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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus (edition 2012)

by Erin Morgenstern

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7,538759457 (4.09)1 / 844
Title:The Night Circus
Authors:Erin Morgenstern
Info:Anchor (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 528 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

  1. 649
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (historycycles, BookshelfMonstrosity)
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    JessiAdams: Both books have a similiar combination of realism and fantasy with similiar imagery. Wish I could describe it better, but I can't. Both of these books just FEEL the same.
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English (749)  Dutch (4)  German (3)  Swedish (1)  Chinese (1)  Finnish (1)  Turkish (1)  Danish (1)  Greek (1)  All languages (762)
Showing 1-5 of 749 (next | show all)
I borrowed this book from my mom who borrowed it from my aunt, and in my opinion that's the way to go--borrowing, not buying. The premise of the book sounds promising. A game, really more like a battle, between the proteges of two magicians and by extension, two forms of magic, comes to a head in a fantasmagorical circus. A wrench is thrown into the works when the naive sorcerer's apprentices - SHOCKER - fall in love with each other.

The problem was the connection between the protagonists felt forced and stilted. You may think chemistry only applies in an environment involving actual people--not so, I discovered. The spark between the two young (make that never-aging) lovers was more like a fizzle.

Lack of chemistry overall was truly this book's downfall. From the red-scarved groupies who follow the circus from continent to continent, to the vitriol between the two aged magicians, to the young boy who gave up his whole life to operate the circus in perpetuity, the passion never left the page.

I give it three stars instead of two as a nod to the descriptions of the circus exhibitions. Neat and obviously well-thought out. In fact, I have the distinct impression that the author thought up the entire circus as a central motif, and then threw in a story around it as an afterthought (ringing true for my current read too, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: review coming soon.)

I was dying for this book to be good, but it just wasn't quite. In fact, the last few magical realism books I've read have all fallen flat for me. Maybe it's time to accept that I'm just not into this genre?

( )
  mermaidatheart | Dec 1, 2015 |
Joined a local library Book-to-Art Club program that was part book discussion, part crafting party. We each made something inspired by the book. I created my first ever tunnel book. ( )
  MCHBurke | Nov 29, 2015 |
Absolutely magical. ( )
  BrookeAshley | Nov 22, 2015 |
I thought it was quite compelling and interesting, definitely different in its approach. I enjoyed it quite thoroughly.
  Vinbert | Nov 22, 2015 |
I thought it was quite compelling and interesting, definitely different in its approach. I enjoyed it quite thoroughly.
  Vinbert | Nov 22, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 749 (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.
Last words
(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.
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 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)

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