique characters under strange circumstance whom become the pupils of two very different magicians/teachers. The basic purpose of their life is to train for a challenge against each other and the winner is determined over whoever survives. But the story is so much more than that.

What I absolutely adored about The Night Circus was the fact that you get to see the circus from almost every point of view you can think of. Almost all of the main characters have at least one chapter written in how they are viewing the whole thing unravel from their own angle. You really get a sense of what the circus truly meant to everyone. There are even a few brief descriptions written in second person to give you your own experience. I can understand why people would see all of this as a bad thing though. Some might think that the different perspectives are confusing, unnecessary, and/or annoying. Especially the random second person sections, maybe because you don't like being told how to experience a story. To those people I honestly have to say, get over yourself. The fact that The Night Circus is written this way is what brings the magic of the circus from the paper to the reader.

Perspectives aside, the actual writing style of Erin Morgenstern is magical in its own way. Morgenstern's writing is almost like reading a poem at times, sounding lyrical, the words weaving together so perfectly. The way she wrote the dialogue was also amazing. I have read some great novels but the dialogue almost always seems boring and emotionless. I don't FEEL what the characters are feeling. Yet when the characters in The Night Circus are conversing, I can actually see the expressions on their faces even if a description wasn't provided. I can hear the emotion in their voice, it was so surreal. I've read in some reviews that the characters seemed to lack depth or character development and I have to say that I completely disagree. Morgenstern did a superb job in executing the growth of each character and their part in the circus. I was in love with every single one, for they each had their quirks, even the less important/less popular characters.

Now that I'm talking about characters and growth, I'm getting really excited. I have so much respect for Marco and Celia. Marco is forced to spend the majority of the first part of his life completely isolated. The only human he comes in contact with is Alexander, and that is very rare and when it does happen, he provides no answers, comfort, anything at all to help Marco not only in his magical journey but also emotional journey and his human growth. This boy literally raised himself, I'm surprised he can function at all with other people. I think this might be one of the flaws in the stories. A child like that would most likely be too socially inept to go out, find a job, and work with so many people. Then again, he rarely interacts with anyone at all, not even Chandresh whom he simply takes orders from. I think the same goes from Celia, but I think she had it a little worse. Her own father neglected her and whenever he was with her he'd insult, overwork, and even abuse her both physically and mentally. Both Marco and Celia are kept in the dark their whole lives, having absolutely no control over any of it, and any wrong move puts themselves and everyone they care for in danger. It's a very stressful life and they're incredibly strong and I believe they deserved to be together, even if they didn't exactly survive.

As for the other characters I can go on and on about every little thing I liked and disliked. So I'm just going to cut to the end. Lots of people complained that The Night Circus was predictable. Most of the time I was uncertain of how things would play out so the uncertainty kept me hooked and I was always excited to read what would come next. By the time I reached the final chapter (with Widget and Alexander), I got so excited. While reading it I was thinking, "No...No way....Seriously Widget??? It was you??? OF COURSE IT WAS, IT HAD TO BE YOU ALONG!!!"

Needless to say I ended the book with a smile on my face and I'm just so happy that I came across this book. I definitely recommend it. I'm sure I'll reread someday in the future. ( )
  nikkiplusbooks | Aug 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 663 (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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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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.
(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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